NSGA: Tennis Leads Sports Participation Growth in 2007

Among sports and recreation activities with 10 million or more participants, tennis experienced the highest growth rate in 2007, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – Among sports and recreation activities with 10 million or more participants, tennis experienced the highest growth rate in 2007, according to the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). Data contained in NSGA's annual “Sports Participation – Series I and II” reports, which are now available, shows tennis grew 18.7% with 12.3 million Americans swinging rackets. Scooter riding, after several years of decline, rebounded with an 11.4% growth rate to 10.6 million participants.

Sports and recreation activities showing 5% to 10% growth included target shooting (9.7% to 20.9 million participants); motor/power boating (8.9% to 31.9 million participants); volleyball, following three years of declines (8.7% to 12.0 million participants); running/jogging (5.5% to 30.4 million participants); and bicycle riding (5.0% to 37.4 million participants).

Exercise walking, the No. 1 sports and recreation activity with 89.8 million participants, grew 2.7% in 2007.

“Among fitness activities, only aerobic exercising, with 30.3 million participants in 2007, showed a significant decline (-9.9%),” said NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle. “Some of the decline may have come from the inclusion of yoga in the survey for the first time.”

Yoga attracted 10.7 million participants in 2007.

Other sports and recreation activities showing less than 5% growth in 2007 include skateboarding (4.2% to 10.1 million participants); in-line skating (2.1% to 10.7 million participants); weightlifting (0.9% to 33.2 million participants); and exercising with equipment (0.8% to 52.8 million participants).

Among team sports, only volleyball showed an increase. Participation grew 8.7% to 12.0 million.
Soccer slipped 1.8% to 13.8 million participants; baseball, 4.7% to 14.0 million participants; basketball, 9.7% to 24.1 million participants; and softball, 20.0% to 10.0 million participants.

Activities newly surveyed for the 2007 report include yoga, lacrosse, kayaking, mountain/rock climbing and scuba.

For this survey, a participant is someone age seven or older who takes part in the sport or activity more than once in a calendar year. “Sports Participation in 2007 – Series I and II” cover 47 sports, recreation, and fitness activities. Participation rates for all 47 sports surveyed may be viewed on the NSGA website (www.nsga.org)

These reports have been published by NSGA for more than 25 years. They provide data on total 2007 participation, frequency of participation, and average number of participation days. Single-time participation, which is not counted in the total, is included separately.

Demographic data on participants includes gender, age, mean age by gender, gender by age, household income, and education of male and female head of household. Geographic analysis includes nine census regions and metro area size. Presence of children is also noted, and Internet usage is reported by gender and age of participants.

In addition to Series I and II, state-by-state data will be available in “Sports Participation in 207: State-By-State.” This report covers 33 sports and activities, and provides data on total participation, frequency of participation and total participation days.

For more information on pricing for these and other NSGA research reports, please contact the NSGA Research Department, (847) 296-6742, ext. 108, or e-mail: info@nsga.org. Information is also available on the NSGA web site, www.nsga.org.

About NSGA:
NSGA, which has served the sporting goods industry since 1929, organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry's premier educational and networking event (Next: May 3-6, 2009, at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, Texas).

For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (www.nsga.org); call Rhonda Onuszko at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 131; e-mail: ronuszko@nsga.org; or fax (847) 391-9827.