USA sports market research


Whenever you ask someone about the US Sports – they will probably say that it’s a huge multi-billion dollar a year industry, and they would be right! The latest figures from Forbes, based on a PwC report, say that in 2014 it was worth $60.5bn, and is expected to grow to a staggering $73.5bn by 2019. But these numbers are just for the top echelons of professional sport.

To get to the even more interesting numbers, you have to start at the grassroots of the Industry – the children. To explain, we need to start at the beginning, where kids are first formally introduced to sport – at school. In 2016/17 a total of 50.4 million students attended public elementary and secondary schools across the USA, with another 5.2 million attending private schools.

5.2 million (10%) attending private schools.

35.4 million will be from kindergarten to grade 8.

15.0 million will be in grades 9 to 12.

So – a total of 55.6 million children in the school system.

How many of them participate in Sports? There have been some news articles recently highlighting the cost to parents of children’s involvement in Sport.

A CNBC article in Jan. 2013 stated that 35 million kids between the ages of 5 and 18 were playing an organised sport. Of those, 21 million were also involved in non-school youth sports.

Over the past 10 years, Alison and Scott Bermack have traveled hundreds of miles, and spent thousands of dollars, to attend gymnastic practices, workouts and tournaments with their son Zachary, now 16. It averages around $300 a month, year-round for training and that's not including airfare, hotel rooms and food, uniforms and event fees, said Alison, a 44-year-old freelance writer with two other children.
"Youth sports tourism wasn't even a category four years ago, and now it's the fastest-growing segment in travel," said Dave Hollander, professor at New York University's Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports.
"You've got millions of kids involved, parents spending thousands of dollars, and cities building facilities to host events and chase tourism dollars," he said. "It's just huge."

The Sports Facilities Advisory Deems Youth Sports and Sports-Related Travel “Recession Resistant”—Youth Sporting Events Create $7 Billion in Economic Impact.

Another ‘Infographic’ released by TurboTax (5) in June 2013, said that 45 million children aged from 6 to 16 were participating in Youth Sport. They arrived at this number by adding the 20 million involved in out-of-school sport to the 25 million involved in school sports – note the age range difference from the CNBC data.

They estimated that it cost $671 per parent annually – with 21% spending >$1,000 every year, per child.

Costs included:

Registration Fees



Meet Fees


Sports Camps


Coach Fees

Since this 2013 information was published, more statistics have become available. Statistics Brain have released data based on a March 2017 survey: Youth Sport Statistics (Ages 5-18):

Number of kids who play organized sports each year: 36,250,000

Percent of kids who play sports outside of school: 60 %

Percent of boys who play organized sports: 66 %

Percent of girls who play organized sports: 52 %

The U.S. government produces limited data on sport participation and physical activity rates, and none on youth before high school age. In that void, the most robust data is generated through an annual household survey conducted by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). In 2008, 30.2% of youth ages 6 to 12 were active to a healthy level through sports, organized or unstructured; by 2015, that number had dropped to 26.6%, according to SFIA. Among 13- to 17-year-olds, the rate fell from 42.7% to 39.3%.

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