Dick’s Sporting Goods made it off the American Family Association’s naughty list with a pledge to use the word “Christmas” in its holiday advertising.
The AFA has called off its Christmas boycott of the sporting goods chain after the Dick’s corporate office contacted the AFA and pledged to replace the term “Holiday” with “Christmas.”
“This is a huge win for the pro-faith community in America. It’s gratifying to see a retailer like Dick’s recognize that our nation has specifically set aside December 25 to honor the birthday of Jesus Christ,” shared AFA Executive Vice President Buddy Smith.
The AFA has been winning over retailers for the past two years.
Last year, boycotts of Gap, Inc., which includes stores The Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, led the retailer to air unambiguous Christmas ads during Thanksgiving weekend. Previously, the company featured “Winter Holiday” and placed Christmas on the same level as Kwanzaa and winter solstice.
Prior to that, AFA worked with Kentucky residents to sway state Gov. Steve Beshear stop referring to the tree on the capital’s front lawn as a holiday tree.
"We reminded the governor that there is no American tradition of a Thanksgiving tree or a New Year's Tree, and we appealed to him to call the tree what it is, a Christmas tree,” stated AFA President Tim Wildmon in a statement.
AFA credits its victories to a 2.3 million-member network. Members receive a list of retailers that are categorized as “for Christmas,” “marginalizing Christmas” or “against Christmas.”
On the 2010 list, companies for Christmas in every medium include Amazon.com, Petsmart and Macy’s, among dozens of others. Companies against Christmas include Office Depot, Radio Shack and Victoria’s Secret.
This year, Dick’s Sporting Goods, formally in the “marginalizing” category for infrequently proclaiming Christmas or proclaiming in a single medium, has found a spot among the “for” retailers.
Dick’s vice chairman, Bill Columbo, informed AFA last week it will be using Christmas in newspaper inserts, in its television ads and on the website.
The Christmas ad campaign will begin Nov. 28. Dick’s Sporting Goods operates more than 400 stores in 41 states primarily throughout the eastern half of the U.S.