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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

Sep 12, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: What Sports Retail Can Learn from Fast Fashion

Given this current malaise in the U.S. sports business, it is important for the industry to look across the retail landscape for ideas on how to improve its current condition. The world of fast fa...

Sep 5, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Small is the New Big

In a recent blog post, The Future Looks PUNY, I outlined that many of the success stories amidst today’s retail malaise have centered on the ideas of Premium, Unique, New and Young (PUNY). These n...

Aug 30, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: What the Nike Amazon Deal really means for the Sports Industry

A lot has been written about the “pilot program” that Nike agreed to sell direct to Amazon, much of it filled with misconceptions and errors. Let’s try to set the record straight. Probably the gre...

Aug 21, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: No, Athleisure is not Dead

With the disappointing quarterly results from some of the major sports retailers, there has been a renewed cry that the athleisure trend is over. While recent results for athleisure have been chal...

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...

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