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SGMA States: U.S. Sports/Recreation Sales Near $115 Billion

Steady as she goes. That's the best way to summarize sales for the U.S. sports products industry, which is approaching $115 billion (at wholesale). According to SGMA's Manufacturers Sales by Category Report (2007 edition).

Steady as she goes. That’s the best way to summarize sales for the U.S. sports products industry, which is approaching $115 billion (at wholesale). According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association’s (SGMA) Manufacturers Sales by Category Report (2007 edition), manufacturers’ sales of sporting goods equipment, exercise equipment, sports apparel, licensed merchandise, athletic footwear, and recreational transport in the U.S. totaled $114.5 billion in 2006 – a 7.6% increase over 2005. This new study by SGMA is an expansion of the old Recreation Market Report.

Sporting goods equipment sales are steady and strong — $20.6 billion in 2005
vs. $18.7 billion in 2005. The five largest categories of sporting goods equipment are:
• Golf ($2.9 billion);
• Firearms/Hunting ($2.2 billion);
• Camping ($1.7 billion);
• Fishing ($1.5 billion); and
• Optical Goods ($1.1 billion).

Sport categories registering significant sales gains were:
• Fishing (up 34.9% to $1.5 billion);
• Archery (up 10.3% to $350 million);
• Soccer (up 7.1% to $300 million);
• Baseball/Softball (up 6.0% to $527 million); and
• Firearms/Hunting (up 5.0% to $2.2 billion).

In team sports, the leading categories were:
• Baseball/Softball ($527 million);
• Football ($474 million);
• Basketball ($352 million);
• Paintball ($340 million);
• Soccer ($300 million);
• Ice Hockey ($200 million);
• Lacrosse ($56 million); and
• Volleyball ($51 million).

In exercise equipment, there are two divisions – consumer and institutional. The consumer market is a $3.5 billion business and the institutional market represents another $1.1 billion in wholesale sales. In the consumer area, treadmill sales account for 28.2% of that category. After treadmills, the next three largest fitness categories are elliptical machines ($725 million), exercise cycles ($400 million), and home gyms ($286 million). As an aside, wholesale sales of elliptical machines have grown by 260% since 2005. Other categories with significant sales growth in the last twelve months included elliptical machines, exercise cycles, and ab machines.

Sports apparel sales rose 8.2% in 2006 to $14.454 billion. This category has five components – branded athletic apparel ($14.4 billion), branded activewear ($11.8 billion), performance apparel ($1.2 billion), team uniforms ($1.1 billion), and fitness apparel ($300 million). The sections of branded athletic apparel that topped the billion-dollar mark included: shirts/tops — $5.1 billion; swimwear — $2.4 billion; fleece/sweats — $1.7 billion; shorts/skirts — $1.2 billion; and outerwear — $1.2 billion. The top three divisions of team uniforms are football ($350 million); baseball ($292 million); and basketball ($183 million).

As for licensed merchandise, total licensed merchandise sales (at wholesale) were $8.3 billion in 2006 – up 4.0% from $7.940 billion in 2005. The major components of this market, though not the only ones, are products affiliated with the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, and colleges/universities.

Athletic footwear sales (at wholesale) rose 3.1% in 2006. Total sales were $12.3 billion, compared with $11.9 billion in 2005. The four athletic footwear categories which exceeded the billion-dollar mark are:
• Running/Jogging ($3.1 billion);
• Classic/Originals ($2.0 billion);
• Kids ($1.8 billion); and
• Basketball ($1.2 billion — $1 billion for basketball and $225 million for team basketball).

The two biggest growth categories in athletic footwear were skate/surf and outdoor/adventure. New categories in the athletic footwear category are kids ($1.84 billion), team-soccer ($296 million), golf ($260 million), team-basketball ($225 million), and team-volleyball ($18 million).

In recreational transport, wholesale sales were $39.8 billion in 2006, up 8.3% from $36.7 billion in 2005. The top four categories are:
• Recreational Vehicles ($15.5 billion);
• Pleasure Boats & Motors ($10.0 billion);
• Motorcycles — including ATVs ($9.0 billion); and
• Bicycles ($4.0 billion).

The complete three-column chart that lists all wholesale sales figures in SGMA’s Manufacturers Sales by Category Report can be found at – click on Insight and then Industry Reports.

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