Matrix Group Acquires Rights to The Female Athlete

Safety Harbor, FL-based multititle sporting goods cataloger Matrix Group Ltd. acquired the intellectual property of Catalog Group, marketer of The Female Athlete catalog, through a private foreclosure sale announced on July 25. Although secured creditor Gerber Trade Finance had kept The Female Athlete Website active, the last Female Athlete catalog mailed last spring.

Matrix, which operates volleyball supplies catalogs Spike Nashbar and Volleyball Express and teen sports apparel title Sweet & Powerful, plans to continue operating Website for the foreseeable future. The Female Athlete was a direct competitor of Sweet & Powerful; both sold clothing and accessories for active young women ages 11-22.

Matrix plans to mail both titles this year, but it will gauge which book does better with the younger audience, says president Louis Orloff. If Female Athlete outperforms Sweet & Powerful, Orloff says, the latter book will be discontinued. But if Sweet & Powerful does better, he plans to revamp The Female Athlete to appeal to an older audience, ages 25-45. Orloff expects overall sales to reach $15 million next year.

The deal is Matrix’s third this year. In late February, the company acquired wrestling products cataloger WrestlingOne; in March, it bought volleyball products mailer VolleyballOne. Like the company’s past two acquisitions, Orloff says, Matix wanted the Female Athlete’s mailing list; the deal is also “a strategic purchase to ensure that none of our competitors acquire the Female Athlete name.”

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