Rebel Sport is the largest sport equipment and apparel chain in New Zealand, with 32 stores currently trading. It was born out of a franchise agreement between Briscoe Group and Rebel Sport Australia in 1995. After successfully overseeing the expansion of the Briscoes Homeware stores from 12 to 22, then company director, Brian Berry, was given the task of overseeing the design and establishment of the Rebel Sport chain of stores in New Zealand. Briscoe has exclusive rights to the Rebel Sport name in New Zealand.
Like its sister nameplate Briscoes, Rebel Sport is comparable in size to a medium size discount department store. The chain does have a lowest price guarantee, although its unique duopoly position in the market allows it to stock a relatively high-end range while providing wider appeal through a calendar crammed with discount sale promotions.
In 2005, a deal collapsed between Briscoe Group and Lane Walker Rudkin (LWR), owners of the Stirling Sports, which would have seen Briscoe buy out the Stirling franchise. Following this, LWR announced plans to launch several large format stores across the country, beginning with a store in Christchurch, which it opened in mid-2006.
After Stirling's big box launch, Rebel dropped their original slogan, "No one's got more sports gear", and replaced it with "Let's Play", beginning a new marketing campaign targeting a wider audience from their traditional club-orientated team sport audience. The company continued their aggressive expansion programme, launching several smaller-format stores such as Napier and Taupo to allow branches to reach further into provincial areas.