Athletic and Sporting Goods Manufacturing

Business for Sale Industry Economics




Projected CAGR

2003 - 2021


2021 - 2027






Quick Scroll


Due to persistently high import competition and rapid changes in consumer behavior, the Athletic and Sporting Goods Manufacturing industry’s long-term growth prospects have dimmed during the five-year period from 2016 to 2021. Health awareness has declined in the United States over that time, putting industrial owners at a disadvantage when they must provide equipment that demands activity.

While consumers are more likely to use technology than engage in recreational activities that make use of industry products, the amount of time consumers spend on technology has increased during the period, which has led to a reduction in the amount of time they have for participating in activities, such as golf, which are based on industry products.

Over the last five years, the sports participation rate has fallen at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent, implying that a smaller percentage of people now need athletic items. Another, although lesser, cause of this industry’s growth rate is that there is rising demand for industrial goods which is being provided by overseas operators. These operators are a substantial constraint on this industry’s development.

While other businesses have transferred their manufacturing to foreign markets, a number of sports goods manufacturers use input commodities like steel and titanium metals sourced from outside of the United States. Overall, import penetration is expected to grow, and thus industry revenue is forecast to fall on an annualized basis of 1.3% to $9.0 billion over the next five years, however revenue is forecast to climb by 1.2% in 2021 alone.

In the case of COVID-19 (coronavirus), an outbreak led to a brief closure of manufacturing facilities. This was beneficial as it helped slow the downward spiral. It also spurred increased activities such as golf and fishing, allowing for a deceleration of the decline from the temporary closure of manufacturing facilities.

On top of that, earnings is expected to decrease owing to import and price rivalry. With forecasted sales declining to $143 billion in 2021, the estimated average profit margin, calculated as profits before interest and taxes, is projected to drop to 5.9% of revenue.

It is anticipated that in the five years to 2026, consumers would be even more health-conscious, which will lead to greater demand for sports equipment. As the obesity rate in the US continues to rise, preventative care and encouraging physical activity are now imperative in helping US consumers lead healthier lifestyles and better quality of life.

Sporting goods manufacturers must produce products that sustain long-term success in this new marketplace. Additionally, it is expected that the trade-weighted index (TWI) would move slightly downward throughout the forecast period, since this would be minor movement in the trade-weighted exchange rate dynamics that impact international trade volumes. Over the five-year period from 2018 to 2026, industry revenue is projected to expand at an annualized pace of 1.8% to $9.8 billion.


The Athletic and Sporting Goods Manufacturing industry, which is made up of sporting goods manufacturers, has experienced the highest amount of volatility over the next five years due to the industry’s rapid growth as local operators have had to deal with increasing competition from global manufacturers. Due to the decreased number of individuals participating in sports, the industry’s performance has worsened even more.

However, although retail demand for sports goods from the industry’s key downstream markets, including sporting goods shops and department stores, decreased during the most of the time, retail demand for sports goods exhibited a strong upward trend in 2020. Following the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, consumers sought exercise and leisure activities, which they could do without fear of the consequences of exercise, leading to a boom in demand for athletic and sports items.

Despite that, import penetration in the $5-per-unit pricing range, as well as the temporary closure of domestic industry manufacturing facilities, have each had an overall negative impact on industry revenue. In 2021, for example, industry revenue is expected to rise 1.2 percent to $9.0 billion. However, given a projected growth of 1.2 percent in 2021, it is projected to drop by 1.3 percent in the long term.

Import-based demand, or demand related to imported goods, is predicted to account for 42.9% of all domestic demand in 2021. As the cost of athletic goods continues to decrease, the potential for companies to profit has been negatively impacted by increased competition from outside the country.

There have been several companies that have carved out a distinct market niche during the last five years by supplying specialized, high-quality athletic products, such as personalized golf clubs, which are seen as a distinguished product by customers. The fact that there is significant price rivalry from foreign manufacturers and the temporary closure of industry production facilities has led to industry profit falling during the present time.

However, wholesalers are no longer the main sales source for operators, since wholesalers have started to sell directly to retailers instead. This helped slow the overall industry profit drop. a large percentage of income in 2021 is anticipated to be the difference between profits before interest and taxes and the amount that is passed on to investors in the form of interest.

Over the five-year period from 2021 to 2021, the annualized rate of fall for the trade-weighted index (TWI), which gauges the value of the dollar compared to other major currencies, is estimated to be 0.7 percent. A reduction in manufacturing in the US means things created here are comparably less costly elsewhere, helping to bolster US exports.

While the TWI dropped throughout the course of the time period, this decrease has not stopped foreign manufacturers from increasing their share of the market by offering goods at far cheaper rates than local operators. Although the dollar has weakened, a standstill in manufacturing activity as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic has led to an expected yearly export loss of 1.1% to $1.2 billion over the present period. Export-related sector revenue is estimated to account for around 13.5% of total industry income in 2021.

