USA Wrestling, the national governing body for amateur wrestling in America, and DICK’S Sporting Goods, the largest U.S. based full-line sporting goods retailer, announced a partnership to support the Keep Olympic Wrestling 2020 Vision Campaign.
DICK’S understands a final decision to cut wrestling from the Olympics would affect amateur wrestlers worldwide, including millions of youth club, high school and college wrestlers. DICK’S supports the Keep Olympic Wrestling campaign through numerous activation platforms, including on its website, social media channels, email distribution and in-store promotions.
Supporters are encouraged to visit DICK’S Facebook page to sign the “Help Save Olympic Wrestling” petition and encourage donations to support the campaign.
On Feb. 12, the International Olympic Committee's Executive Committee voted to recommend wrestling be placed off the sports program for the Olympics beginning in 2020. Two votes, one in St. Petersburg, Russia in May, and another in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina, will decide whether the recommendation will be upheld or reversed.
USA Wrestling began a campaign domestically entitled “2020 Vision, Keep the Dream Alive” in March designed to raise funds as well as petition signatures www.keepolympicwrestling.com. USA Wrestling also formed an international coalition of the most powerful federations within the sport, all with the goal of persuading the IOC to reverse the decision.
“DICK’S Sporting Goods recognizes the dedication and values wrestling instills in young athletes and is proud to partner with USA Wrestling to support these elite competitors’ dream to represent their country in the Olympics,” said Lauren Hobart, DICK’S Sporting Goods Chief Marketing Officer. “We encourage wrestling supporters to sign the petition to make their voices heard.”
USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender added: “This is a historic time for our sport in many ways. DICK’S Sporting Goods is supporting us in a powerful way as their brand power and reach are helping us generate awareness to keep the sport in the Olympics. To have them as a marketing partner in this challenging time is greatly appreciated. It will no doubt help the movement in our country.”
Kurt Angle, an Olympic gold medalist for the United States and current pro wrestler with TNA Impact Wrestling, and other pro wrestlers -- especially those like Angle with an amateur wrestling background -- have also supported the cause.
Bender said: “In less than two months, USA Wrestling's campaign has registered more than 112,000 Facebook supporters and more than 300,000 signatures of support as well as more than $1,000,000 in donations to support its cause.”
• ABOUT USA WRESTLING
USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the sport of amateur wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation FILA. USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the nation and works to create interest and participation in these programs. Its president is James Ravannack.
• ABOUT KEEP OLYMPIC WRESTLING AND 2020 VISION CAMPAIGN
In the United States, the official website is http://www.KeepOlympicWrestling.com and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/officialkeepwrestlingintheolympics and Twitter @wrestlingvision.