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MVP.com comes out of retirement

CBS SportsLine.com revives the failed sporting goods e-tailer, which is selling a fraction of the goods it once did and is minus the backing of some sports superstars.

In the latest dot-com resurrection, CBS SportsLine.com has revived failed e-tailer MVP.com.

The online sports site re-opened its sporting goods store under the MVP.com moniker last week. But the revived store offers only a fraction of the items previously available and no longer has the backing of sports superstars Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and John Elway.

"We're going to be rebuilding MVP.com to be bigger and better than ever," said Dan Head, vice president of e-commerce at SportsLine. "I'm confident that we have a good brand here, and we can grow it very successfully and profitably."

SportsLine operated its own e-tail store from 1998 to 1999, but sold the business to MVP.com in late 1999. In January, SportsLine bought the domain name and customer database of MVP.com and signed a deal with USA Networks' Electronic Commerce Solutions to handle the online store's operations.

Head declined to say how much SportsLine paid for MVP.com's assets, saying only that the amount was less than what MVP.com paid for SportsLine's e-commerce business.

The eventual closure of MVP.com came after two rounds of layoffs at the struggling e-tailer and the cancellation of its 10-year $120 million contract with SportsLine.

Last August, Fashionmall.com acquired the assets of failed British fashion site Boo.com. The company subsequently re-opened Boo.com as a part of its network of clothing sites.

Last month, wine retailer eVineyard.com acquired the domain name and customer database of Wine.com. eVineyard operates its own site under both the eVineyard and Wine.com brands.

The relaunched MVP.com now carries some 20,000 different items, Head said. MVP.com previously carried about 60,000 items, and SportsLine and USA Networks plan to expand the inventory to some 200,000 different items.