Nike and Champs Sports debuted a new football only retail store, Nike Yardline, at a New Jersey mall in September 2011. The move towards a football centric store makes sense for Nike after gaining the rights to all NFL Teams.
After dominating basketball apparel and sneakers for years within Foot Locker with the House of Hoops concept, football is a natural fit to differentiate Champs Sports from Foot Locker. After all, they basically offered the same items anyway, but perhaps in a different colorway or two. The Nike Yardline retail store in conjunction with Champs Sports is the first of its kind, meaning it can only be found in malls. Usually, if you drive near a mall, you’ll see a huge Sports Authority or DICK’S Sporting Goods that offers performance wear and is heavily football centric. Can Nike and Champ Sports make a dent in the stand alone, huge, multi-level football centric retail stores like DICK’S?
Nike Yardline at Champ’s Sports
I say yes. The reason is convenience and real-estate. Footlocker Inc consists of Foot Locker, Lady Footlocker, Kids Foot Locker, Foot Action, Champ’s Sports, CCS and Eastbay.
The infrastructure is already in place and now it’s a simple store makeover and changing out product sets for a completely new look and feel.
Normally, when I go into a mall to buy gear, I’m looking for performance basketball gear or basketball shoes – which is covered in mass by the plethora of Foot Locker owned properties.
Now, millions of football consumers will have a choice to make – do you go to the mall to buy all your items including football apparel and performance wear or do you make a separate trip to DICK’S Sporting Goods or Sports Authority? I only answered yes out of convenience.
If Nike Yardline offers football products comparable to their House of Hoops basketball products, no doubt it will shake up market share. Nike has over 60 House of Hoops locations in Foot Locker and a few stand alone stores. If Nike replicates that model with Nike Yardline, purchasing of performance wear football related items could fundamentally change.
The move for Nike to move into a football centric Champ’s Sports store comes at a great time as DICK’S continues to ingrain itself with Under Armour merchandise. Nike had to do something and it did. I’ll keep you posted when I check out a Nike Yardline store at Champ’s Sports or feel free to leave a comment if you have visited a store.
Nike Yardline does not have a stand alone site yet, but has a dedicated section within the Champ’s Sports Webiste. Here is a screenshot of what the new Nike Yardline online store offers.
Nike Yardline at Champs