Monthly Archives: December 2010

Sporting Goods Industry on the Rebound

December 23, 2010

With the sporting goods industry being important to us and our customers; we have seen an upswing in sporting goods sales this year, given the struggling economy. The outlook is positive as evidence from several large retailers and smaller independent local retailers alike.

A few of the larger retailers like Hibbet’s, Dick’s and Cabela’s have seen solid increases in this year’s sales after the ‘great recession’ has thwarted growth for the past few years. It’s an encouraging look at the industry, with several innovations made by the big brands to sell product at these retailers. One of the categories to see strong growth is athletic footwear, which is posting a strong return from recession thanks to exercising baby boomers.

With this holiday season winding down, all precincts have not reported by any means, but any sign of hope and change at this point would be refreshing for any portion of the retail sector. It’s perhaps encouraging that we haven’t seen any major casualties in the sporting goods world from this tough stretch of economic times, and maybe that’s a good sign that the next generation of the country aren’t playing video games nonstop, as we’re led to believe. Little Johnny still needs his soccer ball and Jenny needs her softball gear; hopefully this upswing can continue, and breathe a little more life into the industry. Money from retailers is what funds the innovations at the vendor level and gives us cool new stuff to use and play with. Sporting goods will be purchased by family’s even in the tough times as sports and activities will have high participation no matter how bad the economy.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from the Sportrabbit team.

Asics to Introduce Entry Level Footwear

December 20, 2010

Asics is making a move to be more competitive and expand revenues by offering shoes at a lower price point. Asics already plays a large role in the footwear industry by offering lines between $75 to $125, but in order to expand they want to offer their great brand at an entry level price point of $60.

“We can’t expand by focusing on the medium-to-high end of the market anymore,” Toshiyuki Sano, an executive in charge of finance, said this week in an interview at Asics’ headquarters in Kobe, Japan. “We want to offer simpler entry-level models.”

Shoes selling for under $75 currently account for about 10% of Asics’ business. This is a good strategy for Asics as long as the price point doesnt go too low and diminish their brand. Asics is already a dominant player in the industry and this looks like a smart move to compete against Nike and Adidas.

Asics recently opened their first retail flagship store a few months back in New York.

Nike Targeting Women With New App

December 19, 2010

“Nike is prepping a new fitness app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app, Nike Training Club, will be available for free on January 1, 2011. Nike Training Club is targeted at women and designed to be a full-body training app. It includes workouts and drills in areas focusing on strength, cardio and core-training.”

Read more about this at Mashable.

ESPN Launching New Destination for Women

December 16, 2010

ESPN has soft-launched ESPNW, a spin-off brand targeting women. The site, which went live on Monday, features coverage of women’s sports that sometimes get lost on ESPN.com and the network itself: women’s college basketball, college soccer and U.S. women’s soccer team.

Here is the mission as presented on the site:
espnW is a destination for women who are passionate sports fans and athletes. We hope you find it surprising, informative and inspiring, because we created it just for you. We welcome your thoughts.

We are excited to bring together some of the best and brightest writers in the business, all of whom are true sports fans at heart. Through espnW, we’ll bring you commentary and analysis on the sports stories that matter to you. We’ll also shine a brighter spotlight on the accomplishments of women athletes — elite and everyday.

* ESPN to Launch Women’s Brand ‘ESPNW’ — And Some Women Are Not Pleased

* ESPN’s Disgraceful LeBron James ‘Decision’

For all of you who love sports we hope you find this product (and our products still to come) surprising, informative and inspiring. We want to talk with women who are both active and strong athletes and passionate and engaged sports fans. You’ll find meaningful coverage of the games, teams and players you care about most right here.


Read the rest of the article at TheWrap.com.

B-LAX Blast Review

December 8, 2010

If necessity is the mother of invention, Competition is perhaps the second cousin, or college aged older brother. Sports is in a constant push for bigger and better athletes, leading to a recent push of inventions and innovations in the training sector in the past few years. Also on the rise is the sport of Lacrosse, once a regional phenomenon; now turning state wide into a favorite game that is sure to grow with the younger generations playing it and professional league support. The obvious combination of these two is an innovation in lacrosse training.

The B-LAX is actually more of a retrofit of sorts rather than an invention, because many sports, most notably soccer, have featured a product like this for years, a training tool that allows you to practice your shooting by yourself without any tedious ball retrieval or bulky rebounders. The B-LAX is a tether system that allows players to practice their lacrosse shot endlessly to perfection, by not allowing the ball to escape the reach of the player at all times. The real unique story here is the background on the B-LAX, invented by a Lacrosse coach and enthusiast, rather than a huge corporation. Also, it is marketed successfully enough to get it carried at major sporting good stores and their websites.

The best part about the B-LAX might be the price, with affordability in mind, you’ll find it for $19.99. This helps ease the sting of all of that equipment that has to be bought for lacrosse (which you really shouldn’t complain about, unless you’re a hockey goalie like me). At that price point, it is sure to make a great gift or ‘atta boy’ for the lacrosse player on anyone’s mind, which is a great reason why this product ended up on big retail’s shelves and will likely see some success at least in lacrosse heavy areas of the country.