Matrix Group Buys Two More Sports Catalogs

Matrix Group Ltd.,

which operates volleyball supplies catalogs Spike Nashbar and Volleyball Express and teen sports apparel title Sweet & Powerful, has expanded its stable of properties. Last month it bought wrestling products cataloger WrestlingOne and agreed to buy volleyball products mailer VolleyballOne. The latter deal is scheduled to close on March 7.

WrestlingOne was owned by LeisureOne; VolleyPlus owned VolleyballOne. Both parent companies were owned by Lucy Keller. Both properties, based in Huntington Beach, CA, are being relocated to Matrix’s Safety Harbor, FL, headquarters and fulfillment facility.

Matrix owner Louis Orloff says he wanted to obtain VolleyballOne because it has been Spike Nashbar’s primary competitor in the volleyball market. “But we had to buy WrestlingOne because it came with the deal,” he says. Nevertheless, he plans to continue with the WrestlingOne business.

The two companies, with combined sales of $6 million, effectively double the size of Matrix’s business, Orloff says. Although the first of the deals didn’t close until Feb. 27, Matrix began taking orders for the catalogs from its Safety Harbor fulfillment center on Feb. 18, five days after Keller closed them down, when the deals became imminent.

“We’re evaluating our options as to maintaining VolleyballOne as an independent title or phasing it out,” Orloff says. “We’ve been trying to move away from the Spike Nashbar name since we bought it July 1, 1999, because it’s a person’s name, and we wanted to stick with something with the word ‘volleyball’ in it. We’ve been testing the names by sometimes sending customers the catalog under the Spike name and sometimes under the Volleyball Express name.”

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