TAMPA — A rare Nike Yardline store will open at WestShore Plaza in time for the holiday season. The football-centered store — a partnership between apparel giant Nike and mall retailer Champs Sports — will provide a “complete football experience that will serve athletes who not only play the game, but also live the football life,” a news release posted on Nike's website said of the concept launched in 2012. The store will sell signature and limited Nike football products, such as footwear, jerseys and equipment, while also providing “special access” to “athletes, teams and experiences” as well as “expertise and training,” the release said. Nike and Champs have only opened two other Nike Yardline locations, one in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. in 2013, and the original location in Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, N.J. Both of those stores showcase a large selection of apparel from their regional college and NFL teams.
The grand openings of the Minnesota and New Jersey locations featured visits from NFL players Adrian Peterson, Hakeem Nicks and others. As a digital extension of the store, champssports.com/yardline features news on upcoming product launches and in-store events. It's not the first time the companies have worked together on a retail concept. Champs Sports' parent company Foot Locker Inc. has worked with Nike for several years to develop similar House of Hoops basketball-only stores. There are now more than 60 House of Hoops locations, including one at the Florida Mall in Orlando. Nike has said it plans to continue expanding the Nike Yardline concept with more locations.