Dick's Sporting Goods Commits to Screen One Million Young Athletes in Largest Concussion Baseline Testing Initiative Ever

PACE Program Aims to Provide Awareness, Education and Concussion Testing With the Help of Pro Football Legend Jerome Bettis and ImPACT

Aug 02, 2011, 09:00 ET from Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc.

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, up to 3.8 million recreation- and sports-related concussions occur in the United States every year – with concussions in adolescent age groups accounting for the majority. (1) In response to those staggering statistics Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), the largest U.S. based full-line sporting goods retailer, is pleased to take the lead in helping young athletes to stay safe with the creation of PACE, a groundbreaking program to help combat concussions in youth sports.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110802/NY45444LOGO )

PACE, which stands for Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education, teams Dick's Sporting Goods with ImPACT, the first, most-widely used, and scientifically-validated computerized concussion evaluation system. Through PACE, up to one million young athletes across more than 3,300 middle and high schools nationwide will receive their first-year ImPACT test program and concussion education for free – making it the largest concussion baseline testing initiative ever created.

Dick's Sporting Goods has a goal of funding screening for one million young athletes, and through the support of the public, now through September 12, they will donate $1 to the PACE Program for every pair of athletic shoes purchased in any of its 449 U.S. stores or online at DicksSportingGoods.com. In addition, Dick's Sporting Goods has pledged an additional $1 donation for consumers who post about PACE on the Dick's Sporting Goods Facebook page, tweet about PACE with the #DSGPACE hashtag, or check-in to a Dick's Sporting Goods location on Facebook Places or Foursquare.

"Protecting the next generation of athletes is a cause we are dedicated to, and as young athlete concussions continue to rise, we want to be at the forefront for driving awareness, education, and screening," said Edward W. Stack, Chairman and CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods. "The PACE Program brings together concussion education with state-of-the-art testing.   We are excited to partner with ImPACT and founders Drs. Joseph Maroon, Mark Lovell and Michael 'Micky' Collins to provide baseline testing for up to one million young athletes."

Legendary Pittsburgh football great Jerome Bettis, a sufferer of numerous concussions in his playing days, will serve as national spokesperson for the Dick's Sporting Goods PACE Program. He will participate in various marketing initiatives to support the campaign including in-store appearances, online videos, public relations and social media.

"In more than 20 years of playing football in high school, college and the pros, I unfortunately experienced a number of concussions," said Bettis.  "Every young athlete should have the opportunity to take a baseline concussion test, and through the PACE Program, up to one million youths will now have that chance."  

ImPACT begins with a 20-minute baseline test that is administered pre-season. If a concussion is suspected later, another post-injury test is administered by trained clinicians to assess the possible after-effects. The program evaluates multiple aspects of brain function including memory, processing speed, reaction time and post-concussive symptoms, allowing doctors to make safe return-to-play decisions and reducing the possibility of long-term neurological effects.

To date, more than two million people from soldiers to athletes from high schools, colleges and professional sports teams have passed through the ImPACT program, making it the most widely-used concussion evaluation system in the country. As part of the PACE Program, middle and high schools new to the ImPACT program can obtain ImPACT testing for up to 300 student athletes ($500 value) free of charge for one year.

"We're thrilled to partner with Dick's Sporting Goods on this remarkable program," said Mark R. Lovell, Ph.D. FACPN, Chief Executive Officer of ImPACT.  "PACE will not only provide baseline testing for an unprecedented number of young athletes, but it will empower the schools with three key tools in managing concussions – awareness, education, and baseline testing."

Throughout the month of August, the Dick's Sporting Goods PACE Program will tour numerous store locations across the U.S. to raise awareness and education about the prevalence and severity of concussions. In addition to providing Certified ImPACT Consultant-led seminars and demo tests for young athletes, parents, and coaches, Dick's Sporting Goods will feature special guest appearances by pro athletes who have had life experiences with concussions.

For more information on the PACE Program including times and locations of tour stops and how schools can apply to receive the ImPACT program, please visit the Dick's Sporting Goods Facebook page or www.dickssportinggoods.com/PACE.  

(1) Pediatrics Vol. 126 No. 3 September 1, 2010 pp. 597 -615 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2005)

About Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc.

Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. is an authentic full-line sporting goods retailer offering a broad assortment of brand name sporting goods equipment, apparel and footwear in a specialty store environment. The Company also owns and operates Golf Galaxy, LLC, a golf specialty retailer. As of June 6, 2011, the Company operated 449 Dick's Sporting Goods stores in 42 states, 81 Golf Galaxy stores in 30 states and e-commerce web sites and catalog operations for both Dick's Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. news releases are available at http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/investors. The Company's web site is not part of this release.

About ImPACT

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is an independently validated and researched concussion-evaluation system that has become America's most widely used and scientifically accepted. Founded by Drs. Joseph Maroon, Mark Lovell  and Michael "Micky" Collins, this comprehensive approach today is the standard adopted across the NFL, NHL, Major League Baseball, college and high-school athletics. ImPACT follows a traditional, medically-based program involving clinics, hospitals, certified athletic trainers, doctors and other medical professionals trained in concussion evaluation and management.

SOURCE Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc.