Finalists pitch their business to 130+ sports & fitness executives and investors

Alli Schulman

SILVER SPRING, MD (April 8, 2021) — Ten finalists have been selected by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) selection committee to present their start-up at the 2021 SFIA Start-Up Challenge. The application pool included entrepreneurs in various aspects of the industry, ranging from sports tech to fitness equipment to health and wellness products. Over the years, this event has showcased the most competitive, innovative businesses in sports and fitness. To date, previous finalists have raised over $150 million in funding.

All finalists will present a five-minute pitch video, created in…

In response to the military coup in Burma, the U.S. announced several actions to address the removal of a democratically elected leader. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai suspended U.S. trade engagement with Burma and the suspension will remain in place until a democratically elected leader is seated. With the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program lapsed and under review for renewal, U.S.T.R. Tai stated that the situation in Myanmar threatens the country’s GSP status due to concerns over workers’ rights under the military regime.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Treasury banned U.S. companies from conducting business with two Burmese companies…

The SFIA continues to work diligently with The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to notify the industry first-hand of important rule and standard changes that affect manufacturers, retailers and organizations in team sports. The SFIA and NFHS are committed to pursuing the safest playing environment for athletes with regard to sports equipment used during play.

In discussions with Elliot Hopkins, Baseball Rules Editor for the NFHS, it was brought to our attention that certain brands of baseball shoes worn by the pitcher that have a mirror-like finish on the sole plate have distracted batters with the light…

In 2019 SFIA launched a campaign to secure tariff relief on industry products via the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB). SFIA members provided all the relevant information for review in their MTB petitions and met every deadline for tariff relief consideration. The U.S. International Trade Commission fully vetted the MTB petitions to determine if there was domestic production and recommended all but four SFIA petitions for tariff relief. The USITC delivered their recommendations to Congress in August of 2020 for approval before the MTB expired at the end of 2020. …

SFIA Releases annual Manufacturers’ Sales by Category Report

Alli Schulman

SILVER SPRING, MD (March 25, 2021) — Despite an economic recession in 2020, the U.S. sports and fitness market, including footwear, apparel and equipment, grew by 0.6 percent in 2020. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) released the 2021 Manufacturers’ Sales by Category Report today, reporting major growth in consumer fitness, as well as a strong sports equipment category. Traditionally, sports and fitness sales patterns tend to mimic GDP growth; however, as the national GDP decreased 2.3 …

Mark Bachman, CEO & Founder, FlipGive

How long ago was FlipGive founded?

Mark Bachman: FlipGive was founded in 2015. FlipGive was a spin off from insights developed from helping large brands, retail and loyalty companies build enterprise-level community giving programs and digital marketing programs.

Can you tell us more about FlipGive? What does your company do?

Mark Bachman: FlipGive is on a mission to help youth sports teams and parents save time and money spent on their kids activities. To date, FlipGive has been focused on helping teams raise money with fundraising, and we’re now launching a Team budgeting and Team spending apps.

Today FlipGive is best known as a safe, easy and free virtual fundraising tool. Teams set up an account on FlipGive…

PHIT will lower cost of sports and fitness for Americans at precise time they need to increase physical activity

Alli Schulman

SILVER SPRING, MD (March 18, 2021) — Today, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and John Thune (R-SD) reintroduced the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act in Congress. The PHIT Act will make sports and fitness more affordable to Americans, as the country recognizes the value of physical activity in promoting good health. The PHIT Act will allow pre-tax Flexible Spending (FSA) and Health Savings (HSA) Accounts to cover the costs of activity-related expenses, such as youth sports fees, health club dues, training costs, and purchase of sports and fitness equipment. …

On March 16, 2021 the House of Representatives passed legislation to extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program by a vote of 415–3. The bill to extend the application deadline from March 31 to June 30 now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass quickly to avoid any disruption in the PPP program at end of the month. The bill does not require allocation of additional funds for the PPP as there remains $119 Billion available for loans which will be forgiven provided the funds are used for expenses outlined in the guidelines. To date, the PPP has provided 7.5 million loans resulting in an influx of $687 billion to U.S. businesses impacted by COVID.

Annual conference covers sport-specific changes in rules and regulations for high school & college athletics

SILVER SPRING, MD (March 9, 2021) — The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) move the traditional Team Sports Rules Conference in Indianapolis to a virtual platform on April 13–14, 2021. Speakers from each organization will address the current high school and collegiate athletics market, including issues around athlete safety; Name, Image, Likeness; sportsmanship; impact of the pandemic moving forward; and sponsorships; as well as a State of the Team Sports Industry presentation from SFIA’s President & CEO, Tom Cove.

In addition, sports technology…

March 5, 2021 — Washington, D.C.

The European Union announced today that they would suspend tariffs on exercise equipment imports from the U.S. during a call with President Biden . The tariffs were placed on U.S. imports near the end of 2020 in response to U.S. tariffs on E.U. goods as a result of the airplane subsidy dispute between the U.S. and E.U. SFIA requested that the USTR resolve the tariff matter and worked with FESI to deliver the same message to the E.U. By dropping the tariffs, the E.U. and U.S. are closer to a united strategy as they work to address mutual trade issues, especially with China. Please find the White House announcement on the tariff suspension here.

Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA)

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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