Sneakernomics: Q2 Team Sports Equipment Recap
Matt Powell, Vice President, Senior Industry Advisor ;
The second quarter of 2018 (April-June) was not great for the U.S. team sports equipment industry, compared to the same three months in 2017. Sales were essentially flat for the quarter, as the new baseball bat regulations that drove baseball sales growth in Q1 had pretty much played out. Baseball sales in Q2 actually declined in the low single-digits. The gains it experienced during Q1 will be difficult to offset next year.
Though a slowdown of sales growth compared to the low teens increase during Q1, golf equipment still performed well, as more Boomers retire every day, with sales up in the mid-singles. Golf club sales grew in the mid-singles, indicating new entrants, while ball sales only grew in the high singles, likely dampened by the decline in golf rounds played in April and June.
April posted the coldest temperatures in two decades, which put a damper on spring sports.
Soccer equipment sales improved due to interest in the World Cup. Historically, these sales trends do not carry forward.
Q2 basketball equipment sales declined in the mid-teens, in line with the weak basketball shoe sales trend.
Looking at team sports equipment brands, Callaway grew by a quarter, taking share from those who have exited the golf business. TaylorMade sales were flat, and Titleist grew in the high teens.
Rawlings grew in the high teens and Easton posted a decline, as did Spalding and Wilson. Nike equipment declined by more than a third, while Adidas improved by about 25 percent.
With reported participation rates continuing to fall, we can expect no real growth in team equipment for the balance of 2018.