Dick’s Sporting Goods announced the launch of DSG Ventures, a $50 million in-house fund that will invest in innovative companies that will help shape the future of sport.
To start, the initiative will focus its efforts on companies and rising entrepreneurs that directly serve athletes and their communities, or that help Dick’s better serve its own consumers.
Partners include Moolah Kicks, the emerging women’s basketball performance footwear brand built by and for female ballers; SidelineSwap, one of the fastest growing online marketplaces for sporting goods; Courtside Ventures, which partners with early-stage founders in sports, gaming and wellness; Out&Back, one-stop shop when it comes to buying and selling secondhand outdoor gear; and EL1 Sports, one of the nation’s leading youth sports companies, offering baseball and softball instruction and team administrative support.
“The investment by Dick’s Sporting Goods, coupled with our distribution partnership, has propelled the Moolah Kicks brand from a basketball start-up to a category pioneer with a national footprint,” said Natalie White, founder and CEO of Moolah Kicks, who landed Dick’s as its first retail partner in 2021. “We could not be more encouraged by Dick’s Sporting Goods’ continued commitment to providing performance products specifically for female athletes.”
In many cases, the fund will also seek to help these companies grow by providing them with support and resources that go beyond capital, such as through distribution reach, industry-leading expertise and guidance in retail, operational excellence and relationship with athletes.
In addition, DSG Ventures is working with innovation advisory VentureFuel on a Retail Innovation Program to identify startups to collaborate with Dick’s on a pilot program around enhancing the customer experience. The pilot covers any area of the customer experience from e-commerce to in-store experience to AI.