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 Wednesday, May 3
Product line expands 10-fold
 ESPNstore.com, through an alliance with sporting goods retailer Shopsports.com, has re-launched and expanded its product offering ten-fold with the addition of a Golf Pro Shop, footwear, fitness and athletic equipment, extreme sports products, broader memorabilia offerings, outdoors supplies, and other products for sports fans and participants alike. ESPNstore.com, housed within ESPN.com, the most popular sports site on the Web, is also adding such services as personalization, enhanced search capability, electronic gift certificates and customization.

ESPNstore.com continues to offer the best in team-, league- and ESPN-logo'd merchandise and apparel, as well as ESPN-authenticated memorabilia. The re-launch enables ESPNstore.com to provide practically everything for the sports enthusiast, all in one virtual store.

"With this re-launch, we are greatly expanding the depth and breadth of product that will appeal to all types of sports fans," said Chuck Davis, president, e-commerce, Buena Vista Internet Group. "Our new alliance with Shopsports.com and the introduction of a new technology platform allow us to serve customers in a more efficient manner. We can find out what they like, and then deliver product that matches their interests. Furthermore, nearly 80 percent of merchandise is shipped out of our own warehouse, allowing for a more efficient means of distribution."

Partnering with Shopsports.com, a pioneer in sports e-commerce, enables ESPNStore.com to draw upon a tremendous depth of sports product, in the process delivering up to 15,000 products and 47,000 SKUs (store keeping units), including exclusive brands such as Callaway, Reebok, North Face, and many more.

In addition, ESPNstore.com is deploying InterWorld Corporation's Commerce Exchange software that will result in quicker downloads and improved user interface. InterWorld's software will provide online merchandising and order processing capabilities as well as personalized customer service features that enable registered members to check their order history and to create an address book.

New ESPNstore.com product offerings include:

  • Golf Pro Shop - Golf fans can purchase such classics as a Callaway Big Bertha Hawk Eye Driver, Guess men's golf polo shirts, Cobra golf bags and shirts from the Greg Norman collection.
  • Expanded selection of exclusive authenticated memorabilia - for sports fans whom cherish owning a piece of history, ESPNstore.com boasts ESPN-authenticated merchandise not found anywhere else.
  • Athletic Equipment - From hard-to-get Opening Day '99 Bamm Beano Mark McGwire Beanie Babies and Adidas men's shorts, to posters of the champion women's United States World Cup soccer team, this section has it all.
  • Footwear - Fans can get their kicks at ESPNstore.com, where they will find a broad selection including the Adidas Soccer Sandal, Reebok Voyager and Asics Gel-Ultra II. For convenience, ESPNstore.com provides a conversion chart to help users find the best fit.
  • ESPN Video Locker Room - Sweat it out with Billy Blanks and his "Tae-Bo Workout" or relive all of your favorite moments in sports with "ESPN's Year in Review" video series. All the best sports videos, as well as unforgettable sports movies such as "Field of Dreams," are here in the ESPN Video Locker Room, in association with MovieStreet.com.

    New ESPNstore.com services include:
  • Personalization - via collaborative filtering, ESPNstore.com is able to inform shoppers of special offers for relevant products, or of the introduction of new product from their favorite team or athlete.
  • Enhanced Search Engine -- this personalized search vehicle helps shoppers pinpoint their shopping needs by searching ESPNstore.com's massive stock of merchandise, apparel and memorabilia by product category, product launch date, or whether a product is customizable.

    Other ESPNstore.com highlights include:
  • Officially licensed league and team goods - whether it's college or the pros, the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB, The Store has something for practically everyone, including die-hard displaced fans.
  • ESPN-branded merchandise and apparel - ESPN-logo barbecue tool sets, organizers, party food trays and portable stadium blankets, as well as a wide selection of apparel bearing the logos of ESPN and its signature programs such as SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, NFL Countdown and RPM 2Night.

    In the future, ESPNstore.com will also provide customization and electronic gift certificates. Shoppers can create something special for themselves or for family or friends by allowing ESPNstore.com to customize such items as college sweatshirts. Products purchased as gifts will even arrive with a personal greeting from the sender. Electronic gift certificates are 100-percent online coupons, ideal for those who can't decide on a particular gift item. Shoppers download the certificate and ESPNstore.com emails it to the recipient, who redeems it online. Shoppers at ESPNstore.com are protected by ambitious privacy and security policies ensuring that all transactions and consumer information gathered is totally secure and safe. Customer information is confidential and fully encrypted throughout the ordering process.

    ESPNstore.com is accessible via ESPN.com, the most popular sports site on the Web. ESPN.com is produced by ESPN Internet Ventures (EIV), which also produces the official sites of the NFL, NBA, NASCAR and WNBA. EIV is a joint venture between Disney's Buena Vista Internet Group and Infoseek (NASDAQ: SEEK), and is part of GO Network. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and Infoseek recently announced they had reached an agreement to combine Buena Vista Internet Group (BVIG) with Infoseek and create a single Internet business called go.com.

    EIV is part of ESPN Internet Group, which also includes ABC Sports Online, producer of ABCSports.com and the official sites of Monday Night Football and college football's Bowl Championship Series. Additional information on ESPN.com can be found at http://espn.go.com/pr/.