Amazon Launches Store for X Games Crowd
Amazon.com sells everything. At least, it often seems that way. The latest category to get the Amazon treatment is "action sports" with the e-tail giant offering an extensive selection of skateboards, BMX bikes, ski and snowboard equipment and the like to those who enjoy getting a little air between their feet and the ground.
To help establish street cred among those who like their sports extreme, Amazon announced it was sponsoring eight-time skateboarding champion Andy Macdonald. As part of the deal, Mr. Macdonald will wear Amazon’s logo on his helmet and be featured in exclusive videos on the site. He will also offer tips and product recommendations on the site.
"[The endorsement] is a big deal for action sports in general, because it’s bringing a new brand to our sports," Mr. Macdonald told the Boston Herald. "It’s kind of a must in our world … in order to maintain your legitimacy and let people know that you’re serious."
Amazon’s move into action sports will put it into direct competition with retailers such as Zumiez, one of the leaders in skateboarding and snowboarding categories. As The Seattle Times reports, Zumiez has had same-store increases for nine straight quarters and its online sales were up 7.3 percent on a year-over-year basis for the first quarter.
Zumiez is on an expansion path, including its recent acquisition of Blue Tomato, a European snowboarding and surfing merchandise company.
"Joining forces with Blue Tomato represents the next step in our strategic plan to build the leading global action sports retail business. Europe has a large, vibrant and growing action sports community, which Gerfried (Schuller, founder of Blue Tomato) and his team have skillfully tapped into through a broad offering of authentic brands and products, a differentiated retail experience, and superior customer service," said Rick Brooks, CEO of Zumiez, in a statement.
- Amazon Action Sports – Amazon.com
- Amazon skates into action-sports business – The Seattle Times
- Amazon Looks to Sports Sponsorship to Boost Sales – The Wall Street Journal
- Amazon leaps to back skateboard star – Boston Herald
- Zumiez Inc. Acquires Leading European Action Sports Retailer – Zumiez Inc.
Discussion Questions: How will Amazon’s venture into action sports affect the retail business in that industry? What will it mean for brick and click merchants such as Zumiez?