By: Mehdi Boukhalfa

In today’s corporate economy, one can easily overlook the basic processes at play when the
consumer purchases a good. Such concepts as allocating resources and gaining market share,
though useful in their description of the marketplace, can be limiting in their objectivity. I had
the privilege of attending a TED talk last week, during which Simon Sinek explained his simple
but powerful model for inspirational leadership. Essentially, he condenses his argument into the
following phrase, which he aptly and repeatedly uses: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy
why you do it.”


The ideas he proposes seem to have been well received by the video’s 10+ million viewers, and
are being implemented by the nation’s largest sports retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods. Working
to double their sales to more than $10 billion, the athletic chain has turned to 14 year Pepsi
branding veteran Lauren Hobart to oversee its emotional campaign, which started in February
of last year with the 90 second “Untouchable” spot on ESPN. Since then, a series of TV
commercials that strive to understand “the physical, mental, and emotional challenges the athlete
faces” have been produced by Anomaly, the agency in charge of executing Hobart’s creative
vision. “We’re trying to establish and amplify an emotional connection between our brand and
our customers,” Hobart said in an interview.



Dick’s Chief Executive Officer, Ed Stack, inherited the chain store from his father in 1984, when
there were only two stores. Since then, the retailer has grown to nearly 1000 stores nationwide,
prompting Stack to “be more deliberate about building [the] brand,” and to solidify its equity.
Other spots, including “Every Pitch” and “Day One”, cast real athletes to capture the “moments
athletes know about,” representing the “purity to these sports,” says Ryan Eckel, Dick’s Brand
VP. Shying away from the glitz and glamour we’ve come to associate with sports, Dick’s has
headed in a whole new direction, devoid of typical athletic clichés. These brilliant creative
executions are the product of a campaign centered around the concept of “why” Simon Sinek
discusses, and have certainly helped Dick’s cement its position as the top sports retailer in the
United States.


Every Pitch:


Day One:



Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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