NPD Reports: Team Sports Equipment Sales Remain Strong in Q1

According to NPD Group, the strong growth trend seen in golf and team sports equipment during the pandemic continued into 2021, with a few notable exceptions.

First quarter sales increased by over 50% from 2020 and over 40% from 2019.

Matt Powell, vice president, senior industry adviser, sports, NPD, said several one-off items helped spur growth, including the third stimulus check, early spring, and increased vaccines.

“I think the environment for healthy living and fitness remains strong, although some of the highs in 2020 will be hard to offset,” said Powell. “One of the first positive points that we see is a return to school sports. While there are still uneven responses across states to reopening schools and school sports, it appears every state will soon have resumed at least some sports. The National Federation of State High School Associations says that while some children are back this spring, it won’t be until 2022 for “full” participation.

Baseball / softball equipment has increased in the middle of singles compared to 2019, according to the data collection service. Football equipment nearly doubled from 2019 as some school districts postponed the season to the spring, although the actual numbers for spring football are low. Football sales increased during the teenage years compared to 2019. Basketball equipment sales increased by over 40% from 2019, but decreased from 2020. Last year , many parents invested in sneakers and systems as school sports seasons were canceled.

Racket sports and golf activities in the first quarter were up more than 80% from 2019 as they both benefited from the continued demand to stay fit while remaining socially distant. Punching bags are up over 80% for the quarter from 2019 levels.

Photo courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods

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