June 28, 2012, 4:57 PM

Amazon gets extreme

The e-retailer launches an Action Sports store with a pro skateboarder as spokesman.

Lead Photo

Amazon.com Inc. launched an Action Sports store this week on Amazon.com, where consumers on the more adventurous side can buy products such as skateboards, snowboards, helmets and surfboards. The face of the store is Andy Macdonald, a 38-year-old pro skateboarder.

The Action Sports store page on Amazon.com features a photo of Macdonald riding his board in a parking lot, his front wheels catching air; the page also promotes that itemsship free with Amazon’s Super-Saver shipping, which kicks in when a consumer spends $25 or more on a purchase. The store also sells Macdonald’s self-designed boards for the Positiv brand. Amazon’s endorsement deal with Macdonald appears to be the e-retailer’s first celebrity endorsement. Amazon did not immediately respond to inquiries about the arrangement.

The Action Sports store page also merchandises via social media, music and apparel. A Facebook section displays pictures of Facebook users that “Like” Amazon Sports; consumers can click Like to add themselves to the group, which numbers more than 21,000. The store page also includes a link to Action Sports clothing, an Amazon page that showcases goods from apparel brands like Hurley, Quicksilver and Roxy. Consumers visiting the Action Sports page can also click “play” to listen to MP3 music tracks available in the Amazon MP3 store without leaving the Action Sports page.

The Action Sports store appears to be a haven for retailers of specialty sports products that sell through Amazon’s marketplace. A category listing for “surf leashes” reveals 507 board tethers available for sale, but only 59 of them, about 11.6%, are sold by Amazon, meaning that about 88.4% of the surf leashes available for sale in the Action Sports store are sold by other merchants. In the Go Karts category 21, or 6.4%, of the 328 recreational vehicles available, are sold directly by Amazon. 39% of the total product units sold on Amazon during the first quarter were sold by Marketplace sellers.

Amazon.com is No. 1 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

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