Battle of the Brands
Athletic apparel and equipment chains
blend digital and traditional channels
Sports Authority’s weekly circular is located on its homepage
450 stores in 45 states
Owned by Leonard Green & Partners
Awholly integrated approach to direct marketing and e-commerce has elevated Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods to the top of the athletic equipment leader
board. Both brands offer similar multichannel approaches that
include on- and offline circulars, email newsletters, social media
and an e-commerce platform. However, one of these retail titans
failed to participate in one critical channel and ultimately finished
one step short of winning the race to consumers’ wallets.
Dick’s Sporting Goods offers a weekly circular and a seasonal digital magalog in-store and on its website. The July 20-24, 10016 Zip
code circular offers a standard look and feel (the circular’s content
varies depending on the consumer’s location). Products are displayed in several colors and with plenty of breathing room on the
page. Prices are clearly labeled in large red circles alongside each
item. The late summer 2011 magalog provides 52 pages of in-depth
product information, professional advice, and calls-to-action to sign
up for Dick’s Scorecard Rewards loyalty program and to enter into
an Under Armour-sponsored contest.
Sports Authority offers a two-page weekly circular that, like Dick’s,
Dick’s seasonal magalog is available in-store and on its website
Dick’s Sporting Goods
447 stores in 42 states
Net sales of $4.87 billion in 2010
is almost hidden at the top of the homepage. The July 24-July 30,
10016 Zip code circular is jam-packed with products, so much so
that its presentation is overwhelming. Whereas Dick’s circular advertises 13 products on the front page, Sports Authority advertises
21 products, all of which are displayed in all available colors. Sports
Authority offers no catalog or magalog whatsoever.
Neither brand responded to numerous requests for comment on
Dick’s has a healthy Facebook presence of roughly 295,000 fans.
The page not only serves as a communication vehicle for the brand
to interact with fans, but it is also used to push offers and to conduct
commerce. Consumers can use the site to search for and research
products (transactions cannot be completed on the page). Dick’s
multifunctional social presence was revealed on July 28 when C.J.
Spiller of the Buffalo Bills answered questions posed by fans on the
retailer’s Facebook wall. Spiller referenced the 5-Star Cleat in one
of his answers and Dick’s subsequently posted a link to the product
from its e-commerce site.
In contrast to its thriving Facebook page, Dick’s Twitter presence