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SFIA braved the freezing temperatures in Orlando (Yes, Orlando…) last week for the PGA Merchandise Show 2020 + Racquet and Paddle Sorts Show. Luckily, there was plenty to see inside at the show, so we weren’t upset by the unexpected cold.

The show was buzzing with over 40,000 attendees and hundreds of exhibitors showcasing equipment, tech and apparel relating to the golf world. There were 23 SFIA members exhibiting, including: Bridgestone, Titleist, Mizuno, Life Fitness, Technogym, KJUS, adidas, Franklin, Head, Antigua, Rapsodo, PING, Cleveland Golf and Asics collaboration, Callaway, Under Armour, Ogio, FJ, Repreve, Wilson, USTA, Slingerbag and TSMA.

As we walked around the PGA Show, attendees were bustling, conversation was flowing and no booth seemed to be lacking any attention. This was a great sign for the show, as well as the industry, showing high levels of excitement and interest in the sport and new products.

The Inventors Spotlight area was a great place to see new golf and golf lifestyle products developed by independent inventors. From the likes of eSwing Golf Technologies to Slopgraide, it was good to see such promising innovations emerging in the golf industry.

According to exhibitors, pickleball is continuing to gain popularity and has been a strong category for them this past year, confirmed by SFIA data, total pickleball participation is has increased an average of 9.7 percent over the last three years.

On Tuesday, January 21st, SFIA held our US Golf Manufacturers Council (USGMC) meeting, led by Bill Sells, Head of the USGMC. During the meeting, the NGF golf participation report was discussed, reporting that there are 21 million golfers in the U.S., but the median age is increasing and there is a serious need for the health of the sport to attract younger players.

Tariffs were also a hot topic, as the golf industry reached up to $90 million in tariff relief on products via the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and China 301 tariff exclusions.

The IGF presented on the introduction of golf to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, covering golfer tech support, accreditation, branding and marketing of Olympians. We also hosted a discussion on equipment rules with R&A and USGA, concluding that a ball distance study is due this year, but as of now, there are no imminent rule changes.

As always, it was great to see so many members all in one place, and excited about the future of sport. This year’s show was very successful, and we just hope next year, Orlando greets us with a little bit warmer weather…

SFIA Members Exhibiting:

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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 www.sfia.org.

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