For fans of Phil Knights Shoe Dog and Howard Schultzs Onward, an inspiring memoir from the CEO of Dicks Sporting Goods about building a multibillion-dollar business, coming to the defense of embattled youth sports programs, and taking a principled – and highly controversial – stand against the types of guns that are too often used in mass shootings and other tragedies.
In 1948, Ed Stack’s father, Richard, started Dicks Bait and Tackle in Binghamton, New York, with $300 borrowed from his grandmother. A few years later, Dick expanded to a second location. In 1984, Ed bought the two stores from his father. Today, Dick’s Sporting Goods is the largest sporting-goods retailer in the country with more than 800 locations and close to nine billion dollars in sales.
Its How You Play the Game tells the absorbing story of a complicated founder and an ambitious son – one who transformed a business by making it more than a business, conceiving it as a force for good in the communities it serves. The transformation Ed wrought wasnt easy: Economic headwinds nearly toppled the chain twice. But Dick’s support for embattled youth sports programs earned the stores surprising loyalty, and Ed was vocal in sounding the alarm about schools underfunding not just of sports, but of other extracurriculars, which earned Dick’s even more respect.
Eds toughest business decision came in the wake of yet another school shooting; this one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. The senseless loss of life devastated Ed on many levels, and he decided to take action. Dick’s became the first major retailer to pull all semi-automatic weapons from its shelves and raise the age of gun purchase to 21. Despite being a gun owner himself whod grown up around firearms, Eds strategy included destroying the five million dollars of assault-style-type rifles then in Dick’s inventory.
It was a profit-risking policy that would earn the outrage of some – even threats of harm – but turn Ed into a national hero.
With vital lessons for anyone running a business and eye-opening reflections about what a company owes the people it serves, Its How You Play the Game is the insightful story of a man who built one of America’s most successful companies by following his heart.
Narrator: Ed Stack
Duration: 9 hours 58 minutes
Released: 19 Aug 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio