Finish Line’s RSG Buys JackRabbit Sports

The Running Specialty Group, the acquisition hungry running arm of Finish Line Inc., can add another retailer to its bag of tricks. The Denver based subsidiary bought JackRabbit Sports for an undisclosed amount.

JackRabbit founder and owner Lee Silverman turned the four-door retailer into a formidable force in New York City’s running and triathlon communities. Silverman will now relocate to Denver, where RSG is headquarters, to serve as the company’s SVP of brand strategy. He is charged with expanding RSG’s branding, e-commerce and other “partnership initiatives.”

“I know the JackRabbit community will continue to be well-served as we increase our brand experience through RSG,” Silverman said. “We take pride in the level of service our staff provides customers — whether they’re lacing up for the very first time or they’re experienced triathletes. That service commitment remains, and I am confident we’ll only heighten our engagement with all of our customers in joining RSG.”

In the last two weeks alone, RSG has picked up its pace of acquisitions. It bagged Midwest retailer Indiana Running Co., which has five stores. And days before that, RSG nabbed two Striders doors in Utah.

With JackRabbit in its fold, RSG now has 75 specialty running stores in 16 states.

Finish Line Chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon told Footwear News in an earlier interview that the company will continue to push more aggressively into the running channel.

“The heritage of Finish Line as a company comes out of a group of runners who were the founders, and it has been a focus point of our evolution as a company,” he said. “We have that knowledge, along with the understanding of store operations in a world that is really a mom-and-pop world. Our ability to put infrastructure behind this business, both behind the scenes as well as operationally and merchandise-wise, we thought was a clear opportunity for us to be a dominant force in the running specialty world.”

For more on where Finish Line is ahead, watch for next week’s issue of Footwear News.

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