Eric Martin, co-founder and president of City Sports Inc., passed away
Tuesday from a long illness at the age of 50, according to a statement
from City Sports officials. Martin co-founded the City Sports chain of
sporting goods stores at the age of 26 along with current CEO Mike

The pair opened a single door on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston in
1983. The chain, whose stores average 10,000 square feet, has grown to
15 locations, including six in the Boston/Cambridge regions; two each
in New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C; and one each in
Providence, RI; Atlanta and Baltimore. It also operates an outlet store in Boston.

According to the brief company history on City Sports website:

“The company was founded in 1983 by a couple of local joes who lived in
the Fens neighborhood in Boston and didn't have anyplace to buy
sporting goods. The basic concept was right – the neighborhood needed
sporting goods – but neither guy had a clue how to run a retail
company, or what exactly the store should carry, or what the store
should like, or any of those kinds of details.

By 1987 the joes thought
they'd made some progress, having developed a product mix and a store
look and a customer service approach that seemed appropriate for the
customers they were getting – city-dwellers or workers who lived an
athletic lifestyle. At that point they opened a second store and began
to grow the company. The same joes are still running the place today.”

Martin, a longtime Plum Island resident, also spearheaded several
community initiatives, including a skateboard park in Newburyport,
according to the Boston Business Journal.