||Sporting Goods Industry on the Rebound
According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association's State of the Industry Report (2011), the sporting goods business in 2010 showed its largest one-year revenue growth swing in nearly 20 years.
In 2010, U.S. wholesale sales of sporting goods equipment, sports apparel, licensed merchandise, athletic footwear, and fitness equipment totaled $74.2 billion. That was a 3.5 percent increase over 2009, when sales were $71.6 billion. This boost in sales indicates that the sporting goods industry is "on the rebound" since sales in 2009 were 4.3 percent less than they were in 2008.
The main category in the sports products industry is athletic apparel, which increased 4.8 percent to $29.6 billion. The second largest category is sporting goods equipment at $20.4 billion. Athletic footwear sales were $12.6 billion. Sports licensed merchandise sales amounted to $7.3 billion.
Fitness equipment was also strong in 2010 -- up 4.1 percent to $4.3 billion. The treadmill is still the most popular piece of fitness equipment. In athletic footwear, the running shoe remains the category leader. Golf is the largest category under sporting goods equipment, while shirts/tops represent the top selling item under sports apparel.
"The sporting goods industry has strengthened in the last 12-16 months, despite the challenges which have been presented by a number of issues such as the vagaries of the worldwide economy, federal and state legislation, sourcing and production concerns, regulations by sport governing bodies, and counterfeiting," said SGMA President Tom Cove. "Since 60 percent of SGMA member companies say they need more manufacturing capacity and will increase production by nearly 25 percent, chances are good that 2011 will be a strong year, as well. Our survey also indicates that 88 percent of our member companies expect international sales will increase in 2011."
There are a number of factors which are affecting the overall growth and development of the entire sports, fitness, and recreation industry:
Electronic Communication: Manufacturers and retailers are more creative in how they reach the consumer as Twitter, Facebook, Texting, Shutterfly, RueLaLa, and Groupon are some of the ways in which marketing and advertising messages are being transmitted.
Daily Concerns: Throughout the year, the two biggest concerns by manufacturers about the retail sector will be (1) shifting inventory risk to manufacturers and (2) emphasis on product quality.
Focused Expenditures: More than 60 percent of Americans purchased fitness-related services or fitness equipment in 2010.
School Sports Spending Suffers: According to Up2Us, more than $2 billion was cut from school sports budgets in the 2009-2010 school year.
Budgets and Expenses: In 2010, expenses for sponsorships and player endorsements fell while spending on new product development and advertising rose.
Team Spirit Spending: Wholesale sales of sports licensed products and merchandise rose by 5 percent -- from $6.9 billion in 2009 to $7.3 billion in 2010. That increase is due to "pent-up" demand and consumers' desire to be affiliated with a favorite team or sport.
Digital Interaction: Since 2009, three group exercise activities (group cycling, cardio tennis and high-impact aerobics) have experienced double-digit gains in overall participation. This growth has been driven by the "Generation Y" population (ages 11-30) and its philosophy on social networking as a way to communicate and socialize.
PE Pays Off: For today's children, they are more than three times likely to participate in team sports if they have PE classes in school than if they don't have PE in school.
Trends & Tendencies of Sports Participation
In team sports, there is positive news to report. Many traditional endeavors such as outdoor soccer, indoor soccer, tackle football, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, and court volleyball have experienced small degrees of growth in "overall" participation since 2009 -- reversing a recent trend in the other direction -- and "overall" participation in some "niche" team sports activities has showcased dramatic increases since 2009. Rugby is up 50.7 percent, lacrosse is up 37.7 percent, field hockey is up 21.8 percent, and beach volleyball is up 12.3 percent.
World Cup Effect: With no specific marketing program or effort geared at increasing interest in soccer, outdoor soccer participation rose by almost 3 percent in 2010 -- mainly due to the existence of the World Cup in South Africa and TV coverage of the event.
Trendy Teams: Four team sports have had double-digit percentage increases in "core" participation since 2009. They are lacrosse (13+ times/year (up 33.1 percent), rugby (8+ times/year, up 20.3 percent), ultimate frisbee (13+ times/year, up 19.2 percent), and beach volleyball (13+ times/year, up 18.9 percent).
Road Runners: Nearly 50 million Americans are now running and jogging to stay fit -- up 12.6 percent from 2009.
School vs. Travel: The three most popular team sports in high school are basketball, tackle football, and baseball. The three most popular team sports for travel-sport athletes (age 14-19) are soccer, baseball, and basketball.
Electronic Stimulation: Almost 50 percent of U.S. online customers used some type of fitness technology in the past year -- according to a Consumer Electronics Association study.
Fitness Fanatics: The three cities whose residents are considered the "fittest" in the country are Salt Lake City, San Diego and Austin.
(Source: SportsOneSource Media, 05/19/11)
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