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The Youth & High School Sports Industry


How Kids’ Sports Became a
$15 Billion Industry

Time Magazine
Sep 4, 2017
Vol 190 No 9


As part of ESPN's summer 2013 Kids in Sports Focus, studies show that:

Youth (and high school) sports is so big that
no one knows quite how big it is.

Kids all over America play sports, which means a large portion of families focus on youth sports. Of all the kids in America, very few have not played sports. In a survey done by Don Sabo, a longtime youth-sports researcher and a professor at D'Youville College in Buffalo (He queried a research sample of 2,185 students in 2007 for the Women's Sports Foundation) only 13 percent of boys and 18 percent of girls between 8 and 17 had never joined a team or club, had never shared the experience of getting a uniform, practicing with teammates and running onto the field or court to compete.

Source: ESPN Bruce Kelley and Carl Carchia 7-16-2013

Youth Sports Industry – A Growing Opportunity
(Posted onNovember 15, 2013 by GeoMetrx)

Inspired by their idols in the big leagues, many kids hope to become the stars of tomorrow, and as a result the youth sports industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Kids have always participated in games and sports; however, the face of youth sports has changed greatly over the last decade or two. Gone are the days of pick-up ballgames in empty sandlots, two-on-two in the driveway, or playing hockey in the street with sticks and rocks. Youth sports have become a network of independent organizations, competitive regional leagues, travel teams and tournament play, with parents, coaches, league organizers, referees and tournament operators organizing both practices and competition.

The National Council of Youth Sports (NYCS), reports more than 60 million boys and girls are registered in programs across the country. The most recent data from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) estimates nearly 70% of children (age 6-17) in the U.S. are playing team sports and three out of four teenagers are playing at least one team sport. While there is much debate surrounding the direction youth sports have taken, there is no arguing that opportunities to score big are rampant for innovative entrepreneurs. The team travel segment of youth sports is estimated to be $7 billion alone. Local communities are benefactors of the economic activity generated by the growing travel team phenomenon as well*.

Studies also reveal:
·       In comparison to the NCYS 1997 study, girls are beginning participation in organized youth sports at a younger age.
·       We have gotten better introducing girls to sport as early as boys are introduced to sport.
·       Girls’ participation increased significantly in the 16-18 age group since the 2000 study.
·       There is greater gender equity within the younger age groups.
·       Organized youth sports programs rely heavily on school and community owned facilities.
The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) is a multi-sport, nonprofit
Corporation.This 2008 study reveals a ten-year comparison providing important data and trends in the marketplace. The ‘NCYS Report on Trends and Participation in Organized Youth Sports
*This entry was posted in Common Ground Blog, Facts & Figures, Franchising.