SBD/Issue 135/MLS Season Preview

Dick's Sporting Goods Banking On Success Of Soccer In U.S.

Dick’s Sporting Goods’ soccer marketing efforts were examined by Teresa Lindeman of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, who noted the company paid an estimated $40M for the naming rights to the MLS Rapids’ new stadium, will sponsor ESPN and ABC’s soccer halftime shows this year and has two new soccer-themed TV ads in the works. Dick’s has “expanded its stock of soccer-related merchandise in its almost 300 namesake stores, adding a selection of higher end products than were available a couple of years ago.” A community youth sports program also has been “ramped up to get donated gear bearing the company’s logo into the hands of more leagues short on resources.” The Bonham Group VP/Communications Don Hinchey, whose agency was the agency of record for the Rapids’ search for a naming rights partner, said that the naming rights deal with the Rapids “already has generated plenty of publicity ... particularly in the Rocky Mountain region, where Dick’s wants to raise its profile” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 4/4).

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