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Brand: Corporate

Role: Director of Design - VRST

Location: Pittsburgh

City, State: Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

Job Area: Full time

Job ID: 202410960

Job Category: Product Development

Director of Design - VRST
Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

At DICK’S Sporting Goods, we believe in how positively sports can change lives. On our team, everyone plays a critical role in creating confidence and excitement by personally equipping all athletes to achieve their dreams. We are committed to creating an inclusive and diverse workforce, reflecting the communities we serve.

If you are ready to make a difference as part of the world’s greatest sports team, apply to join our team today!


The Director of Design for the VRST Vertical Brand at DICK'S Sporting Goods owns the long term strategic creative design direction for the brand's apparel and accessory categories. In this role, the Director of Design develops the multi-year and seasonal product vision for each brand within span of control that drives innovation, brand growth and awareness and engagement with the target athlete. Through collaboration and cross-functional leadership with our Product Management and Strategic Sourcing teams, the Director of Design identifies new business opportunities based on shifts in marketplace and trend. The Director of Design provides creative direction to a team of designers to inspire storytelling that is emotionally, culturally and technically rich to our athletes, along with addressing our business needs. By working closely with their design teams, the Director of Design communicates his/her ideas, steers the concept development process and creates strategies to bring a product vision to life.

The ideal candidate is a passionate expert in tends and has an elevated level of taste and understanding of color that can be used to translate macro level trends into business decisions and designs that adhere to the brands targeted athlete. It is critical that any candidate for the Director of Design to have the ability to foster cross-functional collaboration and display excellent communication skills. In addition, the ideal candidate can balance both their expertise in the design process with business acumen and strategic thinking. In this role, candidates are expected to speak to both long-term goals and daily details of their business category seamlessly.

Own Category Vision & Strategic Planning

  • Develop mid to long term (1-3 years) design and creative strategy to achieve key business objectives for each brand in span of control. Align strategies to each brand's current position in the market and develop tactics to achieve growth plan and share capture. Lead the seasonal direction and strategy for each brand by coaching, mentoring and challenging teams.

  • Develop partnerships with leadership across Product Management, Merchandising,Marketing, Athlete Insights, Visual that fosters collaboration, idea sharing and mutual success. Influence larger category direction to ensure each brand's aesthetic and design intent can come to life.

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with overseas partners. Demonstrate leadership and problem solving as issues arise by collaborating with these partners to ensure accurate execution of the design vision.

  • Define and oversee product design and creative process, from concept through design execution. Foster an environment of feedback and continual improvement through design reviews and thoughtful critique. Challenge the team, as needed, to drive both creativity and business results through creating product designs that are market right, athlete focused, aligned to each brand's standards and meet the financial targets of the season.

Expertise in Trend Awareness & Conceptual Thinking

  • Act as a subject matter expert at the global forefront of market and consumer trends, through constant research. Leverage expertise in design principles and a broad range of experience to drive innovation and future oriented product design that is commercially viable and strengthens each brand's position in the market. Use market awareness to coach and mentor.

  • Drive the concept process with both internal and external teams. Lead the seasonal process with external global trend services to ensure seasonal direction is relevant in the marketplace. Utilize experience and expertise to push boundaries and innovate, while maintaining each brand's aesthetic and target athlete's expectations. Curate findings from aspirational shopping to build each brand's long-term positioning.

  • Research the market from a global perspective. Shop both competitive and aspirational international brands with a critical eye. Identify and translate trend into actionable design direction for the team.

  • Establish and maintain partnership with vendors and internal sourcing partners to allow for fabric/trim research and development. Ideate with partners on original technology. Challenge the current state of materials, finishes and fibers to enhance product quality and design execution.

  • Develop and implement design solutions across the team that allows for brand growth. This includes technology platforms, design principles and ways of thinking that allow the team to operate effectively. Manage through change to gain buy-in.

Drive Operational Excellence

  • Hold direct reports accountable for managing the Time and Action calendar. Ensure status updates are provided regularly. Remove roadblocks and barriers as they arise to ensure accurate and timely completion of development activities.

  • Act as a subject matter expert with Cross-Functional partners to establish key calendar dates for upcoming season, define a critical path of time and action prior to start of the season and ensure all directs adhere to and schedule all key meetings as needed.

  • Conduct root cause analysis on processes, delivery misses and workload challenges to reduce pain points, foster ease in execution and drive productivity. Create consistent departmental best practices and drive adoption.

Demonstrate Cross-Functional Leadership

  • Act as a champion and face of the brands within span of control. Ensure aesthetic of product, in-store experience, social/online presence, and marketing efforts are in support of the strategic long term design vision of the brands.

  • Actively drive the development process with cross-functional partners (PM, Sourcing, Fabric teams) by ensuring long-term brand vision is maintained. Shares feedback through the lens of the brand consumer to ensure integrity of brands. Delivers appropriate point-of-view and point-of-difference through collaboration with product management peers, merchants, and vendors.

  • Build strategic relationships with Product Management, Merchandising, Marketing, Athlete Insights and Visual leadership that fosters collaboration, idea sharing and mutual success.

Developing Talent and Teammate Engagement

  • Supervise and provide guidance to teammates on projects and deliverables, holding teammate accountable to deadlines. This includes organizing and monitoring workload to ensure priority deliverables are fast tracked.

  • Provide direct/indirect reports with timely and regular feedback to support teammate development/ growth in role.

  • Act as a mentor and champion of talent across the organization by sharing experiences, knowledge and skills.

  • Establish strategic staffing and succession plans (0-2 year horizon) within span of control and gain VP support; successfully deliver on proposed staffing objectives.

  • Drive the talent selection process for open direct/indirect reporting positions; Ensure all direct reports are appropriately trained and on-boarded.

  • Demonstrate a high level of passion and commitment to enhancing the overall teammate experience by displaying integrity, inclusion and empowering direct/indirect reports to be their best.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Design, Fine Arts, or related degree

  • 10-15 years of total experience, 10+ years of design experience; 5+ years of experience effectively managing large teams;ideally working in a high growth business

  • Strong computer knowledge; ability to learn how to design through new/advanced technology (e.g., on-line spec program).

  • Ability to design using new advanced technology (Illustrator, Photoshop, Kaledo)

  • Ability to create technical sketches and tech packs in Adobe Illustrator

  • Advanced Microsoft Power Point preferred

  • In-depth knowledge of design and product development processes with strong product visualization and sketching skills, expertise in fabric/trim and an eye for details

  • Demonstrated imagination, innovative thinking and product vision, aligned with strong commercial sense and excellent market knowledge

  • Proven ability to drive for results in a fast-paced retail or consumer product environment through partnership and collaboration

  • Strong focus on teammate development that aligns and supports the company culture and talent philosophy.

  • Demonstrated executive presence, ability to influence design decisions by working with creative and technical teams, including collaboration with senior leadership team.

  • Ability to deliver high-impact product presentations to vendors and internal partners, including Sr. Leadership (C Suite) that communicate design vision and sell concepts

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