Dick’s Sporting Goods Enters the Gun Debate: Revising the Playbook

Submited by: Alyson Morris, Hanna Neuschwander & Rui Zhao

School: University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Donna Z. Davis

In March 2019, Dick's Sporting Goods announced its decision to halt gun sales at 125 stores and sell off its subsidiary store, Field & Stream. It was the latest in a string of corporate decisions to pull back on gun sales. Dick's has evolved its thinking about gun sales and its communications strategies with the public. The 2019 decision was supported by the release of a memoir by Stack, focusing on values-driven leadership. This case will investigate how the company’s communication strategies have evolved within the context of the highly charged political arena of gun reform.

Note: Teaching notes will be made available to faculty upon request.

2020 Student Case Study Competition

Page, in alliance with the Institute for Public Relations, conducts an annual competition for the writing of original case studies by students enrolled in a school of business, communication or journalism and who are pursuing a degree that is focused on corporate communications and the practice of public relations. The objectives of the competition are to introduce practical applications of the core principles that define corporate communication as a critical function of management to educators, teachers and students, and encourage research that contributes to the profession's body of knowledge and provide practical suggestions for improving the corporate communications function. Student authors of winning entries and their faculty advisors are awarded cash prizes and recognized by the nation's leading corporate communications executives.

For questions, please email casestudies@page.org.


The grand prize winner receives the Jack Koten Case Study Award, named in honor of John A. "Jack" Koten, one of the founding members of the Arthur W. Page Society and its first president. The winning students are invited to the annual Awards Ceremony held each year at the Page Society's Spring Seminar in New York.