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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

Dec 5, 2016
Sports , Footwear

Sneakernomics: It’s All About Retro

The hottest trend in the U.S. athletic shoe market right now is classic, or retro, footwear. The overall classics category is growing at a +29 percent pace for 2016 so far through October, accordi...

Nov 29, 2016
Sports , Footwear

Sneakernomics: Holiday Predictions for the Sports Industry 2016

Last holiday season was a particularly strong one for many major aspects of the sports business. There are several factors making this year’s challenging for the industry, but while this year won’...

Sneakernomics: The State of the Athletic Footwear and Apparel Businesses Heading into Holiday

U.S. athletic footwear results in Q3 were softer than they were in the first two quarters of the year, with dollar sales growing by only 2 percent for the quarter, compared to the mid-single digits fo...

Sneakernomics: Fast is the New Normal

Everything seems faster today. Change is happening more quickly than ever, and nowhere is this need for speed more evident than in the sports industry. Let’s examine the impact. One of the greates...

Sneakernomics: The Election’s Potential Impact on Footwear Sales

Donald Trump shocked the world on Tuesday night with his presidential win. His victory could have deep implications for the sports industry, and the footwear market in particular. In Trump’s nomi...

Nov 4, 2016
Apparel , Sports

Sneakernomics: Cubs Win! Who Else Does?

Now that the Chicago Cubs’ 108-year winless drought has ended and the curse of the Billy Goat named Murphy has been extinguished, let’s see who the sports winners (besides the Chicago Cubs) are. W...

Oct 3, 2016
Apparel , Sports

Sneakernomics: Is Activewear Being Stretched Too Thin?

There have been many words written recently about the potential demise of activewear, but nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s take a look at what is really happening in this space. Deni...

Aug 15, 2016
Sports

What Q2 Sales Results Mean to the Athletic Footwear Industry

The second quarter of the year is generally a transition period for the U.S. athletic footwear industry. In this respect it’s an important time for retailers, as they begin to turn their attention...

What Q2 Sales Results Mean to the Athletic Footwear Industry

The second quarter of the year is generally a transition period for the U.S. athletic footwear industry. In this respect it’s an important time for retailers, as they begin to turn their attention...

Jul 8, 2016
Sports

Sneakernomics: What Kevin Durant to the Warriors Really Means for the Sneaker Business

There has been a ton of breathless analysis about the impact of Kevin Durant’s move from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors and that move’s impact on the sneaker business. The ...

Jun 6, 2016
Sports

What’s Really Happening In The U.S. Sneaker Business

According to NPD, which represents the most comprehensive roster of reporting retailers, comprising more than 50 percent of the U.S. retail athletic shoe market, sales of athletic footwear in the U.S....

Apr 21, 2016
Sports

Ads On NBA Jerseys Coming Soon

As far back as 2009, the NBA hinted that it would follow in the footsteps of other international professional leagues and display advertisements on players’ jerseys. We saw a touch of this during the ...