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Softbank supports shoe fetish with $80m buy

It's a sportal thing, we wouldn't understand

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Softbank is getting into shoes, courtesy of a 30 per cent stake in American sporting goods firm Global Sports. The hyperactive Japanese vendor is backing Global’s transformation into a pureplay Internet company with $80 million cash. Apparently it’s all to do with driving some of the world’s $150 billion sporting goods market onto the internet through Global’s GSI web site. Global is so excited about the Internet that its ditching its traditional --- i.e. non Internet -- businesses. These include three big brand names that no-one at The Register has ever heard of. American brands, by chance? GSI now wants to be an ecommerce portal for "leading sporting goods retailers". It has ecommerce contracts with The Athlete's Foot, Sport Chalet, MC Sports, Sports & Recreation and "one other retailer" -- American shopkeepers, by chance? Their combined sales are more than $3 billion. ®

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