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SFIA Statement on Fee Increase for NFHS Authenticating Mark Program

Date: 2/8/17

Silver Spring, MD, February 8, 2017 - “The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has mixed reaction to fee increases to the NFHS Authenticating Mark program announced today by National Federation of State High School Associations. SFIA worked extremely hard to limit increased costs and added regulations to this program.  Manufacturers will now pay a $0.50 fee per dozen balls to display an NFHS Authenticating Mark on lacrosse, baseball, softball, field hockey and ice hockey pucks used in interscholastic competition, and $0.50 per ball for basketball, football, soccer, volleyball and water polo. 

On the one hand, SFIA would prefer to limit extra costs wherever possible in order to provide high schools, families and student athletes the highest value for the sports products they purchase. 

On the other hand, SFIA credits the NFHS for being open to industry concerns about the proposal and making critical modifications before a final rule was approved.  

SFIA worked diligently with our member companies to negotiate back several problematic elements of the initial NFHS proposal. For example, the fee increase originally proposed to the NFHS Board for consideration would have increased the fee from $0.35 to $1.00. The industry position was that such an egregious increase would have been seriously harmful to high school institutions and to our industry. The final, approved increase to fifty cents rather than one dollar was a marked improvement. Similarly, SFIA strenuously objected to the original implementation date of July 1, 2017, arguing it would severely disrupt production costing, marketing and pricing. Though SFIA proposed a July 1, 2018 date, the approved implementation date of January 1, 2018 is a workable compromise. 

While we would have preferred no increase in the cost of the Authenticating Mark, SFIA appreciates the NFHS Board’s willingness to listen to the industry’s practical concerns and consider them in modifying the final rule. 

We have mutual goals to provide student athletes with a fruitful and positive high school sports experience, and this shared vision helped us work out our differences.”

ABOUT SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.

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