Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 1,600 sporting and athletic goods manufacturers in the US design, engineer, and manufacture a wide range of sporting, athletic and fitness related goods and equipment. Products include sports equipment (excluding sports apparel and footwear) used to play team sports, like baseball, basketball, football, and hockey; individual sports, including golf, tennis, bowling, and swimming; fitness equipment; and products used in outdoor recreational activities, such as fishing, camping, hiking and rock climbing.

International Sourcing And Sales Risks

An increasing percentage of finished sporting and athletic goods and raw materials are being sourced from foreign countries, particularly China and other developing countries in Asia.

Protecting Brands And Distribution Rights

The marketing success of many sports and athletic goods manufacturers often depends on maintaining strong brand names, trademarks, and proprietary technologies or product designs.

Industry size & Structure

The average sporting goods manufacturer employs 24 workers and generates $7-8 million in annual revenue.

    • The US sporting and athletic goods manufacturing industry consists of about 1,600 companies that employ 38,700 workers and generate $12.4 billion in annual revenue.
    • The industry is dominated by a small number of large manufacturers having several different products and brands, but is also characterized by a large number of very small manufacturers who market specialized products in niche markets.
    • The 50 largest manufacturers generate 70% of the industry's revenue, yet 51% of manufacturers have less than 5 employees.
    • In 2022, participation rates were 67% of the population for fitness sports, followed by 55% for outdoor sports, 41% for individual sports, 23% for team sports, 16% for racquet sports, 14% for water sports, and 8% for winter sports, according to the Physical Activity Council.
    • Millions of Americans participate in team and individual sports including basketball (27.1 million), baseball (15.5 million), soccer (12.6 million), football (7 million), court volleyball (6.3 million), ice hockey (2.3 million), softball (2.3 million), lacrosse (1.8 million), and rugby (1.2 million).
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Sporting and Athletic Goods Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  May 13, 2024 - Sales Up for Miscellaneous Manufacturers
                                  • Sales for miscellaneous manufacturing companies, which includes sporting and athletic goods manufacturing firms, increased 13% in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to a year ago, and were up 7.2% from the previous quarter, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. Shipments of miscellaneous durable goods were down 1.7% in March 2024 compared to a year ago and were up almost 10% from the previous month. Product inventories of miscellaneous durable goods grew 1.1% in March 2024 compared to a year ago, and were down slightly from the previous month, per Census Bureau data.
                                  • Despite new supply chain challenges, inbound cargo volume at major container ports in the US is projected to exceed 2 million units in May 2024 for the first time since October 2023, according to the Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. The May projection is up 5.5% from a year ago, and June’s forecast of 2 million TEU is expected to be 8.9% higher year over year. Shipping routes have been strained by difficulties requiring rerouting around the Red Sea and Suez Canal and by March’s shutdown of the Port of Baltimore after an accident at the Francis Scott Key Bridge. According to Jonathan Gold, the NRF VP for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, “US imports are continuing to increase despite another disruption impacting US ports.” Gold added that the logistics challenges show the ongoing need for flexibility and resilience in a company’s supply chain.
                                  • US manufacturing activity contracted in April 2024 after a brief expansion in March, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The Manufacturing PMI registered 49.2% in April, down 1.1 percentage points from the 50.3% recorded in March. A reading above 50% indicates manufacturing expansion. Prior to March’s expansion, US manufacturing activity had fallen below the baseline for growth for 16 consecutive months. April’s New Orders Index was in the contraction zone at 49.1%. The April Production Index was 51.3%, a decrease from March’s 54.6%. Nine manufacturing industries tracked by the ISM reported growth in April: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Primary Metals; Textile Mills; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Petroleum & Coal Products; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; and Plastics & Rubber Products. The industries reporting contraction in April were Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Machinery; Furniture & Related Products; Wood Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Fabricated Metal Products; and Paper Products.
                                  • Consumer confidence levels fell in April 2024 from March 2024, marking a third consecutive month of weakness, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index was 97 in April 2024 from 103.1 in March 2024. According to Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, “Confidence retreated further in April, reaching its lowest level since July 2022 as consumers became less positive about the current labor market situation, and more concerned about future business conditions, job availability, and income.” Peterson added that confidence declined among consumers of all age groups and for all income groups except those in the $25,000 to $49,999 range. Plans for vacations, home purchases, and large appliances decreased on a six-month basis.
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