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SGMA Says Sales Of Euipment, Shoes & More Exceed $66 Billion

Date: 3/16/09

SGMA’s Manufacturers Sales by Category Report Released; Team Sports Category Was Strong in ‘08

Click here to order the 2009 SGMA’s Manufacturers Sales by Category Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- March 12, 2009 – Sales of sports-related equipment, gear, accessories, clothing, and shoes in the U.S. fell slightly in 2008.  That's one way to summarize the U.S. sports products industry, which was just over $66 billion (at wholesale) in size last year. According to SGMA’s Manufacturers Sales by Category Report (2009 Edition), manufacturers' (wholesale) sales of sporting goods equipment, fitness equipment, sports apparel, athletic footwear, and recreational transport items in the U.S. totaled $66.3 billion in 2008 - a 3.2% decrease over 2007 when wholesale sales were $68.5 billion.

“On the sales side, sports industry sales dipped below GDP for the first time since 2003, but the level of decline was not nearly as significant as it was for other durable goods industries,” said Tom Cove, president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA). “The early numbers from our participation study indicate Americans continued to participate in strong numbers in 2008, especially in activities that are family oriented and low cost after the initial purchase of equipment. Strength in participation bodes well for the industry as Americans will continue to see sports and fitness as important, family oriented activities. And, as Americans continue to participate, equipment will eventually have to be replaced and upgraded.”

Team sports outperformed all other aspects of the industry as ice hockey (up 5.9%), volleyball (up 3.8%), football (up 1.1%), and basketball (up 0.9%) had a solid year.  Even those categories which showed a decline – baseball/softball, down 2.6%; soccer, down 1.2%; and lacrosse, down 0.3% -- had a minimal drop.    The three leading categories, based on overall sales, were:
• baseball/softball ($602 million);
• basketball ($356 million); and
• soccer ($304 million).

Team uniforms were also strong as sales were steady, up 2.2% -- from $1.127 billion in 2007 to $1.153 billion in 2008.  The five largest categories for team uniforms are football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and volleyball.

Sporting goods equipment sales dipped slightly – from $21.4 billion in 2007 to $20.8 billion in 2008. The five largest categories of sporting goods equipment are: 
• golf ($2.76 billion);
• firearms/hunting ($2.54 billion);
• fishing ($1.93 billion);
• camping ($1.74 billion); and
• optical goods ($1.21 billion).

Despite the overall drop in sales, there were some categories that registered some sales gains:
• firearms/hunting (up 10% to $2.54 billion);
• fishing (up 10% to $1.93 billion);
• optical goods (up 7.5% to $1.21 billion);
• ice hockey (up 5.9% to $218 million);
• racquetball (up 4% to $26 billion);
• volleyball (balls & sets) (up 3.8% to $56 million); and
• camping (up 3.2% to $1.74 billion).

The exercise equipment is a $4.22 billion business and treadmill sales account for 25.9% of that entire category. After treadmills, the next two largest fitness categories are elliptical machines ($892 million) and exercise cycles ($455 million). Consumer spending for exercise equipment accounts for 75% of the entire exercise equipment category.

Wholesale sales of sports apparel sales were $28.9 billion in 2008, which is a 2.2% decline from $29.5 billion in 2007.  The largest segment of the sports apparel industry -- at $5.9 billion – is shirts/tops. Swimwear is the second largest segment of the sports apparel business at $2.4 billion. 

Athletic footwear sales were $12.39 billion in 2008 – which represented a 4.3% drop from $12.95 in 2007.  Three athletic footwear categories exceeded the billion dollar mark:
• running/jogging ($3.16 billion);
• classics/originals ($1.98 billion); and
• kids ($1.78 billion).

The growth categories in athletic footwear were outdoor/adventure (up 8.0%), sport sandals/slides (up 6.7%), tennis (up 5.0%); and skate/surf (up 4.5%).

The recreational transport category suffered the biggest category decline.  Wholesale sales were $31.4 billion in 2008, down from $37.5 billion in 2007 – a decline of just over 16%.  This segment is filled with ‘big ticket’ items such as motorcycles, jet skis, recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, bicycles, and pleasure boats & motors.  Given the price increases in fuel in 2008, the bicycle category was the only segment to show any kind of growth (10%).  

The SGMA's Manufacturers Sales by Category is based on data from industry trade associations, a panel consisting of sporting goods companies' marketing experts, and SGMA market research studies. It is the only report of its kind with such extensive coverage of the industry's products and represents the most accurate picture of the sporting goods industry size and sales trends. It should be noted that all figures are based on manufacturers' shipments (including imports) in the U.S. market and expressed in wholesale, not retail, dollar values.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry.  SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy.  More information about SGMA membership, SGMA's Sports Research Partnership, and SGMA's National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com.

Click here to order the 2009 SGMA’s Manufacturers Sales by Category Report.

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