Reports & Insights

Sports industry experiences second largest annual growth since 2010

Sports industry experiences second largest annual growth since 2010

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Reports & Insights

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has released its 2023 State of the Industry Report, featuring an in-depth analysis of the trends and issues affecting the sports and fitness products business, including participation, economic performance, and the industry environment.

The industry reported 4.3% revenue growth in U.S. wholesale sales of athletic footwear, apparel, sports and fitness equipment, and licensed products in 2022, totaling over $116 billion dollars. This represents the second-largest percentage growth since 2010, but a pullback from the record performance of 15.8% in 2021. Of note, the 2022 industry growth rate was lower than the current-dollar GDP of 9.2%, where traditionally, they track very closely. The dollar figures of both GDP and industry revenues were undoubtedly affected by inflation, which influenced raw material inputs, labor and logistics costs, and final product pricing.

“Last year was a difficult year to categorize. Sports and fitness companies continued to meet strong demand for their products and collectively realized healthy annual growth,” states Tom Cove, President & CEO, SFIA. “At the same time, many SFIA member companies reflected high concern around uncertainties in the marketplace that lasted much longer than anyone anticipated at the beginning of 2022.”

The SFIA report, supported by Sports Marketing Surveys USA and released on 18th April at the SFIA/NCAA/NFHA Team Sports Conference in Indianapolis, IN, reflects executive surveys on a variety of industry-specific indicators. In 2022, 55.2% of companies who responded said they increased profitability, while 28.4% said they decreased profitability last year. The 55.2% number is the second largest since 2015, reinforcing the resilience of the sports and fitness industry through the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. For a third consecutive year, the number of respondent companies that decreased profitability (28.4%) declined.

Inventory management was a big story in 2022. After historically low inventory levels previously, 67% of companies increased their inventory levels in 2022 – the highest number of companies that have increased their levels in the last decade. 57% of companies increased their R&D investments, which is a slight decrease from 2021, but still is the second-highest number in the last five years.

The State of the Industry Report includes a number of attitudinal and forecasting responses from the industry, including the current state of the sports and fitness industry (Around 85% say strong or average), the future state of the sports and fitness industry (around 95% say strong or average), and top concerns facing the industry going forward (potential economic recession affecting domestic sales growth, and inflation impacts affecting profitability).

In terms of sports and fitness participation rates, more Americans reported doing some physical activity, at both the CORE and casual levels, but team and fitness club activity rates have not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

The 2023 State of the Industry Report is free to SFIA Members and is available to the public for purchase for $650 by non-members by clicking here.

The report is provided free of charge to members of the media. If you are interested in a copy, please contact Lisa Futterman at

ABOUT SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation, as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit

Sports Marketing Surveys also operates the industry leading Physical Activity Council study of participation in the USA. Reports are available for over 100 sports.

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