2000: Investors give Mammoth Sports a second chance

Scientists theorize a massive meteor annihilated the woolly mammoths. Similarly, the monetary meteor that recently smacked the Internet sector threatened to financially obliterate Mammothgolf.com.

Unlike its namesake, however, it appears the e-tailer owned by Jessup, Md.-based Mammoth Sports Group Inc. will avert – at least temporarily – extinction on the strength of a buy-out deal executed by newly formed Milestone Golf Enterprises.

In August, Mammoth Sports announced it was selling its business divisions because of failing operations. A month later, the company’s creditors filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.

Milestone, a Maryland corporation, expects to leverage the recognizable Mammoth brand, and capitalize on the company’s database of more than 3 million customers.

Incorporated in October, Milestone, in essence, is a second attempt by key management players at Mammoth Sports, plus new investors, to make the retail operation a success.

Milestone absorbs William Albright, former chairman and chief executive officer of Mammoth Sports, and includes on its executive team Chris Thompson, Roger Ash, and Edward Kelley, former co-founder and chief financial officer of Jiffy Lube. He was brought in as a Milestone director.

The company is bankrolled by Milestone employees, along with “two outside private entities headquartered in the U.S.,” said Thompson, Milestone’s vice president of sales and marketing. He declined to name the financiers or reveal financial figures.

With the exception of the Austad’s catalog, Milestone purchased all operating assets of Mammoth Sports – the Mammoth Golf Superstore, the Mammoth Golf components business, and e-tail operation Mammothgolf.com – on Nov. 24. All pieces will be integrated at the companies’ headquarters in Maryland, Thompson said.

No facet of the business will be showcased over another, he said, adding, “the core of our operations will be our retail showroom, our component catalog and supply business, and our Web site.”

Currently, Mammothgolf.com is receiving a facelift, with an eye on streamlining the ordering process. The emphasis, Thompson said, is on “core products, better fill rates, in-house customer service and fulfillment, and a greater ability to customize product offerings.”

The relaunch is set for Feb. 20.







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