From Idea to Shelf: How to Get Your Product into Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Published on: June 28, 2023

With over 850 stores in 47 states, Dick’s Sporting Goods is America’s largest sporting goods retailer. Dick’s—and subsidiary chains Golf Galaxy, Public Lands, and Moosejaw—is a leader in all things athletic goods, gear, and apparel, plus supplies for outdoor recreational activities like camping, hiking, and biking. 

Want to learn how to get your product in Dick’s Sporting Goods? 

In this guide, you’ll find:

  • 3 ways to get a product into Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods vendor requirements
  • A step-by-step guide to the Supplier Application process
  • A list of information you need for the Supplier Application form
  • A brief introduction to EcomHalo: your do-it-all retail accelerator and fulfillment provider.

Let’s get started.

Research and Preparation

The first thing to do is make sure Dick’s has “shelf space” for your product.

What kind of product does Dick’s Sporting Goods want?

Dick’s Sporting Goods has 3 main product categories:

  • Hardlines (sporting goods, fitness equipment, hunting and fishing gear, etc.) 
  • Apparel 
  • Footwear

DSG’s 2022 Annual Report shared the following net sales breakdown:

Footwear is becoming one of DSG’s most successful categories. CEO Lauren Hobart called it a “key part” of the retailer’s merchandising strategy for 2023 and beyond. 

“In terms of the product assortment, they are getting more narrowly distributed merchandise, which is in demand,” said Seth Basham, director of equity research at Wedbush Securities.  

Dick’s Sporting Goods wants powerhouse vertical brands that fit (and fill gaps) in their current product assortment—and ideally have a proven track record of success in stores and online. 

In a 2022 investor slide deck, Dick’s defined their two-prong “Powerful Product Strategy”: strong partnerships with leading industry brands (Nike, Adidas, Peloton, Patagonia, Wilson, etc.) + powerhouse vertical brands such as Calia, Vrst, Alpine Design, Walter Hagen, Nishiki, and Monarch Pickleball. (Fun fact: Pickleball is America’s fastest-growing sport.) 
Vertical brands are DSG’s number one vendor in golf, team sports, and fitness.

Vertical vs. Horizontal Brand

A vertical brand offers a narrow range of products or services that cater to a specific, clearly defined audience.
Example: a company that sells mountaineering equipment.

A horizontal brand offers a broad range of products or services, and/or offers products or services that cater to a broad audience (have mass market appeal).
Example: a company that sells office supplies.

Not to be confused with…

Vertical vs. Horizontal Branding

Vertical branding (or brand positioning) is when a brand differentiates itself using objective qualities—e.g., a material, process, technology, capability, etc. that makes the brand unique.
Example: “Our clothing is made out of 100% bamboo fiber.”

Horizontal branding is when a brand differentiates itself using subjective qualities—i.e., qualities that appeal to the tastes or preferences of a certain demographic.
Example: “Clothing for people who love the outdoors.”

Vertical vs. Horizontal Market

A vertical market is when demand for a product or service comes from a niche audience (specific demographic, industry, trade, etc.).
Example: luxury fashion, medical devices.

A horizontal market is when demand for a product or service comes from a broad audience (across demographics, industries, economic sectors, etc.).
Example: coffee beans, printer paper.

Vertical vs. Horizontal Marketing

Vertical marketing focuses on increasing awareness and demand in a niche market.
Example: marketing a plant-based beauty brand to Gen Zers on TikTok.

Horizontal marketing focuses on increasing awareness and demand in a broad market, or across various markets and industries.
Example: marketing an office supplies brand to offices, schools, and hospitals.

Don’t worry if your eyes just glazed over. 

Main takeaway: Dick’s Sporting Goods is looking for highly specialized products that cater to a niche audience

Why? DSG has a more highly segmented brand assortment than other top retailers. For example, a retailer like Target is looking for products that appeal to a wide range of people—such as everyday apparel, home goods, groceries, and so on. Whereas Dick’s offers many products that only appeal to a very specific niche—golf clubs, soccer cleats, kayaks… you get the idea. 

Note: “highly specialized product” doesn’t have to mean sporting equipment. DSG’s highest-performing vertical brands are: DSG (their private label), Calia (women’s fitness apparel) and Vrst (men’s fitness apparel). 

In their own words, DSG’s vertical brands offer high-quality, on-trend products with compelling technical and performance attributes, while providing differentiation in their merchandise assortment. Dick’s considers their vertical brand strategy to be a “key area of opportunity” and have invested in a research, development, and procurement team to support its growth. 
If you want to get a product on DSG’s shelves, you have to make sure your brand appeals to a significant segment of their customer base—and really hone in on that niche. This requires conducting market research and analysis to determine the demand for your product within DSG’s customer base. If you’re able to provide hard data supporting the idea that Dick’s Sporting Goods customers would buy your product, that’s a huge boost.

