Dick’s Sporting Goods and their #SportsMatter Initiative

Here is an excerpt regarding companies that are doing it right when marketing to the teen/youth segment:

This week, I asked my husband if he knew of any brands that were specifically marketing to teens that he thought would be good for me to talk about for this post.  He brought to my attention what he has noticed recently from Dick’s Sporting Goods.  In the way of traditional TV advertising, there is a pretty intense new commercial about a teenage boy who just lost his grandfather and then goes and plays a baseball game.  The commercial has such an emotional appeal and is all about the therapeutic nature of youth sports rather than a Dick’s Sporting Goods product.  The strength of that commercial caused me to do more research on how this brand is reaching out to the 14-18 demographic.  If you are interested, the commercial can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3srA1uFBUO4

On YouTube, many recent video clips can be found that show how Dick’s is supporting the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation Sports Matter Initiative.  It highlights the accomplishments of youth athletes simply as outstanding members of society and the risk we are in as a nation with youth sports fading.  Check out this video here…it is incredibly moving: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFGFd7NUgfk  This video series is all labeled and a part of the Sports Matters Initiative that reaches out to teens.  

Dick’s also reaches this demographic by sponsoring events.  The big event coming up is the 6th Annual National High School Invitational in Madison Square gardens.  This is a very grassroots level of their marketing campaign towards youth.  Dick’s is the title sponsor of this event.  Here is the recent press release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sixth-annual-national-high-school-invitational-moves-to-madison-square-garden-adds-dicks-sporting-goods-as-title-sponsor-239438721.html

Dick’s reaches out to local sports organizations and uses what they call “Tech Reps” which are “sports specific experts who live and breathe their sport, and embody our mission and values” (Dick’s Sporting Goods, 2014).  These reps travel around sharing best practices and tips with local sports teams.  Dick’s also provides a series of videos that local teams can view if the rep isn’t coming to a nearby area. They are able to provide this resource through their Community Giving program which is also at a grassroots marketing level.

In doing some research on the Young Entrepreneurship Council’s website, an interesting article came up entitled “10 Surefire Strategies to Reach the Teen Demographic”.  A few of these highlights were to:

  • Bring on youth brand ambassadors
  • Go to their turf
  • Create incentives for participation
  • Go thru their parents
  • Get in their ear (via music)
  • Use social influence
  • Engage YouTube partners
  • Get in their head (consumer behavior wise)
  • Engage them online
  • Know your market

(YEC, 2012).  When I sit back and evaluate all of the different marketing tactics that Dick’s is using to reach the teen demographic, they are doing a pretty good job at checking off the items on this list.

When it comes to following through with this engagement on their Facebook and Twitter pages, this is the first image you see on Facebook and it includes a hashtag for the campaign.  #SportsMatter can be found on every social media platform possible for the Dick’s brand.  

Upon further examining their social media feeds, they do a great job at announcing events for youth sports.  They do an excellent job to reach this demographic and a fundamental guerrilla type marketing.



Dick’s Sporting Goods. (2014). Tech Reps. Retrieved on March 19, 2014, from http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=21943606&ab=Community_Feature_TechRep

YEC. (2012, April 25). 10 Surefire Strategies to Reach the Teen Demographic. Retrieved March 19, 2014, from http://theyec.org/10-surefire-strategies-to-reach-the-teen-demographic/