Pittsburgh, PA / TSBX News / – DICK’S Sporting Goods, the largest U.S.-based, full-line omni-channel sporting goods retailer, launched its first Team USA-themed TV and digital advertisements as part of its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The inspiring creative celebrates the journey and sacrifice made by Team USA hopefuls in their pursuit of their Olympic and Paralympic dreams. Campaign elements tell the story of the grit and determination shown by five Team USA hopefuls who work in DICK’S Sporting Goods stores as part of the Company’s Contenders program, which provides flexible work schedules and competitive compensation to qualified athletes.
The athletes featured in the commercial are a small portion of DICK’S roster of nearly 200 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Contenders across 35 sports who are currently employed at 89 stores in 32 states. Athletes featured in the 60-second commercial include:
- Jon Jones (Track & Field – Shot Put) – Jones, who works in the team sports and fitness departments at a DICK’S Sporting in Amherst, N.Y. is the reigning NCAA Champion in shot put. The recent University of Buffalo graduate became the school’s first-ever NCAA track and field national champion. Since graduating, the 24-year-old has turned his attention to international competition where he placed fifth at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto and earned a gold medal at NACAC Senior Area Championships in Costa Rica.
- Jessica Medina (Wrestling) – The 29-year-old Medina is currently ranked as the number three woman in the U.S. in her weight class. Born in Chicago and raised in California, she has brought home several podium finishes in U.S. and international competition. She works out of an Arizona-based DICK’S Sporting Goods.
- Desiree Miller (Wheelchair Basketball) – 28-year-old Desiree Miller has already represented Team USA at the London 2012 Paralympic Games where she and the women’s wheelchair basketball team placed fourth. When she isn’t training or competing with her team, she works in the team sports department at a Madison, Wis. DICK’S Sporting Goods.
- Laura Ryan (Diving) – Laura Ryan works at a Georgia DICK’S Sporting Goods while she trains to represent Team USA in Rio. The 23-year-old University of Georgia graduate has won several collegiate and national titles and plans to attend physician’s assistant school on top of working, training and competing.
- N’aithan Scott (Track & Field – Hurdles) – Scott, a U.S. Olympic hopeful in the 110m hurdles, works at an Arizona-based DICK’S Sporting Goods. In addition to his grueling training each day, he is a father of two and regularly volunteers to help teach children the importance of nutrition and exercise.
“Each and every one of these athletes is truly an inspiration and living proof of how sports make people better,” said Lauren Hobart, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, DICK’S Sporting Goods. “Telling their stores and providing an opportunity for our consumers to get incredible advice and insight from them in our stores is something we’re proud to do.”
Over the course of the next few months, DICK’S will also debut numerous pieces of original content that tell the stories of more Contenders and give a deeply personal and intimate look at what it takes to make Team USA.
“As a competing athlete it really means a lot to me what DICK’S is doing for Team USA Contenders. The ability to have a job that works around my training schedule is absolutely amazing,” said 2012 U.S. Paralympian and DICK’S Sporting Goods Contender Desiree Miller. “There is so much hard work and sacrifice that goes into earning a gold medal and working for a company that understands that is really special to an athlete like me.”
To supplement the support that DICK’S is providing to this current group of Contenders, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation has also announced a commitment to support the next generation of Contenders.
For every Olympic and Paralympic Games medal that Team USA wins in Rio, the DICK’S Foundation will donate $1,000 to select youth sports organizations who are part of the USOC family to ensure future Contenders are able to play the sports they love. Each of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Contenders will have the opportunity to select an organization that will benefit from this program. A full list of benefiting organizations will be announced at a later date.
“Providing support for future Contenders is something that fully aligns with our brand beliefs and community-focused efforts around youth sports,” said Hobart, who also serves as President of the DICK’S Foundation. “Since its inception in 2014, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation’s Sports Matter program has provided a platform to address the youth sports funding crisis and show just how important youth sports are to our country. This pledge to donate $1,000 for every medal that Team USA wins at the Olympic and Paralympic Games is an exciting extension of those efforts.”
The new advertisements and newly announced financial commitment are just the beginning of a full set of marketing activations and original content from DICK’S leading up to Team USA competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. DICK’S will also release a documentary later this summer that provides an inside look into the journey of Contender Kerri Walsh Jennings as she chases her fourth gold medal for Team USA during the 2016 Olympic Games. Additional original content will be announced over the next few months.
To house all of this content, and to serve as an online home for the Contenders program, DICK’S has launched dicks.com/TheContenders. This website will provide fans with profiles of the Team USA Contenders, updates on their Olympic and Paralympic Games journey and track the Team USA medal count and corresponding donation amount to the various, benefiting youth sports organizations.