Matrix Group Buys Volleyball, Wrestling 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. In late February, it acquired wrestling products cataloger WrestlingOne; in March, it bought volleyball products mailer VolleyballOne.

WrestlingOne was owned by LeisureOne; VolleyPlus owned VolleyballOne. The two parent companies were both owned by Lucy Keller, who sold them so that she could retire. Both properties, based in Huntington Beach, CA, have been 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.

With combined sales of $6 million, WrestlingOne and VolleyballOne double the size of Matrix’s business, Orloff says. “We’re evaluating our options as to maintaining VolleyballOne as an independent title or phasing it out,” Orloff says.

Spike Nashbar was founded in 1990 by the Nashbar Cos., which also produced the Bike Nashbar bicycles catalog. “We’ve been trying to move away from the Spike Nashbar name since we bought it July 1, 1999, because Nashbar is a person’s name, and we wanted to stick with something with the word ‘volleyball’ in it,” Orloff says.“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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