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Volume 24 No. 116
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Dick's Sporting Goods Bringing Back "Contenders" Theme For PyeongChang Ads

USOC sponsor Dick’s Sporting Goods is launching its '18 PyeongChang Games campaign this week, again emphasizing its “Contenders" program that employs Team USA members. More than 100 summer and winter sport athletes are currently in the program, which offers them flexible hours to accommodate training and international competitions. Dick’s launched Contenders when it first became a USOC sponsor ahead of the '16 Rio Games, where its employees won 23 of 121 total medals for the U.S. Some 43 employees are currently working to qualify for PyeongChang. The media campaign will be anchored by U.S. women’s hockey G Alex Rigsby, a Contenders employee, and figure skater Ashley Wagner, not part of the program but hired for her overall prominence. Several other employees will appear in the campaign, including slopestyle snowboarder Jessika Jenson and men’s Paralympic sledge hockey F Dan McCoy. Dick’s plans television, social/digital and in-store activations. Rigby and Wagner conducted a media tour on Monday. “We see this program as such a perfect fit for us, given that we’re able to support these athletes in a way that really makes a difference to them,” said Dick’s VP/Brand Ryan Eckel. “They tell us over and over, they need flexible jobs to train and compete and earn money to fund that competition. That program does it, and allows us to get these incredible human beings in front of our customers on a day to day basis." Rigby is represented by Brandon Swibel of Rubicon Talent. Wagner is represented by Lowell Taub at CAA Sports. McCoy and Jenson represent themselves. A USOC sponsor since '15, Dick’s contract expires next year.