Bankrupt Sports Retailer Takes Next Steps (Maybe a Comeback)

The company had a nearly 50-year run before it liquidated its assets last July..

While the market for athletic leisure wear has never been stronger, competition in the space has never been stronger.

Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) – Get Free Report has managed to survive, sometimes even thrive using a fairly traditional model, but a number of similar chains have failed. Sports Authority, a big box store with a similar model to Dick’s went bankrupt in 2016 while Eastern Mountain Sports failed that same year while Modell’s liquidated its stores in 2020.

Olympia Sports, a regional chain in the Northeast founded in 1975, surprisingly went bankrupt last July.

You can blame a lot of factors for these bankruptcies beyond pointing fingers at Amazon (AMZN) – Get Free Report/the internet  Nike (NKE) – Get Free Report has stepped up its retail and direct-to-consumer game while lululemon (LULU) – Get Free Report has become a major high-end player, and Target (TGT) – Get Free Report has revamped its offerings adding high-quality, low-price athletic wear for men and women.

And, while the Olympia bankruptcy was shocking, it was predictable as retail has become a space where bigger players and companies with very defined niches win. Now, however, the next step in the sporting goods retailer’s bankruptcy is happening and that could lead to the brand making a comeback.


Olympia Sports Will Have New Owners 

Bankruptcy does not seem to mean the end of retail brands. Toys R Us has made multiple comebacks and the brand now has a space in Macy’s (M) – Get Free Report stores. Sharper Image may no longer be a retailer, but the brand has been resurrected on products.

There’s value in the familiar and that makes well-known brand names, even ones that failed, have major value. Someone will get a chance to see what the Olympia Sports name means as the company’s intellectual property (IP), which includes its name and trademarks, is going up for auction, RetailDive reported.

“The IP of two other brands, Clever Training and Surf Outfitter, is also for sale, along with customer data and domain names,” the website reported.

The sale will be handled by Hilco Streambank, a company that specializes in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Any sale is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

“In Olympia’s case, the assets available for sale include trademarks, customer data for 640,000 people, an owned image library, and more than 50 domain names, including,,,, and,” RetailDive said.

The assets could be sold as a package or be split up.


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