Dick’s Sporting Goods, also the official sporting goods retail sponsor of Team USA, announced Tuesday its support of more than 180 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic contenders through employment opportunities and sponsorship agreements.
The company said it currently has over 170 contenders currently working in 87 of its stores in 31 states across the country.
Dick’s said it has offered the contenders on its roster flexible work schedules and “competitive” compensation, “allowing them to devote the necessary time to training to be part of Team USA at future Olympic or Paralympic Games.”
Athletes from 36 different sports — including track and field, swimming, cycling and boxing — across both Olympic and Paralympic, summer and winter events, are participating in the program, the company said.
“We’re honored to provide these inspiring athletes with what they need — a flexible source of income — to pursue their Olympic and Paralympic dreams,” said Lauren Hobart, EVP and chief marketing officer at Dick’s, in a release. “At the same time, the contenders are able to offer our customers their expertise as elite athletes. We have had such positive feedback on the program, from the contenders, our customers and their fellow associates. It’s truly a win-win.”
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Dick’s had announced the partnership with the United States Olympics Committee (USOC) last February, which included the in-store employment program, sporting goods and equipment donations to the U.S. Olympic Training Centers and sponsorships to Team USA contenders.
“Dick’s Sporting Goods’ commitment to America’s elite athletes through their sponsorship of the USOC and the contenders program is opening up important new pathways for athletes working to achieve their Olympic and Paralympic dreams,” said Lisa Baird, USOC chief marketing officer, in a release. “We are thrilled that this program has grown so fast and is helping so many athletes, and we are proud to call Dick’s a member of the USOC family of partners.”
In addition to its support of the hopefuls via the in-store employment program, Dick’s said it has sponsored 11 additional contenders, including 2016 U.S. Olympic Team hopeful Kerri Walsh Jennings and 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team hopeful Lex Gillette.
Dick’s also announced in December that it would sponsor the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals Tournament for the third consecutive year.