Meeting the Requirements

Like other top retailers, Dick’s has strict standards and requirements for their suppliers.

A Merchandise Supplier or Vendor is anyone who provides products to Dick’s Sporting Goods, including goods for resale. (Dick’s recently implemented a resale program for used sporting goods.)

You can be a first-party supplier or a third-party drop ship vendor.

First-party means you sell products to Dick’s, then Dick’s sells those products to customers. As a first-party supplier, you fulfill Purchase Orders (POs) from Dick’s by shipping your product to a warehouse, store, or directly to the customer.

Third-party means you sell products DTC (direct-to-consumer) via the ecommerce platform as a drop ship vendor.

Dick’s Sporting Goods vendor requirements:

  • Retail-ready product 
  • Federal Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) 
  • EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) capable (able to send and receive electronic documents/notifications for Purchase Orders, Advance Shipping Notice, etc.) 
  • UPC (Universal Product Code) for all products  
  • Ability to comply with product labeling, packaging, and shipping standards

Dick’s Sporting Goods drop ship vendors must be able to:

  • Process orders same-day 
  • Ship orders quickly (1-2 days) and deliver within specified shipping window 
  • Include a Dick’s branded packing slip in each order
  • Use proper packaging as specified  
  • Send at least one full inventory feed daily, including UPC data 
  • Provide item/SKU setup information, including images and copy 

Products must be retail-ready and able to be manufactured, packaged, and shipped in quantities and timelines that comply with DSG’s strict standards. If you’re unable to scale your production and transport to meet mass retail numbers on a tight schedule, you’re unlikely to secure a partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods.

3 ways to become a Dick’s Sporting Goods vendor

1. Submit your application online

Whether you want to sell in-store, online, or both, filling out an online application is the main way to submit your product(s) for consideration. 

You can submit your application via the official Dick’s Sporting Goods RangeMe page. (RangeMe is a third-party product discovery platform.) Dick’s buyers (people who source products for a retailer) review submissions on RangeMe. 

3 steps to submit a Supplier Application:

  1. Create an account on RangeMe and fill out the Supplier Application forms with information about your company or business. 
  2. Verify your business by submitting the required documentation, such as your Federal Taxpayer ID Number, D-U-N-S Number, bank information, product information and images, etc.
  3. Wait for approval. Due to the high volume of submissions, you can expect to wait at least 4 weeks to get a response from a Dick’s buyer—and responses are not guaranteed.

2. Hire a sales rep or retail brokerage service

Retail brokers act as middlemen between SMBs (Small and Midsize Businesses) and retailers. They introduce you to buyers, help you pitch and negotiate a contract, and generally facilitate your relationship with that retailer. 

Brokerage services tend to specialize in one or two retailers, or local store locations. They focus more on brick-and-mortar stores than ecommerce. They’re an option if you’re focusing on a specific store location—and if you make sure to verify the broker’s connections and claims.

3. Partner with a retail accelerator

Hey, that’s us! Here’s what we do:

  • Directly introduce you to a Dick’s Sporting Goods retail buyer
  • Fast-track the pitching and onboarding process, cutting weeks down to days
  • Manage your inventory, order fulfillment, and drop shipping in compliance with DSG’s strict standards

We’ll go into how we help later on. First, let’s dive into the Supplier Application process.

Submitting Your Proposal

So, the first step is to create a RangeMe account, fill out basic information about your company, and get your product(s) set up in RangeMe’s system. 

Once you have your products set up, you can fill out the Supplier Application. 

To set up your product(s), you’ll need to provide:

General product information

  • USP (Unique Selling Proposition): a keyword or label that categorizes your product to make it easier for buyers to find. Examples: organic, sustainable, award-winning, etc.
  • SKU (Stock Keeping Unit): a unique, scannable product ID number assigned by your manufacturer
  • Cost to retailer: the wholesale price per unit that a retailer pays you (i.e., the dollar amount HSN pays per unit if they buy your inventory at wholesale price)
  • MSRP (Manufacturer-Suggested Retail Price): the retail selling price (i.e., the dollar amount HSN could sell your product for, via their retail channels)
  • Product images: clear, high-quality photos of the product appearing how it would in stores (in the packaging, against a white background)

Manufacturing and distribution information:

  • Development status: Working Prototype, Factory-Produced Sample, Fully Developed and In Production
  • Where is the product manufactured?
  • Is the product currently being sold anywhere?
  • Lead time: the time it takes to manufacture, ship, and deliver a finished product
  • Products per case: the number of products in each case you’re able to ship to a retailer
  • Case price: how much the retailer pays you for one case of product

Once you’ve completed the Product Submission form, click Submit for Approval. 

