Dick’s Sporting Goods leans into TikTok for back-to-school style campaign
Dick’s Sporting Goods is flexing its style muscle in a new campaign focused on back-to-school fashions—even if kids might be in front of a computer camera and not a classroom this fall. The retailer, known for its sporting products, is hoping to expand its lifestyle and apparel business with a commercial focused on bucket hats, hoodies and windbreakers from brands like Nike and The North Face.
While back-to-school is not Dick’s’ biggest selling season, it is one of its largest and provides a runway to expand into apparel trends, according to a spokeswoman who says, “A lot of people think of us on the field, but back-to-school permits us to talk about lifestyle.”
The Coraopolis, Penn.-based retailer tapped TikTok celebrity Nicole Laeno, actor Miles Brown and NBA Stylist Calyann Barnett for a 30-second spot that will begin airing this week.
“Whether you’re going back to school online or in person, get the brands that make a statement,” says Barnett in the spot, which embraces a message of flexibility that is becoming the back-to-school norm among retailers including Macy’s.
“This year is all about flexibility for us—we have operated our campaign on tight timelines,” says Ed Plummer, chief marketing officer of Dick’s, noting how school plans are changing on a daily basis as the pandemic continues. “We developed flexible creative and we built a flexible media plan.”
That plan includes less direct mail and more of a focus on digital channels, including TikTok.
“TikTok is hugely relevant for the teen,” says Plummer, noting that Dick’s is investing more in the platform this year than in previous years and will host its first TikTok challenge next month as part of the back-to-school campaign. Teen retailers such as Hollister and American Eagle have also invested heavily in the platform this season.
Plummer says the budget for the campaign this year is on par with previous years. Dick’s in-house creative team worked with VMLY&R on the TV spot and some online video creation, and tapped Bright Black for production. Haworth handled media duties.