Game on as Sportswise steps up a league with Intersport deal

Game on for Sportswise as director Kenny Oliver marks the new Intersport deal with Julie Brown, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland.
Game on for Sportswise as director Kenny Oliver marks the new Intersport deal with Julie Brown, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland.

Online sports business Sportswise (Borders) Ltd is expanding its Peebles headquarters and creating another 15 jobs after securing a major deal with an international sports retailer.

The company, which trades as rugbystore.co.uk, has signed a partnership contract with Intersport which will see it become exclusive host of Intersport’s online business and distribution throughout the UK.

The deal means the online retail specialist will increase its product range to include football, swimming, running and fitness on behalf of Intersport.

As a result it is expanding its art design, online marketing and photography departments and stock warehouse capacity and recruiting around 15 new staff members.

The headquarters’ development has been funded by a £500,000 facility from Bank of Scotland and £82,000 grant funding from Scottish Enterprise.

Fraser Patterson, managing director of Rugbystore and who is on Intersport’s board of directors, said: “This is a very exciting time for everyone in the business.

“The expansion of our Peebles base will continue to strengthen our relationship with Intersport and allow us to continue to build our reputation as providers of the highest quality sports merchandise in the UK and around the world.”

Julie Brown, of Bank of Scotland, said: “We are confident that the new contract with Intersport will see Rugbystore continue to establish itself as one of the most exciting online sporting brands based in Scotland. Its position in the borders makes it the perfect candidate to distribute Intersport’s products throughout the UK.”

Ewan Davidson, of Scottish Enterprise, said: “It’s also great to see our Calvary Business Park development continuing to support business growth in the area, helping to create much welcomed new investment and jobs for the Scottish Borders.”

Sportswise was originally established in 1974 as a high-street retailer. In 1997, it changed direction and is now the largest independent online trader of rugby clothing and equipment in the world, shipping merchandise to countries including Australia, USA, New Zealand, Latvia, Canada, Europe and Russia.

Tom Foley, general manager at Intersport UK, said: “Intersport UK has found the perfect partner in Sportswise (Borders) Ltd. It is a long serving member of the Intersport group, with strong links to the business, reflected by Fraser Patterson’s seat on Intersport’s board of directors.

“With Sportwise’s in-house expertise and its ability to scale up its operations, we are very confident that this new partnership will continue to grow and prosper over the coming years.”

Intersport is the largest sports retail entity on the globe. With operations in 43 countries, the brand has a much respected and established position in the mind-set of consumers worldwide.

In the UK, Intersport has grown considerably in recent years, driven primarily through the bricks and mortar presence of its affiliated retail members.

Its partnership with Sportswise (Borders) Ltd will allow the retailer to have a fully functional ecommerce platform in the UK.