The Olympics

Dick's Kicks Off Its Olympics Marketing With New Spot

Sporting Goods Chain Taps Its Own Employees, Who Are Team USA Hopefuls

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Dick's Sporting Goods taps Olympic and Paralympic contenders in its new spot.
Dick's Sporting Goods taps Olympic and Paralympic contenders in its new spot. Credit: Dick's Sporting Goods

There are still five months to go before the Olympics in Brazil, but some retailers are already drilling the iconic sporting event into their marketing. On Friday, Dick's Sporting Goods, a Team USA sponsor, unveiled a 60-second spot featuring five Olympics and Paralympics contenders who are also employees of the 640-unit chain.

The spot depicts athletes at various difficult physical and emotional moments of their training. A voiceover asks, "Why are you doing this to yourself?" The voice speaks about the greatness of inspiring millions as a part of Team USA. "If you want to give up everything for the chance to have that medal hung around your neck, then we've got your back," the voice says.

Pittsburgh-based Dick's employs nearly 200 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic contenders across 35 different sports. In the current spot, the chain features Jon Jones on the shotput; wrestler Jessica Medina; Desiree Miller, who plays wheelchair basketball; diver Laura Ryan; and N'Aithan Scott, who competes in the 110m hurdles.

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"Each and every one of these athletes is truly an inspiration and living proof of how sports make people better," said Lauren Hobart, Dick's exec VP and chief marketing officer, in a statement. "Telling their stories and providing an opportunity for our customers to get incredible advice and insight from them is something we're proud to do."

The retailer plans to supplement the initial commercial with additional work and more original content between now and the games. Its foundation will also be donating $1,000 to select youth sports organizations for every medal Team USA wins at the Olympics and Paralympics.

Dick's, which worked with Anomaly on the spot, is making a habit of using real people and their honest emotions in its ads. Over the holidays, the chain ran a spot featuring a real family.

Dick's spent $89.4 million on measured media last year, virtually unchanged from 2014, according to Kantar Media. The chain plans to report its fourth-quarter 2015 earnings next week.

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