Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Says Nike Relationship Is at ‘An All-Time High’

Dick’s Sporting Goods says its relationship with Nike and other brands is driving growth across multiple categories.

The sporting goods retailer on Tuesday posted Q4 profits and sales results that topped analysts’ estimates. This included a Q4 net sales increase of 7.3% to $3.35 billion over 2020. For the full year, net sales grew 28.3% to $12.29 billion. Brick-and-mortar store sales increased by 42% in 2021.

In a call with investors, executives highlighted the company’s strong relationships with key vendors such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Callaway and TaylorMade, which have ensured strong product allocation throughout supply chain slowdowns and inventory shortages.

“Our brand relationships are at an all-time high,” said Dick’s Sporting Goods’ CEO Lauren Hobart, adding that Dick’s is also engaging with new and emerging brands to diversify its assortment. “We are having incredibly strategic discussions with every key brand partner we have in key categories, and that’s across athletic apparel, athletic footwear and team sports.”

Hobart specifically called out the company’s relationship with Nike, saying that the “incredibly strategic” partnership is “an all-time high.”

Nike products made up 17% of sales at Dick’s in 2021, Hobert said.

Unlike Dick’s, many other retailers such as Zappos, Dillard’s, DSW, Urban Outfitters, and Shoe Show have had their wholesale accounts terminated by Nike in recent months. Meanwhile, retailers like Dick’s and Hibbett Sports that have managed to remain essential channels of distribution have gained share as strategic partners for the Swoosh.

Hibbett last week also forecasted tailwinds to its business in the wake of Nike’s recent actions to further limit the amount of product it distributes to third party stores. At the same time, Foot Locker posted a challenging outlook for 2022, largely due to the impact of Nike making an “accelerated strategic shift to DTC” and limiting the amount of product it sells with the retailer.

In addition to receiving a regular flow of product from Nike, Dick’s recently launched a new connected partnership with Nike that allows Dick’s Scorecard and Nike Membership members to connect their accounts. Via the Dick’s mobile app, customers can browse member-exclusive Nike footwear and apparel and participate in high-heat drops.

Hobart added that the retailer will continue to work with Nike on co-marketing programs to “reinvent the consumer experience.”

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