Dick Pond Athletics wins ‘Big Break’
Employees of Dick Pond Athletics. | CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Updated: November 5, 2012 6:02AM
PARK RIDGE — Dick Pond Athletics, which has six locations in the Chicago area and a new store in Park Ridge, was named a winner in the “Big Break for Small Business” national contest sponsored by American Express OPEN and Facebook, according to a news release.
As a contest winner, Dick Pond will receive a one-on-one consultation from American Express OPEN and Facebook branding experts, as well as $25,000 to launch strategic actions aimed at building and marketing the company’s brand. This was the second year of the Big Break for Small Business contest.
Last month Dick Pond Athletics was named one of the contest’s 10 finalists, distinguishing itself from more than 12,000 small businesses across the United States with its 43-year-old grass-roots approach to business, unrelenting focus on fitness with free group-training programs, and continued support of community cornerstones, including a campaign that reinvests in the cross-country and track-and-field programs at local schools.
The 10 finalists then participated in a 12-day online voting poll at American Express OPEN’s Facebook page from Aug. 20-31. Among the final 10, Dick Pond Athletics was the lone representative from the Midwest.
The still-family-run company continues the customer-centric mission established by its owner, Dick Pond, in 1969. The free and no-hassle Runner Rewards program allows loyal customers to earn discounts on future purchases, while the inventive Team Bucks program reinvests 5 percent of all purchases from middle-school or high-school athletes back into the athletes’ team.
Regular fun runs, training programs and the company’s “Walk 2 Run” curriculum, which trains novices to complete their first 5K race in just 10 weeks, has reinforced Dick Pond Athletics’ ties to the community and commitment to healthy lifestyles.