It's not surprising that the largest retail athletic and sporting goods companies doing business in the U.S. like Nike, L.L. Bean, and Lululemon Athletica all have company mission, vision, and values statements. What might be surprising is that none of the mission statements of the largest retail chains in the Sporting Goods Retailing niche are focused on selling as much athletic gear as possible to customers, without regard to the appropriateness of the sale.
Since the Sporting Goods Retailing niche seems to have an authentic commitment to the integrity of its products and authentic service to its customers, a frequently asked question is "What is the mission or vision statement of the largest Sporting Goods retail chains?" The mission, vision, and values statement of retail athletic and sporting goods store chains, more than in any other retail specialty niche, are aligned with the values, passion, and purpose of their customers.
The Parallel Vision, Mission, and Values of Sports
Looking at the mission statements of Sporting Goods Retailers, it's easy to see why translating the same type of vision, mission, and values that make an athlete successful into a retail business environment is both logical and productive.
More than in any other specialty retail niche, the mission statements of the brand, culture, and customer experience of the most successful Sporting Goods retail chains in the U.S. fully embrace the mindset, expectations, and needs of their customers and potential customers.
In other words, Sporting Goods Retailers don't just have mission statements, they live a mission that they are allowed and encouraged to fully express in their retail workplace.
Academy Sports+Outdoors Mission Statement
The three-part mission of the Academy Sports+Outdoors retail stores chain focuses on customer trust, employee respect, and creating a unique shopping experience, three important foundational aspects of the business that are leading it the company to survive in the unstable Sporting Goods Retailing niche.
Dick's Sporting Goods Mission Statement
Embracing the mindset of the athletic customers it serves, the Dick’s Sporting Goods chain has a mission statement that is about becoming #1 by applying the sports philosophy of “relentless improvement” to retail. Both conceptually and practically this is a best practice mission statement which is allowing Dick's Sporting Goods to thrive while its competitors meet their demise.
L.L. Bean Mission Statement
The mission statement of L.L. Bean stores and catalogs is a combination of the L.L.Bean Golden Rule, a legendary customer-centric description of complete customer satisfaction, and a definition of stakeholder value which includes customers, employees, the community, and the environment.
The L.L. Bean has not driven it to become one of the largest U.S. retail chains, but in the retail spaces where L.L. Bean operates, its customers and potential customers are fanatically loyal evangelists, something that every good corporate mission statement would like to create.
Lululemon Athletica Mission Statement
The Canadian-based retailer of yoga and athletic clothing invaded and disrupted the Sporting Goods niche of the U.S. retail industry with its community engagement, experience destination, manager empowered retailing model. Equally disruptive is the Lululemon mission statement, which is really a "manifesto" of ideas and life philosophies focused on creating a unique and health-centered retail operation when fully embraced.
Nike Mission Statement
Even though Nike's sports footwear and apparel products have dominated the retail shelves of retailers for decades, it's only recently that Nike has been actively working to also dominate in the retail Sporting Goods niche with its own retail chain. The successful Nike’s corporate mission statement which is focused on the athletes it serves and the inspiration and innovation that Nike products provide has been translating successfully in the brick-and-mortar retail space as well.
In 2016 upheaval in the Sporting Goods retailing niche became obvious with the Sports Authority Chapter 11 bankruptcy liquidation. This upheaval can be attributed at least in part to the growing dominance of retailers outside of the Sporting Goods Retailing niche that are including sporting goods as a significant part of their marketing mix.