Wonga Future 50: SportPursuit

Bringing together retail, online, social and media, SportPursuit is an utterly new player in a Britain with a renewed love of sport

JJB Sports has gone into administration. Not surprising, with the growth of online discount retailers snaffling all its trade.

SportPursuit takes the bargain-hunting one step further.

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It offers seven-day flash sales for members, offering discounts up to 70 per cent.

Brand partners include well-known brands like Berghaus, UnderArmour and Wilson as well as niche specialists like VibramFivefingers, BCA Avalanche Backpacks and much more. The member base is expanding rapidly and has already reached almost 100,000 people with around 20,000 people following SportPursuit on Facebook.

To help drive the next wave of growth, the firm has closed a $2.3m funding round with DFJ Esprit and top angels including Peter Draper, former marketing director for Manchester United; Alex Chesterman, CEO of Zoopla; and co-founder of Lovefilm William Reeve.

What we like is the radicalism of the model, described as “at the confluence of retail, media and social”. Retailers, like media businesses, are having to adopt multi-channel strategies. That’s much easier for newcomers, such as SportPursuit, so we think it’s well worth watching. Oh, and we reckon other high-street sports retailers will be seriously perturbed.

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