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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

Feb 23, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: How Golf Lost the Millennials

2016 was not kind to the golf industry. Nike announced it was exiting the equipment business, Golfsmith went bankrupt and shuttered, hundreds of golf courses closed, and Ben Hogan filed for bankru...

Feb 14, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Tax Refund Delays Can Hurt the Sports Business

In 2015 Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act. One of the main provisions of PATH was to slow down taxpayer refunds for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or the ...

Feb 7, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Sports is Catching the Disease that’s Killing Retail

My colleague Marshal Cohen recently wrote a blog, “An Urgent Message for Retail,” and in it he states that during the holiday season, “…consumers appeared to have grown numb to the early and const...

Jan 26, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Are Sneakerheads Important?

About every month or so, someone in the mainstream media will “discover” that sneakerheads exist. They often seek me out to ask what drives this phenomenon and what their value is to the market. A...

Jan 17, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: Hispanics and the Sports Business

The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) recently published a study entitled, “Scouting the Hispanic Market,” which explores the opportunities around Hispanics and the sports business. Multi...

Jan 11, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: The State of the Outdoor Industry

It was a rocky year for the outdoor industry. The void created by the bankruptcies of Sport Chalet and The Sports Authority had a huge impact on the industry, and the warm weather did not help. But an...

Jan 4, 2017
Sports

Sneakernomics: On the Contrary, Innovation is Abundant in the Sneaker World

I mentioned in my 2017 predictions blog that stock market analysts have criticized major sneaker brands including Nike, by saying that the footwear market lacks innovation. Nothing could be furthe...

Sneakernomics: Predictions for the Sports Business in 2017

It’s the end of another fascinating year for the U.S. sports business, so that means predictions time! But before we get into that, let’s set the stage by recapping how we did on our 2016 predicti...

Dec 14, 2016
Sports

Sneakernomics: The Sales Void Created by The Sports Authority

When The Sports Authority (TSA) filed for bankruptcy last spring, it was the largest failure we had ever seen in the sports industry. The overleveraged TSA represented about 20 million square feet...

Dec 13, 2016
Sports , Footwear

Sneakernomics: NYC Adidas Store Raises the Bar for Sneaker Retail

Adidas has opened its largest store in the world on Fifth Avenue in New York City and it is amazing. On the morning of the grand opening, my phone started to light up with messages saying there we...

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’...

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