Locker: It's Like Pinterest for Sports Gear

While they are unlikely to spend hours poring over pictures of artisanal vegan lasagna or the perfect summer wedding dress, athletes aren’t totally immune to the Pinterest effect: it’s all about coveting the gear, a process which is facilitated by gazing longingly at pictures of, say, those $450 trainers or the latest $2,000 carbon fiber golf clubs.

That’s the idea behind Locker, a new social network where professional and amateur athletes can share the exact details of their gear so other users can outfit themselves in similar fashion. Founder Sean Morris (a former college and pro lacrosse player) tells the Boston Globe that Locker aims to be comprehensive, including gear you don’t normally see, for example shoulder pads, compression shorts, warm-up outfits, weight room apparel, and the like.

Ultimately Locker aims to facilitate e-commerce by including links to products posted on the network, and will monetize the network by collecting commissions on these sales.

In addition to sharing their own gear specifications, Locker users can follow each other and create wish lists for more focused coveting. In the Boston Globe profile Morris emphasized that Locker isn’t supposed to be just another platform for fans to follow sports stars: “It’s not just about pros influencing the other 99 percent, but also the peer-to-peer influence.”

The Boston-based social startup is backed by investors including Rob Hale, co-owner of the Celtics, and Dan Kraft, president of The Kraft Group, which owns the New England Patriots, among other properties. 

The sports gear and apparel business is obviously huge: total spending on sporting goods in the U.S. topped $80 billion in 2012 (the most recent year for which figures are available), up from $77.3 billion in 2011, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Unsurprisingly e-commerce sales are growing as a proportion of total sales, rising from 3.6% in 2006 to 6.2% in 2011.

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