Case Study

Hibbett Sports Protects Hype Sales from Bot Attacks with HUMAN



Hibbett Sports is a leading athletic-inspired fashion retailer. The company is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama and has more than 1000 Hibbett Sports and City Gear specialty stores across 35 states. For more than 75 years, Hibbett has given customers access to coveted footwear, apparel, and equipment from top brands like Nike, Jordan, and Adidas.

- Ryan Besterwitch

Senior Director of E-commerce at Hibbett Sports

“We have built a very strong feedback loop with the HUMAN team that allows us to have a tailored proactive approach to protecting our website and our customers from a constantly changing threat landscape.” 

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Prior to launching its e-commerce business in 2017, Hibbett Sports realized that bots would be a problem when it moved online. The company needed a bot management solution from day one to ensure bots didn’t snatch up its popular sneakers during hype sales. Hibbett knew that if bots depleted its inventory, real human customers would be frustrated, disappointed, and less likely to return to the site. 

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Hibbett implemented HUMAN Bot Defender to protect its site and ensure that real humans were able to purchase its products. There were several key factors:

  • Accurate, scalable bot detection: Bot Defender leverages behavioral analytics, advanced machine learning techniques, and predictive models to block a wide range of automated attacks. This was a key differentiator, as the team wanted a solution that was not only capable of handling the unique traffic that occurs during online hype sales, but would also be able to stop increasingly complex bot attacks.
  • Specialized hype sales support: Hibbett Sports expanded its relationship with HUMAN to include a team dedicated to hype sales. This includes launch preparation, real-time management and support, and post-launch analysis.
  • Preserves customer experience: Hibbett Sports was able to avoid implementing virtual waiting rooms, a stopgap solution other retailers implement when their legacy bot management solutions struggle to efficiently manage traffic spikes.
  • Best-in-class support: Having a dedicated support team to quickly address any questions or concerns was a priority. HUMAN offers proactive best-in-class service and 24/7/365 support via phone, email, or Slack, setting it apart from other vendors in the market.
  • Easy integration: Hibbett Sports had a robust technology stack already in place, including Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) and Cloudflare. Bot Defender integrated seamlessly into their environment.


Bot Defender helps Hibbett Sports allow real customers—not bots—to purchase its products. This shifts the focus from blocking bots to allowing humans through, providing a seamless customer experience. More customers continue to browse and shop on the website, resulting in increased average cart size.

HUMAN helped Hibbett Sports securely launch its e-commerce business and protect its hype sale revenue. The company is able to save on operational costs, maintain optimal web application performance, and improve customer loyalty. 

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