PITTSBURGH, April 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation brought together key players in the sports industry yesterday to highlight the importance of sports and the current financial crisis facing youth athletics. The star-studded event was held at the Tribeca Film Festival following the world premiere of The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation's second documentary, Keepers of the Game.
"At DICK'S, we believe that Sports Matter and that sports make people better. We are very proud and honored to have some of the biggest names in sports gathered to help address the crisis in youth sports funding," said Ed Stack, DICK'S Sporting Goods Chairman & CEO, as he addressed the audience at the Sports Matter event in New York City. "I'm proud to announce that we have renewed our $25 million multi-year commitment to support youth athletic programs through our Sports Matter initiative. Since 2014, we're pleased to have pledged over $50 million to support teams and raise awareness of the importance of youth sports."
The Sports Matter event last night began with the world premiere of Keepers of the Game, an official selection of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Produced by The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation in partnership with Tribeca Digital Studios and director Judd Ehrlich, Keepers of the Game celebrates the strength and perseverance of the young women of the Salmon River lacrosse team both on the field and in their community. The film will make its television debut on ABC on Sat., April 23 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
In 2014, the Foundation first partnered with Tribeca Digital Studios and Ehrlich to produce the Sports Emmy Award-winning documentary We Could Be King, which highlighted the repercussions of budget cuts for two Philadelphia area school districts' athletic programs.
Following the film premiere, ESPN's Hannah Storm moderated panel discussions on how sports can help to break down barriers and provide unique paths to success both on and off the playing field. Panelists included: Tom Brady, Professional football player; Missy Franklin, Swimmer; Tim Finchem, Commissioner of the PGA Tour; Mark King, President of adidas Group North America; Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Major League Baseball; Jessica Mendoza, ESPN analyst; Kevin Plank, Chairman, Founder and CEO of Under Armour; John Skipper, President of ESPN; and Serena Williams, Professional tennis player.
"There is nothing more important to me than conveying how important sports have been in my life," said Tom Brady. "It does teach us so many incredible values. It sets such a great foundation."
The Sports Matter event ended with Stack honoring football legend Jon Gruden, whose work in championing youth sports through his own initiatives and continued support and dedication to the Sports Matter program made him a deserving choice as the first-ever recipient of The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation Sports Matter Impact Award.
"To see this level of star power come together and take the time to address this crisis is really something special," said Jon Gruden. "I'm proud to be among them and honored to be recognized for helping a cause that I'm so passionate about."
For more information on Sports Matter, visit SportsMatter.org.
About The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation
The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation is an exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a mission to inspire and enable sports participation. It was created by DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. as a private corporate foundation to support DICK'S charitable and philanthropic activities.
Contact DICK'S Sporting Goods: firstname.lastname@example.org
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