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Matt Powell

Vice President, Industry Analyst - Sports


Matt is the vice president of industry analysis for The NPD Group, covering the sports, outdoor, and recreation marketplace, offering his industry expertise on retail sales and consumer trends across apparel, footwear, and equipment for categories such as running, outdoor, paddlesports, fitness, and cycling. With over 40 years of experience in the retail and research industries, Powell has held positions both on the client and vendor sides of the business. On the client side, he has worked with leading retailers and e-tailers in sporting goods such as Modell’s Sporting Goods, Sneaker Stadium, and MVP.com. On the vendor side, Powell was an analyst for SportsOneSource, and has provided insight to many of the industries’ leading brands and retailers. A recognized expert on the sports industry, he is frequently quoted in media and writes Sneakernomics, a blog on Forbes.com.

Matt has a B.A. in Sociology from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.


Recent Posts

Aug 14, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Second Quarter Performance for the U.S. Athletic Footwear and Activewear Markets

The calendar was kinder to the second quarter than the first, but challenges still remain in the athletic footwear and activewear space. While the overall Q2 sales trend (April-June) in athletic...

Jul 25, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: The State of the Outdoor Business

The overall state of the U.S. outdoor business has not been very good. According to data from NPD’s Retail Tracking Service, dollar sales are down year-to-date through May 2017 compared to the sam...

Jul 17, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: The Future Looks PUNY!

There has certainly been a lot of bad news for the U.S. sports industry recently. We cited the dramatic slowdown in the sneaker purchases by Hispanics, as well as a pessimistic prediction for back...

Jul 10, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Athletic Footwear and Activewear Back-to-School 2017 Predictions

I am more pessimistic today than I was in December about the short-term prospects for the U.S. athletic footwear and apparel markets. Late last year, my expectation was that 2017 would be an average y...

Jun 26, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Hispanics’ Sneaker Slowdown

U.S. athletic footwear sales have been a puzzle this spring. While I accurately predicted the weakness due to the late income tax refunds and late Easter, the expected bounce-back simply did not h...

Jun 15, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Fall Sports Recap

Earlier this month, I wrote about the slow start to the spring sports season. Looking at the traditional fall season sports, including soccer, American football and basketball, I am expecting sale...

Jun 7, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Spring Sports Have Not Yet Sprung

Unconventional springtime weather that’s more akin to the late fall season is having a dampening effect on U.S. team sports equipment sales. With the recent expansion of The NPD Group’s Retail Trackin...

May 30, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Golf Sales in Decline

As I wrote about here, the macro environment for golf is pretty unpleasant. Courses are closing, brands are shuttering, retailers are going out of business, and young people are not adopting the g...

May 18, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: The U.S. Team Sports Equipment Marketplace

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 o...

May 8, 2017
Sports , Footwear

Sneakernomics: Here Comes Gen Z, Part 2

In a recent blog I highlighted some of the major differences between Millennials and Generation Z. I get a lot of questions on how to understand the profile and values of Gen Z, and for brands and...

May 3, 2017
Sports , Footwear

Sneakernomics: Why Q1 Did Not Bode Well for U.S. Athletic Footwear Sales

Contrary to the positive overall results we saw in the first quarter of 2015 and 2016, Q1 was a mixed bag that left the total U.S. athletic footwear market down 3 percent for the first three month...

May 1, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Here Comes Gen Z, Part 1

I’ve written a lot about Millennials, but there is another cohort, Generation Z, that’s just as large in both scope and influence. While there are similarities between the two, they are distinct e...

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