Genesco unit acquires Nashville Sporting Goods

Seven-decade-old company purchased by Lids Team Sports

A 69-year-old Nashville sporting goods institution has been bought.

Lids Sports Group, a division of Genesco, announced it has acquired Nashville Sporting Goods Wednesday, along with its production affiliate National Team Embellishment.

NSG was founded by Walter Nipper in 1945, primarily as an outdoor and boating outfitter, and has since grown into a regional force in team sports sales.

"The acquisition of Nashville Sporting Goods is a perfect fit for Lids Team Sports," Ken Kocher, president of Lids Sports Group, said.  "Not only will this expand our team sports presence in our parent company Genesco’s backyard, but this acquisition, coupled with our existing national presence, willsolidify LIDS Team Sports’ regional stronghold in the sportswear and wholesale team sports business.  We look forward to sharing our sporting goods expertise and services with existing and new customers across Tennessee and Alabama."

Eleven NSG sales representatives will join Lids as part of the acquisition, a move Kocher said will provide a seamless transition. Lids will also keep NSG's existing brick-and-mortar locations open.

In a 2011 interview with NashvillePost magazine, Kocher, in noting that Lids had yet to make in-roads in Genesco's home area, expressed his admiration for NSG. Wednesday's acquisition gives Lids that foothold in the center of the football-mad South it desired.

 "Lids is a great fit for Nashville Sporting Goods. By joining the Lids team, we are able to remain true to our mission of ‘delivering what we promise,’ while adding access to the broad spectrum of inventory, first-class production facility, and the industry's best web based ‘flash stores’ that already exists within LIDS Team Sports.  My team is very excited to help spread the LIDS culture throughout the South," said NSG president Robert Butler, who declined an interview request for that 2011 article.