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Dear Industry Colleague,

Thank you for your membership in the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. In 2018, SFIA’s work focused on coalescing the industry to respond to several unexpected challenges, including dangerous tariff proposals on products from China and complex product standards and compliance issues. We also worked to help our members face ongoing concerns of retail disruption and declining physical activity rates. In accordance with SFIA’s mission, “To promote sports participation and industry vitality,” SFIA tackled each issue with the goal of generating tangible value for our member companies and helping them with their bottom line.

After 10 years of hard work, SFIA was able to lead the legislative effort to pass the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT Act) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The PHIT Act is currently on the goal line, awaiting a vote in the Senate, and SFIA is hopeful that the PHIT Act will be signed into law later this month. If we can get final congressional approval, this will be a huge win for the industry. Thanks to so many who gave time and resources for this campaign.

SFIA research continues to score at the top of our member benefit surveys. By accessing State of the Industry analytics, Category Sales deep dives and the nation’s leading sports participation studies, our members tell us they use SFIA data to inform and guide their decision-making. Furthermore, SFIA research continues to drive the national agenda around promoting sports and fitness participation. With more than 350 stories already citing SFIA data this year, including Wall Street Journal, CNN, CNBC, Fox, ESPN, The New York Times and HBO, we are raising the profile and influence of the sports and fitness industry.

This year, SFIA’s advocacy team organized and led the effort to fight the government’s tariffs on Chinese-made products. In total, 71 petitions were filed on behalf of members; and I, along with other industry leaders, testified before the U.S. Trade Representative on the industry’s behalf. We also launched a new partnership with WFSGI and Compliance & Risks, providing members a more efficient way to access global product labeling information through a comprehensive, instant-access database. If you operate internationally, I urge you to look at this new service. In a different vein, we engaged with more than a dozen governing bodies, standards organizations and testing labs to ensure manufacturers are protected and have a voice in the compliance process.

We’ve included a brief description of the many programs SFIA took on this year to support your investment in the trade association. I trust that you’ll find our commitment to your company and the industry is productive and efficient. I strongly encourage you to utilize our services and expertise. SFIA would like to aid you and your business in any way we can, so please do not hesitate to call on us.


Tom Cove | President and CEO
Sports & Fitness Industry Association
301.495.6321| @TheSFIA

Industry & Public Affairs

The authoritative voice on Capitol Hill for the sports & fitness industry

  • SFIA-led efforts resulted in the U.S. House of Representatives passing the PHIT Act in July 2018 with strong bipartisan support.
  • Organized and filed 71 petitions with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on behalf of members requesting product exemptions from China tariffs. 8 petitions were accepted (11.27%), which was more than double the average success rate of 5%.
  • SFIA President & CEO, along with other industry executives, testified before the USTR to oppose the tariffs on Chinese-made goods.
  • The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill was signed into law, providing SFIA members with an estimated $37 million in tariff savings through 2020.
  • Advocated that new sports gambling legislation dedicate a portion of sports-betting revenues to youth sports programs.
  • Brought 14 celebrity athletes and 200+ industry leaders to Washington, D.C. for the 19th annual National Health Through Fitness Day to promote the PHIT Act and other active lifestyle policies. Click here to see full recap.
  • Organized equipment donations from SFIA members for Congressional Sports: Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Golf and Football.

Thought Leadership

Delivering exceptional education and strengthening industry community

  • Launched the inaugural Business & Risk Management Summit, which combined SFIA’s Litigation Summit with the Equipment Rules Meeting, co-hosted with NFHS and NCAA. Summit provided legal and compliance education, as well as updates on technology, rules and standards. Full recap here.
  • Hosted 6th annual Industry Leaders Summit under the theme, Change | Challenge | Opportunity. Event featured speakers from MIT, Aspen Institute, Nielsen, U.S. Army, as well as numerous major sports brands and retailers and The NPD Group, who discussed topics such as China tariffs, industry trends, retail environment, sports betting & sustainability. See recap here.
  • SFIA highlighted innovation within the industry for a 3rd straight year through its Start-Up Challenge and introduced a cash prize of $15,000 to the winner. Due to the high quality of applicants, for the first time ever, a 6th finalist was added. Finalists included Total Body Board, Blinktbi, FlexIt, A-Champs, Elevate Hockey, and this year’s champion, Nix.
  • Hosted 16 webinars addressing industry challenges, including 2018 State of the Industry, NPD Market Watch, China tariffs, GDPR, labeling requirements and tax reform, all designed to assist members with current trends, challenges & legal issues pertinent to the industry.
  • At this year’s Industry Leaders Summit, SFIA’s Future Scholars Program recognized 6 up-and-comers in the industry. Brands recognized this year included Under Armour, Volt Athletics, BSN Sports, SKLZ, ASICS America & Xenith.