RangeMe’s Product Approval team will review your product(s) within 24-48 hours to make sure it meets their basic requirements. Retail buyers won’t see your product until it gets approved.

If your product doesn’t get approved, you’ll get an email explaining why and what to do next. 

Common reasons a product won’t get approved:

  • Unacceptable product image (dark, low-quality, etc.) 
  • Unrealistic pricing 
  • Descriptions not in English
  • Listed in the wrong category

(If you already have a RangeMe account with products set up, you can go straight to the Supplier Application.)

Dick’s Sporting Goods Supplier Application

First, you’ll be asked a series of questions:

  • Are all of your brand’s products considered retail-ready including consumer packaging with barcodes? (Yes/No)
  • Which method of distribution are you submitting for? (In-store, Ecommerce DTC)
  • Does your company have General Liability Insurance? If so, what is the coverage limit?
  • Is your company EDI capable?
  • Does your company have Direct Store Delivery (DSD) capabilities?
  • Does your company currently have any licensing agreements?
Which product division do your products primarily include?
Is your company diverse-owned (51% or more owned and operated by a listed diversity classification)?

Diversity classifications:

  • Women
  • Veteran
  • Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color

Finally, you’ll be given space to provide any additional details about your company or product. This is a good place for a mini pitch—any extra information you think a Dick’s buyer would find compelling.

So… I submitted my application. Now what?

Now you wait.

Ideally, you’ll hear from an interested buyer (via RangeMe, phone, or email) within 30 days. But due to the high volume of submissions, you’re not guaranteed to receive a response. 

If a buyer does contact you, the next step is to discuss your product further. That might mean setting up a phone call or virtual meeting. The buyer may also request a sample of your product. 
Overall, the online application process can take weeks or months.

Partnering with a Retail Accelerator to Fast Track the Process

A retail accelerator is a partner that provides guidance, support, and access to retailer networks. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, you’re in luck.

We’re EcomHalo: a retail accelerator and fulfillment provider redefining what it means to be a partner. 

We don’t just handle your end-to-end inventory management, omnichannel logistics, and pick-pack-ship order fulfillment needs. 

We also leverage our partnership network of 25+ top retailers to help you expand your brand, enter new revenue channels, and reach millions of customers in stores and online

We’re your personal guide to the retail landscape—from first step to final mile.

What We Provide

General product information Fast-tracked onboarding Full-service fulfillment

No need to submit your Supplier Application online and hope for a response.

We directly introduce you to a Dick’s Sporting Goods retail buyer, then handle digital content creation, EDI integration, and all other requirements so you can start selling fast.

Become a supplier in days, not weeks, by leveraging our decades of connections in the big-box retail space.

Import your products and channels into our easy-to-use cloud-based platform, then watch orders flow into your digital dashboard in real-time.

We store and manage your inventory, fulfill all orders across all channels, and help you optimize your logistics so you can cut costs, save time, and launch into the future of your brand.

Go ahead and hit new heights—we’ll make sure you stick the landing.


In this guide, we covered:

  • How to get a product into Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • What kind of product Dick’s Sporting Goods is looking for
  • Everything you need for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Vendor Application forms
  • A faster, easier way to get your product into Dick’s—by partnering with a retail accelerator like EcomHalo.

Whether or not our Retail Acceleration services are the right fit for your brand, we hope you’ve found this guide helpful and informative. Wherever your journey takes you, we wish you safe travels, big windfalls, and the absolute best of luck.

Ready for a home run? Request a free 15-minute consultation to receive:

  • A rundown of our Retail Acceleration and Fulfillment services
  • Pricing options and a free quote
  • Referrals to other services if we’re not the right fit

Still have questions? Connect with an EcomHalo Guardian—we’re here to help.

Julie Massey
Julie Massey

Julie Massey is a dynamic business development leader with a decade of experience and a consistent record of achievement in SaaS, logistics, medical device and pharmaceuticals. Julie spent eight years in healthcare sales gaining broad experience across capital equipment, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals with companies ranging from start-up to Fortune 10. She has worked with such companies as WalkMed Infusion, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson.

Julie is a graduate of the University of Alabama, a travel and fitness enthusiast, and currently resides in Fort Lauderdale with her fiancé Ryan and their dog Moose.