Sports Direct customers will be ejected from stores unless they are able to prove themselves capable of reaching level 2 of the arcade game Space Invaders.
The sports retail chain’s owner Mike Ashley is hoping to cash in by clearing space in stores to host live matches between players who will battle it out in a variety of competitive video games, with the winner walking away with a Sports Direct mug and one of those enormous plastic carrier bags you get when you buy anything larger than a pair of boxing gloves.
Sports Direct’s Head of Arcade Games Mr. Don Keykong said, “It’s become quite clear to us that young people would rather play video games than engage in traditional sports like they used to. If Sports Direct is going to stay relevant to the younger generation therefore, we need to engage them in new ways and the best way of doing this is to stop selling sportswear and open up a selection of amusement arcades instead.”
Sports Direct bought a 25.8% stake in Game Digital in 2017 and it is thought that this investment will give the sport’s retailer access to a wide range of arcade machines such as Pacman, Defender, Frogger, Pole Position, Asteroids, Street Fighter 2 and Outrun.
Mr. Ashley and his team are keen to reposition the Sports Direct brand at a more upmarket social demographic and as a result, anybody that isn’t able to get to level 2 of Space Invaders will be ejected from stores as they clearly haven’t spent enough time over their formative years bunking off school to sniff glue and hang out at amusement arcades.
“Sports Direct is evolving from being a seller of physical products to a provider of gaming experiences. Our flagship Oxford Street store has been kitted out with a couple of air hockey tables, some pinball machines and a claw crane teddy picker where you can win various items such as a six pack of Everlast boxer shorts and a Newcastle United swimming cap,” Mr. Keykong added.