Sports and Fitness Market Grows 3.9 Percent

SFIA Releases Annual Manufacturers’ Sales by Category Report

SILVER SPRING, MD (March 2, 2020) – The American sports and fitness product industry, including footwear, apparel and equipment, grew by 3.9 percent in 2019. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) released the 2020 Manufacturers’ Sales by Category Report today, reporting growth across every major category. Unlike most years, when sports and fitness sales patterns tend to mimic GDP growth, in 2019, the industry not only outpaced the national GDP, but in a year when GDP growth slowed, the industry increased from the previous year.   

Athleisure continues to drive growth. Fitness apparel is up 6.5 percent; and looking at categories appealing to the athleisure style, fleece/sweat athletic apparel and outerwear grew 8.9 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. In footwear, running, casual/fashion and kids all increased over five percent, further emphasizing the growth of athleisure overall.

As select team sports have experienced significant participation growth in recent years, staple products sales are also increasing. Baseball/Softball (3.9 percent), Basketball (4.6 percent) and Volleyball (5.6 percent) were among the strongest team sport category leaders.

Protective gear continues to be a big seller across multiple categories, even in categories where protective gear is new to the market, or sport. Sales increased in the five percent range for multiple team sports.

Consumer exercise equipment, now a $4 billion market, grew by 3.1 percent. Exercise bikes (8.3 percent), rowing machines (7.3 percent) and home gyms (6.0 percent) generated the biggest growth, while treadmills, representing more than a quarter of consumer exercise equipment, showed a healthy 3.0 percent increase.

As for footwear, the two biggest categories, running shoes and kids footwear, both increased over five percent.

The SFIA Manufacturers’ Sales by Category Report measures U.S. wholesale revenues across 5 major categories, 34 subcategories, with nearly 150 various breakdowns. This report is free to all SFIA members and available for purchase here.

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