Secret focus group could point to presidential run by Dick's Sporting Goods CEO: report

A secret focus group examining Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack's 2020 chances could point to a third-party presidential run by the billionaire, according to a Politico interview with an unnamed focus group participant.

Participants were asked to compare Stack, 64, in three-way races with Donald Trump and either Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren. Messaging about Stack focused on his "leadership" after his company destroyed $5 million dollars of sporting rifles rather than selling them amid a string of deadly school shootings.

"A defining moment of this was when we found out that we’d sold the shooter a shotgun a couple of months before the rampage he went on in Parkland," Stack told FOX Business' Gerry Baker earlier this month.

Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack visits "WSJ at Large with Gerry Baker" at Fox Business Network Studios on October 08, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

He admitted the decision impacted sales but thought it was worth it to bring about a national conversation on the topic.

Meanwhile, the focus group worried about Stack's age even though he is younger than Trump, Biden and Warren.

"[Focus group members] mentioned that if Biden's getting the criticism that he looked old, Ed Stack didn't look young either," the focus group participant told Politico.

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DKS DICK'S SPORTING GOODS INC. 137.18 -3.97 -2.81%

Some people felt Stack "didn't have the charisma it would take to attract a coalition that you'd need to have a chance as a third-party candidate," the participant added.

Politico's story also included a quote from a source familiar with Stack's thinking who said he has "no plans" to run for elected office.

The idea of Stack as a third-party candidate comes after former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, also a billionaire, teased an independent presidential run but stopped prepping a campaign in September to avoid being a spoiler for the Democratic nominee, he said.

Forbes estimates Stack's net worth is $1 billion.

FOX Business' inquiry to Dick's Sporting Goods was not returned at the time of publication.