Sporting Goods Sales Reach $52.1 Billion in 2006; 3% Growth Expected

Retail sales of sporting goods (footwear, clothing and equipment) reached a record $52.1 billion last year and is expected to grow 3% in 2007, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

June 2007
For Immediate Release

Sporting Goods Sales Reach $52.1 Billion in 2006; NSGA Expects 3% Growth in 2007
MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – Retail sales of sporting goods (footwear, clothing and equipment), which reached a record $52.1 billion in 2006, are expected to grow 3% in 2007, according to NSGA. For 2007, sporting goods sales are forecast to increase to $53.7 billion.

In 2006, athletic and sport footwear grew 8%, reaching $16.9 billion. Clothing showed a 2% decline, slipping to $10.7 billion. Equipment, which accounted for $24.5 billion in sales, showed a 3% gain.

Among equipment categories with sales of more than $1 billion in 2006, golf and camping showed the greatest increases. The sales of each rose 6%, golf to $3.7 billion and camping to $1.5 billion. Last year golf alone was the growth leader, up 8%. Much of the golf growth can be attributed to price increases, since unit sales of golf club sets were flat. With small increases in average prices for camping equipment, the camping category saw unit sales grow.

Hunting, fishing and fitness, other categories with more than $1 billion in sales, also showed sales increases in 2006. Hunting & firearms equipment sales rose to $3.7 billion in 2006 from $3.6 billion the previous year (+4%). Fishing tackle also increased 4% to $2.2 billion. Exercise equipment sales (the largest equipment category at $5.2 billion), which had risen 3% last year, rose only 1% in 2006.

Five of the 24 equipment categories surveyed by the Association last year showed declines. Racquetball (-10%), snowboarding (-8%), snow skiing (-4%), volleyball (-4%) and billiards & indoor games (-1%), failed to show sales growth in 2006.

Sales of recreational transport equipment (bicycles, pleasure boats and motors, recreational vehicles and snowmobiles) reached $38.4 billion in 2006, an increase of 1%. Sales for 2007 are forecast to decline 4%. The recreational transport category has risen dramatically in recent years. High gasoline prices and rising interest rates are expected to have a continued dampening effect on RV and boating sales this year.

“The Sporting Goods Market in 2007” is a copyrighted NSGA consumer study that projects 2006 purchases of sporting goods products based on a survey of 100,000 U.S. households. National Family Opinion, Inc. (NFO) maintains the consumer panel used in the survey, which is balanced to parallel actual American household distribution as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Census, so that the data can be projected nationally.

The report comes in both printed and electronic formats.

“The Sporting Goods Market in 2007” is available for $285 for retailer/dealer members of the Association and free to manufacturer and sustaining members. For non-members, the cost is $335. For additional information, contact Thomas B. Doyle, NSGA, 1601 Feehanville Drive, Suite 300, Mount Prospect, IL 60056-6035. Phone: (847) 296-6742, E-mail:, or fax: (847) 391-9827.

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 4-7, 2008 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs in Phoenix, Ariz.).

For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (; call Rhonda Onuszko at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 130; e-mail:; or fax (847) 391-9827.