Helping athletes achieve their dreams.
Of all sales come from athletes in the database
Of all sales from omnichannel athletes, reinforcing the value of personalised experiences across channels
Of homepage visitors receive a personalised experience, more than 2X what it was one year ago
More spent by visitors receiving a personalised experience than those who do not
“We will continue to provide high-quality, omnichannel experiences to athletes as we grow as a company. Our customers expect that whether they’re shopping online or in-store, we remember what they like and give them personalised recommendations.”
Senior Vice President, Strategy, eCommerce & Analytics, DICK’S Sporting Goods
For Steve Miller, the best thing about working for DICK’S Sporting Goods is that the company is committed to giving back to the community and doing what’s right.
“Time and time again, DICK’S has stepped up to make a lasting impact in communities,” says Miller, Senior Vice President of Strategy, eCommerce & Analytics at DICK’S. “Through the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, for example, DICK’S has provided over one million kids from under-resourced communities with the chance to play sports. DICK’S has also taken meaningful action to support girls and women in sports, advocate for common-sense gun reform and be responsible stewards of the planet. This is a company with a huge heart and that really unites us as a team and gives us purpose.”
Competing on omnichannel experiences
DICK’S reaches more than 150 million customers — or as the company prefers to call them, athletes — across the United States through 850 shops and online sales channels. Supporting their athletes means being at the right place, at the right time, with the right product offerings, allowing each individual to excel at the sport of their choice. No matter what type of athlete someone is — an Olympic weightlifter, a casual golfer, a runner preparing for their first 5k race or a dad coaching his daughter’s football team — DICK’S aims to serve every athlete’s personal journey.
Shawn Wilkinson, eCommerce Programme Manager at DICK’S, sees personalisation as the key to better supporting athletes. “We serve so many different types of athletes. It’s important that we show each one exactly what they’re looking for,” he says. “We have some personalisation in place, but the big challenge is trying to offer millions of athletes unique experiences.”
DICK’S needs to understand what each athlete is passionate about, their skill level — from beginner to enthusiast — and their goals. Then, the company looks to tailor athlete recommendations both online and off-line. A new tennis player, for example, might see recommendations for beginner rackets, but as they become more skilled at the sport, they’ll start to see more advanced rackets and accessories appreciated by experienced players.
While DICK’S has long embraced technology, launching one of the first online sporting goods shops in the 1990s, in-store experiences remain important. Sports are inherently physical activities and athletes often want to see equipment, get advice from in-store teammates about it and even try it on before they buy it. So, to enhance this experience, DICK’S has provided unique in-store additions at shops across its brands, such as climbing walls, technology that can measure someone’s golf swing, batting cages that measure exit speed and trajectory and more.
“We will continue to provide high-quality, omnichannel experiences to athletes as we grow as a company,” says Miller. “Our customers expect that whether they’re shopping online or in-store, we remember what they like and give them personalised recommendations.”
“We use Adobe Real-Time CDP to gain insights across channels to help us to create unique and relevant audiences.”
Senior Vice President, Strategy, eCommerce & Analytics, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Unified data and insights for millions of athletes
To achieve omnichannel personalisation at scale, DICK’S created a single, secure source for all customer information. With the Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform, the company enriches its 150 million customer profiles in real-time with data such as what athletes are browsing, purchasing and experiencing online or in-store. Teams then activate these profiles across channels while adhering to data governance and customer consent preferences.
It used to take the DICK’S team a day to reply with sale alerts or product recommendations after an athlete browsed the website and created a wish list. Now, using Real-Time CDP as the data layer, the team can take action in seconds, which enhances the athlete experience and helps increase the company’s sales.
“We use Adobe Real-Time CDP to gain insights across channels to help us to create unique and relevant audiences,” says Miller. “We know within milliseconds if someone is browsing a particular brand’s footwear on the website, that they are an athlete who would benefit from engaging more with that brand while they’re online.”
