Press Releases

SGMA Spearheads New Study on Sports Participation

Four of the leading sports trade associations have partnered to complete the largest online study of sports participation in the United States.

Four of the leading sports trade associations have partnered to complete the largest online study of sports participation in the United States. This year’s study has been done as a joint effort of the newly formed USA Sports Participation Study, a collaboration of sports associations that have been doing participation research separately for a number of years: the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, the National Golf Foundation, the Snowsports Industries America and the Outdoor Industry Foundation. The 2007 research has been conducted via the Internet, after many years of fielding via mail surveys. The study has a sample size of 60,000 individuals, fielded by Synovate, a leading market research firm, making this study by far the largest ever conducted by any of the partners.

The core section of the survey covered participation in 114 sports and leisure activities, measuring number of days played, first-time participation, venue, dropout rates and travel-to-play factors.

“We are excited and pleased to field a new study of sports and fitness participation. Our new study allows us to increase the accuracy of our results, reduce the time in the field collecting the data, and to provide follow-up research options for the members of SGMA. Also, we are extremely pleased to do this in cooperation with three other key sport associations providing greater industry wide consistency of results,” commented Gregg Hartley, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.

The online methodology allows for re-contacting specific groups of sports participants such as frequent runners or home gym users for follow-up consumer targeted research. Individuals who have recently stopped playing or participating can also be targeted for follow-up interviews. This provides the opportunity for companies to develop deeper consumer research in areas including brand tracking, point-of-purchase influences, purchase frequencies and usage/attitude studies. Companies will also have the ability to do PRIZM analysis, a lifestyle segmentation system consisting of 66 unique marketing segments intended to help marketers better understand and target their customers. The segments are derived through a statistical analysis of several factors, including age, income, presence of children and ‘urbanicity.’

With the samples provided in the new study, PRIZM can help retailers and manufacturers improve their understanding of their end consumers in terms of their overall lifestyle, behaviors and spending habits. Potential studies include direct mail targeting, sales territory analysis and site/store location planning.

The topline results will be available by the end of April on with each partner association providing more detailed reports in their areas of interest.

SGMA, the trade association of leading industry sports and fitness brands, enhances industry vitality and fosters sports and fitness participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion and public policy. SGMA produces signature industry events including the Spring Market trade show, Sports + Technology Convergence, Industry Leaders Summit and National Health-through-Fitness Day on Capitol Hill. More information about SGMA membership and SGMA’s Sports Research Partnership can be found at