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2012 Sports Report ... New on the SGMA Bookshelf

Need to make a case to anyone about building new sports facilities or improving their existing facilities? The SGMA has two new studies available, and they're both worth reading. Copies are available from

The SGMA has released its 2012 Sports, Fitness and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report. The report is an overview of the U.S. -- where people are active, and what age groups are most active (and unfortunately, most sedentary).

It also contains information on sports participation, including this snippet on team sports:

The top three most popular team sports are basketball (24.8 million participants), outdoor soccer (13.7 million participants), and baseball (13.6 million participants). Of the 24 team sports listed, only three of them have had participation gains in the last year – ultimate Frisbee, lacrosse, and gymnastics. On the other hand, nine of them have had participation gains over the last four years – lacrosse (up 41.8%), rugby (up 37.7%), ultimate Frisbee (up 20.5%), gymnastics (up 18.6%), ice hockey (up 15.8%), beach volleyball (up 14.8%), indoor soccer (up 9.3%), fast-pitch softball (up 2.3%), and field hockey (up 1.8%).

The report includes data on most active and least active states, statistics on gym and health club membership, and American's top fitness/sport/health/recreational activities. It calculates the impact of physical education in schools, and also includes the note that active people are more likely to vote. (Sorry, political pundits; it doesn't say which way they plan to vote).


While there may be no comprehensive statistic yet on where athletic facilities are located, and in what numbers, it's easy to see that people are using them. Why? Because they're buying the equipment. According to SGMA’s Manufacturers Sales by Category Report (2012 edition), manufacturers' (wholesale) sales of sporting goods equipment, fitness equipment, sports apparel, athletic footwear, and sports licensed merchandise in the U.S. totaled $77.31 billion in 2011 - a 4.2% increase over 2010 when wholesale sales were $74.19 billion.

A few quick snippets from that report: Sporting goods equipment sales rose slightly - up 2.5% - from $20.37 billion in 2010 to $20.87 billion in 2011. The five largest categories of sporting goods equipment are firearms, golf, fishing, camping and optical goods. A few team sports categories showed increases as well: lacrosse, volleyball (balls & sets), soccer, ice hockey, basketball, baseball/softball and football. Exercise equipment also rose 3.4% in sales. Wholesale sales of sports apparel increased as did athletic footwear.

© 2012 American Sports Builders Association 

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Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association