Best Sporting Goods Store: Academy Sports + Outdoors
Houston baseball fans waited 55 years for a World Series title. When the Astros began their quest for a championship more than a half-century ago, Academy Sports + Outdoors already existed in some form, so it makes sense the company would celebrate the recent championship runs as if they were invested in the franchise. The longtime, Houston-based sporting goods business has further endeared itself to locals by bringing its customers closer to their baseball heroes.
Over the last two seasons, Academy has hosted players from the team at numerous in-store autograph sessions. Meeting the champs in a setting where Houstonians have long shopped for their own baseball gloves or for their kids’ aluminum bats has been a natural and winning fit. Those events prompt fans to line the building, a practice that’s also become common at the stores when fresh playoff gear hits the sales racks for any of our suddenly successful sports teams. It’s never a bad thing for a business to have customers clamoring to get in and many assuredly spent their wait time perusing the stores’ everyday offers on everything from fitness apparel and equipment to hunting, fishing and camping gear.
Readers' Choice: Academy Sports + Outdoors