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Sporting Goods Sales Hit $53.5 Billion in 2007; NSGA Expects Flat 2008

Retail sales of sporting goods (footwear, clothing and equipment) reached a record $53.5 billion in 2007.

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MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – Retail sales of sporting goods (footwear, clothing and equipment), which reached a record $53.5 billion in 2007, are expected be flat in 2008, according to NSGA. For 2008, sporting goods sales are forecast to reach $53.4 billion.

In 2007, athletic and sport footwear hit a record $17.4 billion, a 2.7% increase. Clothing showed a 2.4% increase, to $10.8 billion. Equipment, which accounted for $25.3 billion in sales, showed a 3.1% gain.

Among equipment categories with sales of more than $1 billion in 2007, hunting & firearms showed the greatest percentage increase. Sales of hunting & firearms equipment rose 7% to $4.0 billion.

The greatest percentage growth in this category came from air guns, which showed a 15% increase to $283.7 million. In the larger volume products, rifles ($879.8 million) increased 10%, shotguns ($699.2 million), 7%, and ammunition sales rose 6% to $1 billion.

Exercise equipment remained the largest individual equipment category surveyed by NSGA. Sales of exercise equipment increased 5% to $5.5 billion. Motorized treadmills continue to dominate this category, with $3.0 billion in sales, an increase of 2%. Elliptical cross trainers ($462.1 million) showed the greatest percentage growth, 27%.

In 2006, golf and camping were the growth leaders, 6% for each. In 2007, golf showed a 4% increase to $3.8 billion, while camping equipment sales declined 5% to $1.45 billion.

Optics and fishing, other categories with more than $1 billion in sales, also showed sales increases in 2007. Optics showed a 3% increase to nearly $1.1 billion, while fishing tackle sales increased 1% to nearly $2.3 billion.

Five of the 24 equipment categories surveyed by the Association last year showed declines. In addition to camping, racquetball (-12%), basketball (-10%), billiards and indoor games (-5%), and football (-1%) failed to register a sales increase in 2007.

Sales of recreational transport equipment (bicycles, pleasure boats and motors, recreational vehicles and snowmobiles) declined to $37.2 billion in 2007 (-3.4%). Sales of recreational transport products in 2008 are forecast to decline 9%. The recreational transport category had risen dramatically in recent years, but high fuel prices are expected to have a continued dampening effect on RV and boating sales this year.

“The Sporting Goods Market in 2008” is a copyrighted NSGA consumer study that projects 2007 purchases of sporting goods products based on a survey of 100,000 U.S. households. National Family Opinion, Inc. (NFO) maintains the consumer panel used in the survey, which is balanced to parallel actual American household distribution as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Census, so that the data can be projected nationally.

The report comes in both printed and electronic formats. Additional research data is available on the NSGA website,

“The Sporting Goods Market in 2007” is available for $290 for retailer/dealer members of the Association and free to manufacturer and sustaining members. For non-members, the cost is $340. For additional information, contact Thomas B. Doyle, NSGA, 1601 Feehanville Drive, Suite 300, Mount Prospect, IL 60056-6035. Phone: (847) 296-6742, E-mail:, or fax: (847) 391-9827.

About NSGA:
NSGA, which has served the sporting goods industry since 1929, organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry’s premier educational and networking event (Next: May 3-6, 2009, at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, Texas).

For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (; call Rhonda Onuszko at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 131; e-mail:; or fax (847) 391-9827.