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WASHINGTON, D.C. March 20, 2006 â€“ One hundred years ago today, six sporting goods manufacturers came together to form what is now the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA). Their mission: enhance the performance, safety, and impact of sporting goods products for all athletes.
A century later, SGMA honors nearly 1,000 member companies for continuing this commitment to sports, fitness, and recreation. â€œThrough innovation and dedication, the sporting goods industry has opened doors and encouraged the inner athlete in all of us,â€ said SGMA President and CEO Tom Cove. â€œWe are proud of our members’ contributions to society and culture in America, and on the occasion of our 100 year anniversary, we celebrate the results of their achievements for athletes from casual to elite.â€
SGMA is launching a yearlong virtual celebration campaign to commemorate the significance of the sporting goods industry in American culture. At www.sgma100.com, sports and fitness enthusiasts will enjoy an historic look at the role sports products play in our lives. â€œPeople have an emotional connection with sporting goods products,â€ explained Cove. â€œWhether it’s the weekend bicycle rides a family takes together, a valiant training effort for a first marathon, or maniacal madness over a slam dunk contest, Americans bond through sports and fitness. The sporting goods industry makes these passions possible. From new products to new sports, the sporting goods industry is expanding athletic opportunities in America.â€
Like its members, SGMA has helped build sports and fitness opportunities, too. Since 1906, SGMA advocacy, collaboration, and grants have helped expand access around the country, including increased funding for school P.E. programs, more parks and recreation facilities for outdoor activities, and the founding of national sports participation programs like The Athletic Institute, Tennis Industry Association, and the American Legion Junior Baseball Program.
SGMA’s Centennial Celebration site will highlight this heritage, along with an evolution of sporting goods products and fun facts and trivia. SGMA will engage member companies to spotlight their own histories, products, and unique stories throughout the year, as well.
Established in 1906, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA, owner of the Sports Research PartnershipÂ®, enhances industry vitality and fosters sports, fitness, and active lifestyle participation. More information about SGMA can be found at www.sgma.com. For highlights of SGMA’s Centennial Celebration, please visit www.sgma100.com.