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U.S. Sporting Goods and Fitness Equipment Manufacturers' Sales Continue To Outperform National GDP

Date: 4/10/08

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April 10, 2008 - In 2007, total manufacturers' sales (in wholesale dollars) for the sporting goods and fitness industry in the U.S. grew at an annual rate of 3.3%. While down from higher growth rates in 2005 (6.8%) and 2006 (5.8%), the sporting goods industry has continued its streak of outperforming GDP for non-durable goods which was 2.2% -- according to the U.S. government in 2007.

The sporting goods industry was led by continued strength in athletic footwear, licensed athletic merchandise, fishing, firearms and martial arts. Stability in the fitness equipment, sports apparel, and team sports markets supported the gains in other categories.

Sales in the martial arts category were driven by increased interest, promotion and participation in mixed martial arts and UFC-type events. Indications are strong this interest will continue through 2008. Sales of fitness equipment and gear were buoyed by the continued interest in combating adult and childhood obesity plus growth in the new emerging "vertical" market which includes "non-traditional" fitness centers.

Based on the data collected, sales in the industry were running at a 6% or higher level until the fourth quarter of 2007. Fourth-quarter spending tailed off significantly due to reduced spending by consumers because of concerns about the overall economy. This slowdown in spending affected all segments of the economy.

Based on GDP forecasts and projections of consumer spending by the Federal government, it does not appear there will be a quick or large upturn in GDP for 2008. Potential bright spots for the sporting goods and fitness industry in 2008 could be the team sports business which has had significant sales activity in the first quarter of this year. Why? Because parents have made decisions to reduce spending in 'big ticket' areas and have decided, instead, to equip their families for team and league play at home. Martial arts and fitness equipment will continue to be strong as the result of continued promotions and the national momentum to get fit.

Data in SGMA's 2008 Manufacturers' Sales By Category Report is based on the annual SGMA State of the Industry survey, discussions with leading industry executives, and an analysis of industry sales reports from various sources. This report is available online at no charge at www.sgma.com.

Additional analysis of the sporting goods industry will be provided in the SGMA State of the Industry Report which will be released on June 9 at the SGMA Team Sports/Sports Licensing Show (June 9-11; Sands Expo; Las Vegas, Nevada).

Members of the editorial media are encouraged to reproduce and reprint any portion of the report, as long as SGMA is listed as a source.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association partners with dmg world media to produce the SGMA Team Sports Show and SGMA Sports Licensing Show. SGMA, the owner of the Sports Research Partnership, is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA enhances industry vitality and fosters sports, fitness, and active lifestyle participation.

Disclaimer: While proper due care and diligence has been taken in the preparation of this document, SGMA cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information contained and does not accept any liability for any loss or damage caused as a result of using information or recommendations contained within this document.

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