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Volume 21 No. 1
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Game Changers: Lauren Hobart

Hobart, a veteran of consumer packaged goods, finds
decisions can quickly become action in retail.
Lauren Hobart
Dick's Sporting Goods
SVP, Chief Marketing Officer

Lauren Hobart might not have the expected background of someone who is chief marketing officer at Dick’s Sporting Goods, but spending 14 years as a Pepsi marketer has given her insights to take on the new challenge. Among those points of knowledge is that creating consumer demand is far easier when there’s an unending passion for your product.

“This is a growth company, but I was also really attracted by the fact that it was all about sports,” said Hobart, who joined Dick’s in February. “For a marketer, the power that sports gives you is enormously seductive.”

Like any new CMO, Hobart is in the midst of consumer research to determine the brand vision for Dick’s, which is in the middle of rapid expansion. The work isn’t quite done, but Hobart said that what makes Dick’s unique is its dedication to servicing elite athletes. “We get all kinds of customers, but that’s the aspiration for all of them,” she said.

The new brand vision won’t be complete until next year. Until then, Hobart is reveling in the differences between consumer packaged goods and retail marketing. “The ability we have [at Dick’s] to impact change just a week after you make a decision is much different from consumer packaged goods,” she said. “That’s what makes it exciting.”

— Terry Lefton
  • First job: Loan officer at Chemical Bank.
  • Crowning professional achievement: Our PACE program at Dick’s for baseline concussion testing. We are very proud of being able to get baseline data for a million kids so far.
  • Biggest professional disappointment: Never working outside of North America.
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received?: Give a consistent effort, make it your best, and don’t over manage.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Former Pepsi N.A. CEO Dawn Hudson and CMO Dave Burwick. They taught me everything I know about marketing.
  • Woman in sports business you’d most like to meet: Mia Hamm. She changed the way Americans see women and soccer.
  • If I had to do it all over again, I would …: Take more time off after business school.


“A smart, strategic, marketer who knows how to build a brand. She brings a good combination of focus and vision to Dick’s.”

  • John Tatum, Genesco Sports Enterprises CEO, who worked with Hobart as a client when she was at Pepsi