Q&A: At Dick’s Sporting Goods, Why Making Sports Matter Goes Beyond The Game

Great Q&A from our friend Barry Janoff from NewYorkSportsJournalism.com of our client DICK’S Sporting Good…doing good once again!

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By Barry Janoff

August 10, 2015: Dick’s Sporting Goods wants to have both an immediate and long-term impact in sports and beyond, not just as a national retailer— with more than 600 locations in 46 states and growing — and as a rookie partner with the U.S. Olympic Committee, but also in the way it connects with students and athletes.

Last year, under the auspices of Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation, the company founded Sports Matter, a multi-year project that has committed $25 million to support youth athletics, with a focus on programs and teams that were being or about to be eliminated due to budget cuts.

The problem is nationwide, and growing. According to Dick’s, between 2009-2011, some $3.5 billion was cut from school sports budgets, and by 2020 an estimated 27% of public high schools in the U.S. will not have any sports. “Saving youth sports is a core mission of our company,” said Lauren Hobart, svp/CMO for Dick’s Sporting Goods and president of The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation.

The platform expanded this year, including aligning with DonorsChoose.org, a crowd-funding destination, to reach more people and assist more programs.

To help drive awareness, Dick’s is working with a roster of sports and media celebrities, some of whom gathered for a recent media event and panel discussion in NASDAQ MarketSite in New York’s Time Square to launch the second year of Sports Matter.

The panel included former NFL head coach and current ESPN and Monday Night Footballcommentator and analyst Jon Gruden, who is in his second year of working with Sports Matter; Carli Lloyd, U.S. Women’s National Team captain and MVP of the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup; Karl-Anthony Towns, the NBA‘s 2015 overall No. 1 draft pick (Minnesota Timberwolves); veteran NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall (New York Jets); actor Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic Four); Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Buzz Bissinger (Friday Night Lights); and Paul Caccamo, founder and CEO for Up2Us Sports. (Pictured below: Gruden, Lloyd, Towns.)

This past February, Dick’s signed a deal to become the official sporting goods retail sponsor for the U.S. Olympic Committee and Team USA. The alliance is anchored by The Contenders, an in-store program to provide U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls with flexible work opportunities and other support to help them reach their goal. Lead spokesperson is Kerri Walsh Jennings, three-time gold medal winner in beach volleyball.

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

August 11th, 2015 at 11:17 am

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