Dick’s remodeled its stores and launched initiatives to appeal to women, a strategy that will boost its sales and will benefit women’s sports teams across the U.S.

WHAT HAPPENED: Dick’s launched a series of initiatives to support women’s sports. It gave a $5 million grant to the U.S. Soccer Foundation, sponsored USA Softball and expanded its selection of women’s and girls’ products in stores. The company is also planning a national ad campaign to support women’s sports. Dick’s projects that its investments will bring in more than $8.7 billion in sales this year.

WHY IT MATTERS:

Dick’s focus on female customers will help the retailer rebrand itself and restore trust with the many female customers upset by its association with firearms. The retailer improved its image by discontinuing gun sales last year and made headlines for destroying over $5 million worth of semiautomatic rifles. The move repositioned the retailer as a sporting goods store compared to a hunting destination, but Dick’s needs to do more to convince women to come to Dick’s for their athleticwear needs. Sponsorship of the women’s U.S. Softball team as it enters the Olympics this year for the first time in twelve years is a good way for the retailer to attract nationwide attention. But with growing competition in athleticwear, from niche fitness brands and Amazon, it needs a product offering that stands out in one of the most crowded categories in the apparel industry.