Direct Sports Celebrates 30 Years in the NRV

Direct Sports, Inc., a baseball and softball equipment supplier, is celebrating their 30th anniversary. Over the last 30 years, Direct Sports has grown from a small venture to one of the largest players in the game. 2018 will mark the company’s 30th year in business and excellence.

The company originally began in 1988 in Rich Creek, Virginia, a town in Giles County. They later relocated to Pearisburg in 1997 to the same building they are in now. Currently, their 30,000+ square foot building hosts their warehouse, customer service center and retail store. Direct Sports moves over $4 million in inventory per year with the help of their 14 staff members.

Direct Sports is family-owned and -operated. Started by Paul Wagner, a longtime New River Valley businessman, who was always intrigued by the mail-order concept. He tapped into the mail order idea with Mike Lively, and the two embarked on their new venture together with Mike’s extensive knowledge of the sport and Paul’s entrepreneurial spirit and funding. Today, Mike Lively is still the CEO of the company, with Paul’s son, Andrew Wagner, keeping the business alive as President.

“It’s amazing to look back on the past 30 years and realize we have been blessed to make our living doing something we all love” Mike Lively said. “So many people bought from us as little leaguers and now they are bringing back their kids to buy equipment for them.” A sentiment that the family-owned business thrives on.

In the beginning, the company made great strides through their catalog and telephone order system, quickly escalating them to be the number one catalog company in the industry. Over the last 30 years, the business model has adapted with the industry and technology. On the future of the company, Wagner comments, “I could see us taking on another sport, a fall sport, to compliment our springtime business.”

Andrew Wagner took over the company as President in 2007 after his father and founder Paul Wagner passed away. Since, the company has continued to grow, but their values stay the same—pride in hard work, integrity, and firm commitment to our customers.

“My father always had a ‘never say die’ attitude toward his business and I think you always have to keep that mentality to ensure that you’re pushing it forward” Andrew stated. “He would be proud that our values haven’t changed and that we all remain committed to taking Direct Sports to the next level.”

For more information, please contact Justin Ashwell at (540) 597 – 5716 or email at

About Direct Sports, Inc.

Direct Sports, Inc. is a baseball and softball equipment provider based in Pearisburg, Virginia. The company carries merchandise ranging from bats and bags to apparel and helmets. Starting as a mailed catalog in 1988, Direct Sports now continues that tradition and hosts a retail store in their Pearisburg location. The company boasts an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.