A rise in international suppliers flooding the market with cheap sports goods has occurred as local operators, particularly in North America, increasingly depend on global manufacturers for critical raw commodities, such as titanium and steel. The fact that the value of the dollar has been falling over the majority of the present era has caused imported products to cost more in the United States, which has reduced domestic demand for such items.

Additionally, because of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, which is expected to result in more production stoppages for foreign operators, there will be less foreign imports in 2020 and in the present time overall. In this case, as a result, industrial imports are predicted to drop at an annualized rate of 0.3% to $5.8 billion during the five years through 2021.

On the other hand, more manufacturers have recently decided to establish their factories in countries with rising economies that feature fewer environmental restrictions and cheaper labor costs, with the result that imported sports goods are expected to account for a higher part of local demand.

This expansion of low-cost items from overseas has put local firms under a squeeze since they have to decrease prices to stay competitive, which has hamstrung industry profitability. Since foreign companies are dependent on selling in the U.S. dollar market, manufacturers in the U.S. are pressed by foreign forces on both sides of the exchange rate. This puts the sector at a disadvantage.

Due to the fact that a majority of the sector’s sales are derived from retailers, industry income is intimately tied to the retail sector. Manufacturing companies may generally depend on the success of important purchasing markets, such as department shops, sports goods shops, and internet businesses, to generate the amount of manufacturing orders.

During the period of the coronavirus pandemic, department shops were briefly closed owing to fears of the virus, therefore affecting the market for athletic goods. While market specialty sporting goods such as stand-up paddleboards and snowshoes have greater demand for sporting goods retailers, many sporting goods retailers will have greater demands for market niche sporting goods, such as stand-up paddleboards and snowshoes.

The additional pressure that manufacturers face due to these competitive tendencies has put new demands on the market for diverse athletic items. Since some operators are delivering to retailers directly instead of going via conventional wholesale channels, they have done so. Manufacturers have subsequently built up their warehouse and distribution infrastructure, and their supply contracts, as a result of increases in wholesale bypass.

Due to increased competition with global manufacturers, the sector is heading toward consolidation in order to reduce operating costs and secure advantageous supply side contracts with retailers. As many small operators as possible are expected to exit the industry over the next five years due to the fact that they are unprofitable and a lack of investor interest.

Meanwhile, industry consolidation is also expected to continue among larger players at an annualized rate of 1.1 percent to result in the loss of 1,276 operators. To add to this, industrial establishments are predicted to reduce in number from 3,036 sites annually, at an annualized rate of 0.7% to 1,349 sites.

While industry employment is likely to expand owing to bigger operators attempting to add more R&D staff to meet the specialized and niche product lines, smaller operators will attempt to decrease their workforce to better reflect their current financial situation. This increase is estimated to lead to a 30,150 increase in workers in the business each year, which therefore raises the number of employees in the business each year by 1.3%.


According to industry experts, operators in the Athletic and Athletic Products Manufacturing business will increasingly partner with retailers to sell sporting goods to the retail sector during the next five years. This phenomenon, together with increasing integration in all areas of the supply chain, is expected to drive industry revenue growth.

Additionally, it is predicted that the rise in industry trade volumes would slow to a stable rate as a result of a decrease in the trade-weighted index (TWI) during the following five years. Finally, growth in the demand for downstream businesses, including sports goods outlets, is likely due to a rise in the number of people who choose active, health-conscious lives. As obesity remains very widespread, an increasing number of organizations is projected to introduce incentives to help their employees live healthier and more productive lives.

The industry growth that has been seen over the previous five years is likely to accelerate over the next five years, with forecasted growth of 1.8% per year projected to bring industry sales to $9.8 billion. Although company profits are projected to climb from 5.9% of sales in 2021 to 6.0% by 2026, the industry’s profitability, which is assessed as before-interest and tax net profits, will likely gain ground.

With the consolidation of athletic goods producers, it will be easier for them to adjust to changes in client tastes, as well as access the required capital to invest in specialized production methods. For example, many manufacturers are required to make a bigger effort to win over consumers by customizing their items. Products, for example, high-quality, high-margin sports goods, are made uniquely fitted to a customer’s dimensions and skill level.

On the one hand, the growth in sports participation should yield increased demand for sporting goods, while on the other, the growth in sports participation is also predicted to yield increased demand for sporting products. A last and very important benefit is that increasing per capita disposable income will make it possible for a much larger group of customers, especially persons under 30 years old, the biggest market for sports fans, to buy athletic products.

People who are old now will also be responsible for an increase in demand since the expanding number of baby boomers will further contribute to increased demand. Fueled by the rising proportion of retirees with time on their hands, more baby boomers are predicted to participate in athletics and recreational activities to maintain their physical fitness and extend their life expectancy.

Additionally, there are many persons who took up a new sport during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, such as golf or fishing, and it is probable that a big number of that new market remains with the sport throughout the time horizon, helping the business.

Over a third of the U.S. population is predicted to be obese by the year 2030, according to a research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To put it another way, the lessened presence of this pandemic will provide huge monetary savings for both businesses and the federal government.

