“Sports Matter,” Dick’s Sporting Goods Ad Campaign

I typically DVR my favorite t.v. series to avoid seeing commercials, and I’m deeply in cahoots with my clicker’s fast forward button to breeze right past them!  Yes, I know ads are a necessary evil–someone has to pay the bills to bring me The Following, The Americans–and when I’m feeling particularly mindless–Dallas, but the commercials are all too often offensive and dumb and I hate wasting my end of the day brain cells on them!

Not so, this one, part of the “Sports Matter” campaign in which high school athletes (average kids, not necesssarily “stars”) are highlighted in a 1minute vid that gets to the essence of sports’ affect on the individual.  Take a look

Sports Matter was conceived by Anomaly Advertising for U.S. retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods. Lauren Hobart, Dick’s Chief Marketting Officer described the casting call this way:
 “It wasn’t very hard to find these kids. For any given kid who plays sports…there are other things going on in life that are challenging them. We wrote the scripts after we found the kids. We were very flexible all the way through the shoot — very much in the background trying to just let real life happen.”

From our own family experience, I’m 100% in agreement with Ms. Hobart: kids have many difficulties in their home lives, especially boys with absentee fathers.  My middle son, Jack, is the fine man he is today largely due to team sports. Lessons about shaking off mistakes and focusing with renewed determination on the next play; subjugating the needs of the self for the good of the many; discipline learned by showing up for practice when you’d rather not; these are the benefits derived from youth sports, and the foundation upon which solid citizens grow. (I SO firmly believe this!)

Like all Ad campaigns, Sports Matter is an effort to build Dick’s brand, but with the wider purpose of raising awareness for the growing issue of underfunded youth sports.  An estimated $3.5 billion was cut from school sports budgets between 2009 and 2011, and by 2020, 27% of U.S. public schools may not offer sports programs at all.

Dick’s hopes to fund between 75 to 100 teams through a $2million matching grants process in which the teams raise half the money via a crowdfunding platform.  You can see more about the program (and what YOU can do to help) by watching this very short vid:

And finally, to illustrate how “sports matter” to our family, I’m including Jack’s college recruitment highlight reel. TC was studying video editting/production at the time, and pulled Jack’s best football plays into a great little package complete with soundtrack and the play-by-play announcements from a few games televised on local media.  Needless to say, I was very proud of their combined efforts, and still am! 🙂

Sports Matter!

Until next time….

🙂 🙂 🙂

(thanks to Sara Melikian for the header pic, taken on 9/27/2008 in Worcester Ma.)

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5 thoughts on ““Sports Matter,” Dick’s Sporting Goods Ad Campaign

  1. Back at you, early riser! 🙂
    I got a huge kick reliving Jack’s plays, too! It’s been years since I watched that little tape–I hadn’t realized TC uploaded it to YouTube! I was looking for a static pic of Jack’s college team (for the header) when google returned the link to his highschool reel instead! Brought a tear to my eye.

    I saw so many boys who might have gone the other way (we lived in Worcester, which was fairly gritty with social problems and unemployment) stay on the straight and narrow largely due to their coaches.

    So sports and horses for you, eh? My friend Ivana has soooooo many stories of how caring for and riding her horse got her through many a challenging time as a teen, so I know exactly what you mean! What sport did you play?

  2. Sports indeed do matter. It teaches our kids something priceless that will make them into better persons both as individuals and as part of a team/community. It’s just sad sometimes that so many of the big players forgot that they were once these young players who played the game with all their heart and best because they love it and not for millions or fame. Thanks to Dick’s sport campaign and for the likes in bringing back the essence and pureness of sports in the lives of our youth.

    • You are so right about some of the pro-athletes! I think what I loved most about watching Jack play youth and high school football was the absolute purity of the competition. By the time they play in college other factors begin creeping in and it becomes more about the science of training/athletic budgets etc. Nevertheless, I rarely missed a game (until I moved away during his final college season) and thoroughly enjoyed watching him develop good qualities via his participation.

  3. Sports, music, theater, and so many other activities are being cut from so many schools, all to the detriment of society, really. They are some of the best places for learning about one’s interests, competition, teamwork, and so many other social skills. Video games just don’t do the same!

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