Business Is the youth sports industry recession proof?

Is the youth sports industry recession proof?


Founder and Chairman of Destination Athlete; expert in Franchise Leadership, Business Development and Commercial Business Model Innovation.

At a time when the country and the world are faced with so much uncertainty, the answer to the question I posed in the headline may surprise you. While so much changes every day, there’s one thing that doesn’t change: parents’ desire for their children to be successful and thrive. Sport has long been seen as a safe outlet for children because it teaches them teamwork, self-discipline and important skills. Sport also fosters friendships and gives children memories that will last a lifetime.

Youth sport is big business, and even in the face of a recession, it shows no sign of slowing down. Many schools have solid sports budgets and teams always need uniforms and equipment to compete.

For families who invest much of their time and money in supporting their children’s athletic endeavors, sports are often immune to financial stress. For example, if inflation or a weak economy are negatively impacting a family’s finances, we’ve found that they will often make sacrifices in other areas (e.g. eating out, vacations, gym memberships) to keep their kids entertained. to keep.

In addition, if parents feel their child needs extra training, they can spend extra money on off-season training or join a travel team to promote their child’s athletic development and improve their game. However, during a recession, families can opt for a regional travel team instead of a national team to save travel costs.

The idea of ​​their children being able to have professional careers in sports is also appealing to some parents. The potential for scholarships often provides an incentive as well. While not every youth who play sports is destined for a future in this, they can benefit immensely from all that sport has to offer in their younger years.

Youth sports seem largely impervious to economic downturns. This is especially true for sports travel/tourism reported to be “one of the fastest growing if not the fastest growing sector of youth and amateur sports and recreation.”

Whenever uncertainty creeps into everyday life, it’s always comforting to have a constant to rely on. Youth sports provide much-needed routine and structure for many. It’s no wonder the industry continues to thrive.

That said, growth and success don’t come naturally to every company serving the youth sports industry. Based on some of the strategies my own company has used, here are some ideas for taking advantage of the industry’s opportunity and growth potential.

• Provide fundraising opportunities. Both local and national fundraising efforts can help alleviate the costs of youth sports expenses such as travel, safe equipment and uniforms. Can you offer locally focused online stores where a percentage of the proceeds are donated to the youth sports organization? Many sports fans take pride in wearing team colors to show their support. Can you give supporters from far and wide the chance to make a monetary contribution to a team? Perhaps through a custom online link where supporters can receive discounted offers? In this economic climate, discounts along with team support are a winning combination.

• Maintain your relationships with key suppliers. Restructure your supplier list each year by scaling back on what isn’t working, while staying focused on doing business with suppliers who have outperformed in terms of service and delivery. Vendors can also play a role as a strategic resource for sports communities. Sponsoring free sports clinics or equipment demonstrations, both pre- and post-season, is an opportunity to build relationships with coaches, trainers, athletes and parents. Make sure you start this months before the start of a sports season. Prepare by continuously educating yourself on supplier products to ensure a superior customer experience.

• Give back to the community. Time is precious when you own your own business, but the time you spend volunteering alongside parents and coaches is priceless. Ask yourself: How well do you know your customers? Do you know what hobbies the coach has in the off-season? Does the parent making concessions have other children who play sports? Building partnerships is essential for business growth and development. If you ask, “What can I do to help you volunteer this season?” it moves the needle from client to partner. When this connection is established, everyone walks away with a win. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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