With the CDC predicting that if the U.S. maintains the present obesity level, the country may save up to $550 billion in healthcare expenses by 2030, the CDC continues to believe that increasing the population’s average weight might have significant impacts on medical expenditures. To manage rising healthcare expenses, both the medical community and the government will have to deal with political problems that arise while attempting to discover answers.

Employers have a long way to go in terms of implementing more comprehensive preventative health measures like exercise, however, with the most recent trend being a rise in corporate fitness programs and wellness facilities. The government may also be able to provide financial assistance for health and fitness initiatives that are designed to reduce obesity. In turn, these changes are expected to drive demand in the sports equipment market as more consumers acquire equipment and take up a more active lifestyle.

With the current yearly growth rate of 1% of $6.1 billion over the next five years, industrial imports are predicted to grow by 1% to $6.1 billion per year. Expansions in the importation of sports products are likely to stay strong even if the TWI is likely to drop in the future. Another danger of hiring foreign workers is that they are assumed to constitute a considerable risk to local sports goods firms.

Furthermore, yearly industry exports are also anticipated to climb by $1.3 billion from their 2012 level to $1.3 billion by the year 2026. With this development, however, US firms are anticipated to continue the trend of relocating manufacturing abroad in order to stay competitive and take advantage of cheap labor costs, thereby increasing the amount of imported goods throughout the forecast period. On the other hand, U.S. manufacturers that continue to make athletic products will have to do so by becoming more innovative in order to compete with imports that are sold at competitive prices.

On a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) basis, it is estimated that between 2019 and 2026, the number of firms in the sector will remain static, growing at a yearly CAGR of 0.4% to 1,303 new firms. It may be said that the increasing external rivalry from global manufacturers, whose entry is predicted to push failing sports goods makers out of the market, has had a hand in increasing this industry trend.

To be fair, in contrast to the broader manufacturing business, the number of domestic sports goods manufacturers expected to combine is expected to be low, since the operators are predicted to join the sector to meet specialized or specialized markets, such as stand-up paddle boarding.

The projected impacts on domestic industry employment should be identical to those on foreign industry employment, since the costs of overseas labor are much lower. Overall, industry employment numbers are anticipated to grow at an annualized rate of 1.3% from 2017 to 2026, increasing to 32,202 people by the end of the forecast period.

On the whole, the entire industry pay bill is projected to climb over the next five years as the business continues to look for more skilled labor. For years, sports and athletic apparel companies have worked to increase the customization of their products, so it will be a significant challenge for these companies to retain their current levels of customization in the future.

While this presents some additional problems for these companies, it should be relatively easy for them to accomplish because their workforce will still command a premium to maintain the existing level of customization.



Carrying on the sports goods manufacturing business, establishments in this sector produce a variety of sports and athletic items, including balls, bags, clubs, gloves, skates, protective equipment, boards, fishing gear, and other supplies. These completed items are offered to wholesalers and retailers after being refined.

Bakeries, tire dealers, clothing manufacturers, and tanning salons that deal with the production of sporting clothes and footwear are banned from this business. The athletic and sporting goods manufacturing business is in the stage of its life cycle when growth is expected to occur. During the next decade, industry participants will have to confront an operating climate that is particularly tough.

The fact that there is an increase in imported items into the market as well as strong rivalry from local and foreign vendors has produced difficult circumstances for industry operators. With regard to value added (which represents contributions to the entire economy), on average, this sector is predicted to provide an annualized growth rate of 0.2% during the next 10 years compared to an annualized 1.9% growth in GDP, the United States’ GDP is predicted to increase at an annualized rate of 1.9% during the same time period.

As enterprise and establishment numbers have decreased owing to decreased sales for smaller businesses, the loss of income has also contributed to a more severe industry contraction. Competition has caused sales to take a hit, since local sales are saturated and competition is prominent among worldwide producers.

Though manufacturers have continually worked to increase product design and functionality to make equipment more lightweight or more able to withstand varied situations, these advancements have had little impact on the industry overall. Thus, product developments on their own have failed to produce enough growth for the sector to transition into a growth stage.

A further contributing factor to this is the sector’s history of under-investment in technical innovation, together with the fact that many families already possess sporting equipment. Consequently, the sector is now considered to be entering the latter stages of its life cycle.

The process of using new technology in production and product design is what drives most of the recent changes in the industry. However, because these developments brought in a higher volume of new customers, their increased revenues would not be considerably greater.

Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Income Statement

Here is how to Sign up and DOWNLOAD our free weekly tools that can help get you a small business working capital loan.


Subscribe to our Blog

Please, we'd love for you to subcribe to our blog, because we really want to build a community. But if not that's fine too.

Follow Us

We are committed to providing you with content you can actively use to make your small business better and if you're interested in how to get a loan or need an alternative source of funding fast, then please follow us, link to us, share this post, because it would allow us to continue providing you great resources. Now is the time, cheers.