is Founded

Like Planet Hollywood and, proved that celebrity endorsements are worth nothing in the long run.

Backed by sports greats John Elway, Michael Jordan, and Wayne Gretzky and $65 million, MVP sold sporting goods online. Founded in 1999, the company grew to more than 150 employees, but a high-profile partnership came to be a liability. A few months after its launch, entered into an $85 million, four-year agreement with CBS in which the network would provide advertising in exchange for an equity stake in the e-tailer. Yet barely a year later, CBS and its online affiliate killed the agreement because failed to pay the network an agreed-upon $10 million per year. The game was over for soon afterward, and SportsLine took over the domain.

There were several items I was surprised to find MVP did not carry. Snow ski boots and a bike/ski rack for my truck are high on my wish list. However, neither was available. But, MVP says that, unlike brick-and-mortar stores, the site offers seasonal items year-round. I agree, there’s no point in looking for size-12 cleats at my local superstore in January.

Without objects to hold and smell (ahh, glove leather) becoming an abandon-cart statistic was easy (which made my wife happy). I’m unlikely to walk out of a store with a $300 bat, but I could come easily away with a $20 hockey stick for the upcoming roller hockey season (which would have made my wife unhappy). Overall, MVP’s brands and selection are above average, but their A-game is played in the content arena.