DICK'S SPORTING GOODS

DICK'S SPORTING GOODS

multiple locations, dickssportinggoods.com

Dick's was founded in 1948 by 18-year-old Dick Stack. His boss at an Army surplus store in Birmingham, N.Y., told Stack he was a "dumb kid" when he pitched an idea to add fishing-tackle supplies to the store's inventory. Stack told his grandmother, who dug $300 out of her cookie jar and told him to open his own business.

RUNNERS-UP: Cabela's, Play It Again Sports

HONORABLE MENTION: Clintonville Outfitters, FrontRunner, Sports Authority