Adobe Customer Journey Analytics brings all of the data together, enabling DICK’S to understand how an activity such as browsing tents on the website plays out across the entire ecosystem. With a high percentage of athletes using the DICK’S app in-store, this insight is particularly useful and helps the team determine which campaigns, experiences and personalisation initiatives are most effective at bringing athletes into the shop, building customer loyalty.
Driving incremental revenue through personalisation
Wilkinson and his team first leveraged athlete profiles to power a project called “The Art of Possible,” which aimed to scale personalisation. His team leveraged Adobe Audience Manager to centralise athlete profiles and create high-value audiences based on interests. This information then feeds into Adobe Target to enable more personalised experiences across digital channels.
Today, about half of homepage visitors receive a personalised experience, more than 2X what it was a year ago. Some personalisation is based on location. After the 2022 World Series, for instance, visitors from the Houston area were shown merchandise celebrating the championship win of the Houston Astros.
But personalisation doesn't stop on the website. Athlete profiles and audience segments are used by Adobe Campaign to personalise email, mobile and text notifications. DICK’S can highlight deals for an athlete’s favourite brands or sports. It can also send reminders when an athlete might need to replenish golf balls or purchase new running shoes.
“When we personalise experiences for our athletes and make them feel heard, we can better attract and retain athletes,” says Miller.
“Adobe makes it faster to create consistent content that we can reuse across channels. This allows us to scale our production and deliver the right messages for the right athlete.”
Creative Director of the eCommerce, Email and Systems Teams, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Racing to deliver new experiences
As personalisation grows, DICK’S designers need to work faster and deliver more creative content for different campaigns. The company’s designers use Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise apps — including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro and After Effects — to create content across digital channels.
“Ten years ago, 90% of the team worked on print content. Now it’s 90% digital,” says Katie Smerick, Creative Director of the eCommerce, email and systems teams at DICK’S. “The key to keeping up as the world changes is flexibility. Designers need to keep evolving, learning and experimenting.”
Designers across the company deliver consistent messaging with the same visuals, colours, fonts and templates. They frequently work with merchandisers to create new visuals that will inspire athletes. They edit models, preview apparel and test various backgrounds to pre-visualise ideas and obtain approvals before any photo shoot. This reduces the need for expensive reshoots later. Having just the right app and features for any type of content they’re trying to create helps designers work faster and allows DICK’S to be more agile. Marketing can react to everchanging business needs within days or even hours.
“When ramping up personalisation, it can be stressful to think about how we’re going to keep up with growing demand,” says Smerick. “Adobe makes it faster to create consistent content that we can reuse across channels. This allows us to scale our production and deliver the right messages for the right athlete.”
These growing demands require teams to stay on top of project timelines, managing brand standards and managing creative output. Adobe Workfront maximises the value of content at scale by making sure all digital assets are built, reviewed, approved and automatically tagged to their associated projects.
DICK’S takes advantage of the performance, scalability and security of Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service across both its content and digital asset management systems. By managing content fragments and experience fragments in Experience Manager Sites, the company can easily deliver consistent and personalised content with speed and scale. And when DICK’S launched Public Lands, its outdoor speciality concept store, the team put a foundation in place to quickly create and deliver content-led experiences to customers across channels.
Inspiring athletes to new heights
As DICK’S continues to expand personalisation efforts, experimentation and analytics are the key to ensuring that all athletes have access to tailored messages. DICK’S currently launches about six to ten tests per week to optimise every aspect of the website, from content to web page design.
Adobe Analytics measures test results in real time. Auto-Allocate in Target, powered by the artificial intelligence and machine learning engine Adobe Sensei, uses these real-time results to automatically shift audiences towards winning experiences. This means that DICK’S doesn’t need to wait for a test to finish before reaping the benefits.
“In the retail industry, you never know when you’ll need to make a quick change,” says Miller. “Sometimes it’s a brand that decides to quickly launch new products to take advantage of market trends. Other times it’s a global pandemic that leaves people searching for ways to stay active in their own homes. We’re on a journey to find better ways of helping athletes across the U.S. have the resources they need to thrive in sports and Adobe plays an important role in our transformation.”