Dive Brief:

  • Olympia Sports’ intellectual property is up for sale after the Maine-based sporting goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, according to a news release shared with Retail Dive.
  • Hilco Streambank, an advisory firm that specializes in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and intellectual property dispositions, is handling the sale. Hilco is seeking offers through Feb. 7 and plans to take the IP to auction on Feb. 9. However, the sale is subject to the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
  • The IP of two other brands, Clever Training and Surf Outfitter, is also for sale, along with customer data and domain names.

Dive Insight:

Olympia Sports went out of business in September 2022 after 47 years.

Established in 1975 in South Portland, Maine, Olympia sold sports equipment, fitness gear and apparel, athletic shoes, casual wear and athletic accessories. At the time of its closure, the company had a footprint of about 35 stores and 324 employees. 

At its peak in 2012, Olympia Sports had 230 stores in New England and the mid-Atlantic. However, the company’s growth and success began to stall after that. In response, Olympia Sports closed unprofitable stores between 2013 and 2019 as leases expired.

After an acquisition by private equity firm CriticalPoint Capital in 2019, Olympia’s brick-and-mortar footprint shrank to 75 stores. That deal marked the start of a time of turbulence at the company. In April 2022, Olympia decided to liquidate 22 stores to generate cash flow, the company said in court documents. Despite various turnaround efforts, Olympia ultimately filed for bankruptcy just ahead of 2022’s fourth quarter.

Olympia Sports generated $65.2 million in retail and $9.8 million in e-commerce sales in 2021. Gross revenues that year were about $74 million with a negative EBITDA of about $1.5 million. Through July 31, 2022, Olympia’s gross revenues were about $28 million with a negative EBITDA of $7.8 million, the company said in court filings.

Sales of intellectual property can generate tens of millions — or even hundreds of millions — of dollars, and potentially bring defunct brands back to life. In the last decade or so, some of the well-known IPs on the market included Toys R Us, Circuit City and Pier 1. Hilco also handled the recent sale of Stein Mart’s intellectual property.

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 OlympiaSports.net, CleverTraining.com, SurfOutfitter.com, RunColorado.com and ClothesBuy.com. Hilco said the assets can be sold individually or as a package.

“Olympia Sports has been a staple of the Northeast for decades and has garnered a loyal customer base including over 415,000 customers who have made a purchase in the last two years,” Hilco Streambank Senior Vice President Richelle Kalnit said in a news release shared with Retail Dive. 

“The successful expansion into e-commerce contributed to retail and e-commerce combined sales of over $61 million in 2020 and $75 million in 2021,” Kalnit continued. “A buyer of Olympia’s intellectual property has the opportunity to leverage a brand known for its quality and reliability when it comes to sporting goods, equipment, and accessories, and to engage with a customer base seeking a trusted outlet for its sporting goods needs.”

Olympia’s e-commerce site OlympiaSports.net generated more than 16.3 million visits between January 2020 and May 2022. But due to shipping costs and competition, e-commerce “turned out to be an unprofitable venture” for Olympia, according to bankruptcy-related court documents. Olympia ended its e-commerce operations in April 2022.

CleverTraining.com was an e-commerce specialty retailer. It focused on providing high-performance athletic training gear for active lifestyle enthusiasts. SurfOutfitter.com offered a hand-selected collection of apparel, equipment, and accessories that catered to people in the surf and waterman lifestyles. Surf Outfitter also operated one retail store in Tampa, Florida. Clever Training’s peak sales reached $11.8 million, while Surf Outfitter recorded $2 million in 2020, Hilco said.

“The additional specialty retail brands add unique value to the offering,” Kalnit said. “Each one has gained a reputation as a trusted leader in its respective niche, with a strong history of select, high-quality product lines, representing communities that are committed to these passions and lifestyles.”


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