Home Blog The U.S. Team Sports Equipment Marketplace

The NPD Group Blog

Insights and Opinions From Analysts and Experts in More Than 20 Industries

Sneakernomics: The U.S. Team Sports Equipment Marketplace

May 18, 2017
Matt Powell, Vice President, Senior Industry Advisor ;
Sports
@NPDMattPowell

This week, NPD reached another important milestone with the launch of its team sports equipment tracking service: we now provide the most comprehensive reporting available on the entire universe of team sports equipment sales in the U.S. With this dataset, retailers and brands will be able to track and monitor overall trends; identify areas that  are over-performing or underperforming in the market; measure lift from promotions; and use historical and current volumes to enable informed decision-making.

At a high level, the $6.5 billion U.S. team sports equipment market grew by 1 percent in 2016*. This soft overall growth comes as no surprise given the negative trend we’ve seen in terms of sports participation in the U.S. More specifically, there were healthy gains in equipment categories including basketball, lacrosse, sport bags, and protective gear, which were offset by losses in golf, baseball/softball, soccer, and hockey.

Team sports equipment is a very brand diverse market, with many small brands making only a handful of items. The top ten brands make up only about half of the market. Of the top ten equipment brands, the growth drivers in 2016 were Wilson, Callaway, and Spalding.

Given the cool, wet weather and delayed tax refunds, dollar sales were down in the first quarter of 2017. I expect sales to improve in the months ahead, as warm weather unfolds and parents equip their sports-playing children with their gear heading into the back-to-school season.

*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service

 

Data is representative of retailers that participate in The NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service. NPD’s current estimate is that the Retail Tracking Service represents approximately 70 percent of the U.S. retail market for team sports equipment.



Related Blog Posts


Sneakernomics: Predictions for Sports Retail in 2019
Sneakernomics: Predictions for Sports Retail in 2019

Matt Powell expects a rocky year for the sports industry in 2019, as macro issues will likely weigh heavily on the industry. In these challenging times, what can retailers and brands do to stand out? Powell outlines his expectations and what opportunities should be seized to thrive.

Sneakernomics: What Really Happened with Athletic Footwear and Activewear Sales in 2018
Sneakernomics: What Really Happened with Athletic Footwear and Activewear Sales in 2018

Matt Powell provides the highlights and his analysis on how the brands and categories across the U.S. athletic footwear and activewear markets fared in 2018.

Sneakernomics: Golf and Team Sports Equipment 2018 Recap
Sneakernomics: Golf and Team Sports Equipment 2018 Recap

Matt Powell recaps how sales fared for baseball, golf, soccer, and other sports equipment products in 2018. Baseball/softball equipment sales grew largely as a result of new youth bat safety regulations that required most youth players to replace their bats. Golf was another bright spot for the market. After years of soft sales, the category bounced back. One of the top growth categories in golf were complete golf sets, particularly at opening price-points, suggesting new entrants.

Sneakernomics: Nobody Wins a Race to the Bottom
Sneakernomics: Nobody Wins a Race to the Bottom

According to Matt Powell, Holiday 2017 was the most promotional on record for the U.S. sports industry – that is, until Holiday 2018. Powell says we need to return the industry to one of aspiration and inspiration, or we face the risk of running a race to the bottom; and that’s a race nobody wins. A new year brings new opportunity to change course.

Subscribe to our blog

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.