Providing information and insight to drive industry decision making

  • SFIA research and programs have been included in more than one article a day (354 articles and 218 publications to date) by major news outlets, including Washington Post, NY Times, LA Times, Bloomberg, ESPN, WSJ, Forbes and many more.
  • Hosted informative market research webinars on State of the Industry and Tracking the Fitness Movement to assist members with their business decisions.
  • Continued to support The Aspen Institute by providing participation and coaching data.
  • Released 6 major research reports available to SFIA members at no cost.
  • Published 90 single sport reports, which help members analyze sports participation. Single Sport Reports break down the participation figures by gender, age group, income level, geographic region and education level.
  • Provided data and report insights to member companies to assist R&D.

Member Services

Providing a robust menu of member resources, including dedicated sports councils to address specific challenges

  • Hosted council meetings for Baseball/Softball, Football, Lacrosse & Golf. Manufacturers, governing bodies and industry coalitions discussed the current landscape of the sport, product standards and how all parties involved can work together to grow the sport.
  • Partnered with WFSGI and Compliance & Risks to launch a new product labeling database. Database will assist members for product label requirements for 49 countries in 6 categories (Footwear, Consumer Electronics, Sports, Fitness & Outdoor Equipment, Apparel & Textiles, Personal Protective Equipment, Bikes & e-bikes).
  • In 2018, SFIA welcomed 43 new member companies to its community.
  • Presented customized State of the Industry presentations at more than 15 member companies’ sales and strategy meetings.
  • Industry crisis management; addressed industry media and government policies on the decline in sports participation trends, increased regulation on product safety and allegations of deceptive marketing/advertising.
  • Built on relationship with Good Sports to provide an excess inventory solution for members; commercial market equipment donations help kids in under-served communities. Since 2012, SFIA members have provided over $39 million worth of equipment, which has directly led to positively impacting 6 million children.
  • In recent years, nearly 600 PHIT America GO! Grants have been awarded nationally to elementary school P.E. programs — helping more than 300,000 school children in 48 states get physically active. GO! Grants help schools that are in desperate need of gear, programming and training for physical activity programs.

Standards and Compliance

SFIA works cooperatively with certification and testing bodies like ASTM, NOCSAE and all sport governing bodies to create equitable and effective standards for sports equipment

  • Continued to run the successful SFIA Football Glove standard certification/licensing program with 17 companies, now covering 100% of all gloves sold in the football industry.
  • Aggressively represented the industry’s interests when standards-writing organizations attempted to promulgate reactionary standards in response to public scrutiny.
  • Successfully increased industry’s influence on NOCSAE board by obtaining an additional NOCSAE board seat for the industry. Gregg Hartley (SFIA representative) is one of two NOCSAE Vice Presidents.
  • Continued to be a voting member and represent industry interests with ASTM.
  • Played an instrumental role in the implementation of the new NOCSAE Commotio Cordis standard, imposing a round robin test process to ensure all certification labs are testing correctly; and worked with the sport governing bodies, delaying the implementation until manufacturers have had reasonable time to meet the standard.
  • Engaged NFHS on adoption of the NOCSAE baseball standard to prevent NFHS from adding unnecessary restrictions, while allowing grandfathering of all current baseballs in production.
  • Worked with NOCSAE to adjust their license fee increases for certain products whose margin was not sufficient to absorb the increase, which was critical to several product categories.
  • Worked with NFHS to manage their implementation of the NOCSAE standards for field hockey balls, goalie helmets and eye protection, to address timing and allowance of existing inventory.

Corporate Partners

SFIA would like to thank its Corporate Partners for their support in 2018.

Corporate partners support the quality research, thought leadership training and networking that SFIA provides for members. Learn more about each partner and how they can deliver value to your company.


SFIA Sport-Specific Council Meetings

Baseball & Softball Council Meeting
January 4th, 2019
Dallas, TX
SFIA Contact: Gregg Hartley

Football Council & Glove Licensee Meeting
January 7th, 2019
San Antonio, TX
SFIA Contact: Gregg Hartley

Soccer Council (SICA) Meeting
January 10th, 2019
Chicago, IL
SFIA Contact: Alex Kerman

Lacrosse Council Meeting
January 12th, 2019
Philadelphia, PA
SFIA Contact: Gregg Hartley

USGMC, Golf Council Meeting
January 22nd, 2019
Orlando, FL
SFIA Contact: Bill Sells


SFIA National Health Through Fitness Day
March 12–13, 2019
Washington, D.C.
SFIA’s 20th annual National Health Through Fitness Day, spent promoting active lifestyle & physical activity legislation on Capitol Hill.

SFIA Business & Risk Management Summit in Conjunction with the High School & Collegiate Team Sports Rules Conference
April 15–16, 2019
Indianapolis, IN
SFIA hosts its 2nd Business & Risk Management Summit in Conjunction with the High School & Collegiate Team Sports Rule Conference, uniting legal experts from the industry, team sports manufacturers & retailers and governing bodies.

SFIA Industry Leaders Summit
September 25–26, 2019
Baltimore, MD
Join the top leaders, experts, start-ups and trailblazers in the sports & fitness industry for unparalleled networking opportunities, eye-opening presentations & discussions addressing the industry’s top trends and challenges, and the 4th annual SFIA Start-Up Challenge.

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SFIA is the leading global trade association in the sports & fitness industry. SFIA is the #1 source for sport & fitness research. More info at

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