Fairfax Financial merges Sporting Life and Golf Town

Sporting Life Inc, a Toronto-based sports and lifestyle retailer, has merged with Golf Town Ltd, a Vaughan, Ontario-based golf apparel and equipment retailer, creating Sporting Life Group Ltd.

Terms weren’t disclosed for the deal, which will see Sporting Life and Golf Town maintain their brands and operate separately, but jointly invest in staffing, supply chains and technology.

Fairfax Financial Holdings and a unit of CI Investments acquired Golf Town in 2016. The company had begun creditor protection proceedings.

Fairfax, a holding company led by Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa, was also an owner of Sporting Life. It will remain an investor in the new entity.


Sporting Life and Golf Town Merge and Become Sporting Life Group

Two iconic companies join together to maximize opportunities for growth

TORONTO, Oct. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sporting Life Inc. (“Sporting Life”) and Golf Town Limited (“Golf Town”) announce today their merger to become Sporting Life Group Limited (“SLG”).

Sporting Life is a premium sports and lifestyle retailer that provides a unique shopping experience, and an extensive assortment of high-end sport and lifestyle brands coupled with a focus on premium customer service. It currently has 11 locations operating in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec, following the recent opening of a 27, 500 square foot store in Le Quartier DIX30 last week. In 2019, it will open another flagship store in the new “Amazing Brentwood” Mall in Vancouver, B.C.

Golf Town is the number one destination for golf apparel and equipment in Canada, with a national footprint of 47 stores. Golf Town has been incredibly successful since its acquisition by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (“Fairfax”) (TSX: FFH and FFH.U) and certain funds managed by Signature Global Asset Management, a division of CI Investments Inc., in 2016.

Fairfax, and founders David Russell and Patti Russell, were the owners of Sporting Life and both continue to be invested in Sporting Life Group.

This merger will see the two brands continue to maintain their brand identities and operate separately, but they will jointly invest in key people, technology and supply chain to enhance future profitable growth and synergies.

“Sporting Life experiences its strongest sales in the winter months, while Golf Town experiences its strongest sales in the summer months,” said David Russell, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Sporting Life. “We believe this to be a natural ‘hedge’ allowing both companies strong profitable performance throughout the year.”

“Enhancing our people, technology and supply chain while obtaining synergies will allow for a streamlined, profitable roll out of our expansion plans. We intend to add stores in B.C beyond Brentwood, more in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, and to enter Manitoba,” said David Russell.

Golf Town continues to invest in its brand and network of stores with a next generation store concept launching in March 2019 in Richmond, B.C.

“Since the acquisition of Golf Town in 2016, we have invested in Canada on people, technology and our stores,” said Chad McKinnon, President of Golf Town. “This merger will accelerate that investment and open up new opportunities for our brand and our people, while maintaining the separate identity and teams of both brands.”

The senior executive team of the newly merged company will be:

David Russell – Chief Executive Officer of SLG
Chad McKinnon – President of SLG
Patti Russell (Co-founder of Sporting Life) – Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of SLG
Frederick Lecoq – Chief Marketing Officer of SLG

The management teams of the separate brands will remain in place.


The Sporting Life is fresh, fun, performance and quality; its ski, après ski and everything in between. The Sporting Life is the good life, and our customers are living it! Sporting Life is a place where our customers can find the best, quality, brand name fashion and sports equipment that supports the active and energetic lifestyle they live and love. Sporting Life opened in 1979 with the belief that we could offer quality products and well-known brands, with knowledgeable service, that enhance our customer’s active lifestyle.


Golf Town is the largest specialty golf retailer in Canada, operating 47 stores throughout the country. The company also offers convenient 24/7 shopping at www.golftown.com. The company features the broadest selection of the best brands in golf, expert staff who share its customers’ love of the game, and state-of-the-art custom fitting services and technology – truly your destination for everything golf. Golf Town is owned by Fairfax and certain funds managed by Signature Global Asset Management, a division of CI Investments Inc.


Fairfax is a holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management.


Signature Global Asset Management, a division of CI Investments Inc. (“CI”), manages over $53 billion in a diverse lineup of equity, balanced and income-oriented mandates and has offices in Toronto and Hong Kong. CI is one of Canada’s largest investment management companies, offering a wide range of investment products and services. CI is a subsidiary of CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX), an independent, Canadian-owned wealth management firm with $180.6 billion in fee-earning assets as of September 30, 2018. Further information is available at www.ci.com.

For further inquiries regarding Sporting Life, contact:

Jean Paul Corbeil
(416) 673-0840
(416) 454-7693

For further inquiries regarding Golf Town, contact:

Madelaine Tricanico
(289) 236-2349
(647) 283-4610