Team Insight Extra


Pro Leagues, Federal Government Partnering For Kids

If you want to promote physical activity and playing sports in America a good strategy is to recruit the biggest organizations in the country to spearhead the effort. Add in the power of the U.S. government and you have quite an ambitious effort to get kids playing.

NFHS Clarifies Football Uniform Requirements

Language in the 2024 NFHS Football Rules Book will be changed in an effort to ensure consistent interpretation of the rule regarding requirements for home team uniforms in high school football.

Wilson Unveils Airless Basketball

Wilson Sporting Goods has released the Wilson Airless Gen1, a first-of-its-kind 3D-printed basketball that never needs to be inflated. It builds off the success of the Airless Prototype that debuted last year.

Marucci Sports Co-Founder Relaunches SweetSpot

Led by a group of industry leaders spearheaded by Marucci Sports co-founder Joe Lawrence, SweetSpot has rebranded and relaunched to increase its footprint across various outdoor sports.

California Won’t Ban Youth Tackle Football

A Democrat-led effort to ban tackle football for children in California is reportedly in jeopardy after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office confirmed last month that he plans to veto the controversial bill if it reaches his desk.

USA Hockey Requiring Neck Protection

Coming three months after a player died from a skate to the neck, USA Hockey has decided to require the use of neck laceration protection for all junior hockey players beginning this summer. The new rule will apply to all players and on-ice officials under the age of 18 in both games and practices.

Augusta/Founder Acquired by PE Firm

Apparently the team sports business and its major vendors have become very attractive to the money men. Following a number of lower profile acquisitions by private equity investors in the past year...

Hockey News: USA Hockey/Winmark; Pure Hockey

There were two interesting pieces of news in the ice hockey arena in the past few weeks.

Ram Re-Elected SFIA Chairman

Jonathan Ram, CEO of Clarks, Inc., was re-elected as chairman of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) Board of Directors for the 2024 term.

USB Names Gyori New CEO

United Sports Brands, the parent of Shock Doctor, McDavid, Cutters, Nathan, Pearl Izumi and Glukos, has appointed Phil Gyori as CEO.

G8RTech Launches G8RSkin Ice Hockey PPE

With increasing attention being paid in the world of hockey following some tragic incidents on the ice, G8RTech – a specialized protective equipment company – has launched of its initial product for hockey players, G8RSkin Ice.

SFIA Taps Horine As COO

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has appointed Glenn Horine to serve as its new chief operating officer, effective January 1, 2024.

USB Acquired by Norwest Equity

United Sports Brands (USB), the parent company of team sports brands such as Shock Doctor, McDavid and Cutters, along with active lifestyle brands Nathan, Pearl Izumi and Glukos, was recently acquired from Bregal Partners by Norwest Equity Partners (NEP). The transaction closed on November 20.

Obituary: Jim Easton, 88

Jim Easton, a major figure in ensuring the family name became an iconic brand in the sporting goods industry and a 1994 inductee into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame, passed away Dec. 4 at age 88.

Reebok Licenses Sakar For Sports Equipment

In a move to reinvigorate the Reebok brand in the world of team sports, Authentic Brands Group has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with Sakar International to design and distribute Reebok-branded basketball, pickleball, baseball, soccer and football equipment...

Stahls’, Chipply Team Up

In an interesting move that brings together an established team sports brand with an aggressive new technology company, Stahls’ has entered into a partnership with Chipply, the online store software supplier for team dealers.

BSN Enters Two Partnerships

As 2023 draws to a close BSN Sports remains active with two recently announced new partnerships.

TMX Q&A: NAIA’s Marc Burchard

Marc Burchard is associate director of championships at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). To gain some insight into how the NAIA is looking to grow flag football at its member schools, TeamInsightExtra writer Mike May sat down for a Take Five with Burchard.

Riddell Extends NFL Helmet Partnership Through 2030 Season

In a move with far-reaching implications in the team sports business, football helmet maker Riddell recently signed a seven-year extension to its partnership with the National Football League (NFL).

NSGA Renames Annual Event

Responding to the times and business direction, the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) recently unveiled a new name and logo for what was previously known as the NSGA Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit.

Online Tech Competition Heating Up

Illustrating the growing importance of technology, online team stores and other data-driven efforts within the team sports business, the two leading providers of these technologies had some significant announcements this month leading up to the Sports, Inc. buying show in Las Vegas.

Fox Factory Acquiring Marucci Sports

Marucci Sports, the maker of baseball bats and gloves, is reportedly being acquired by Fox Factory, based in Duluth, GA, a company best known for its Fox Racing Shox brand of off-road racing suspension components.

Pickleball Central Joins PHIT America 

In this issue’s pickleball news, Pickleball Central, which calls itself “America's leading online source for pickleball equipment and apparel,” is stepping up to support PHIT America to get more kids playing pickleball.

Dynamic Names Todd Levine President

Dynamic Team Sports, a leading sublimation supplier in the team sports industry, has named industry veteran Todd Levine as its new president.

Nike Selects Hibbett For Digital Growth

This may not exactly be the news team dealers who already struggle to get Swoosh product for their school and retail clients, but word came recently that Nike is teaming up with full-line retailer Hibbett on a “connected partnership.”

Skechers Moves Into Basketball

Already a big player in segments such as skateboarding, casual footwear, running, pickleball and, most recently, soccer, to name a few, Skechers is now moving into the technical basketball shoe category with two mid-top styles – the SKX Resagrip and SKX Float.

Stahls Acquires Tech Firm Fulfill Engine

In a significant expansion of its technology capabilities, Stahls’ recently acquired Fulfill Engine, a software technology company specializing in order fulfillment, supply chain management and e-commerce store integration.

Ripken Baseball Partners With Under Armour

Ripken Baseball recently entered a multi-year partnership with Under Armour that makes UA the exclusive apparel company for Ripken Baseball’s six properties, hundreds of tournaments and multisport events.

Varsity Brands Completes Sale of Herff Jones

Varsity Brands, the parent company of BSN Sports, has completed the sale of the Herff Jones Graduation Business to Atlas Holdings. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Skims Becomes Official Underwear Of NBA

OK, we admit we didn’t even think the NBA needed an official underwear partner, but apparently when Kim Kardashian is involved there is some sort of logical connection.

Team Sports Added to 2028 Olympics

In one of the biggest pieces of news in team sports in quite a while, this week the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially approved baseball/softball, cricket (T20), flag football, lacrosse (Sixes) and squash for inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Reeplayer Wins 2023 Start-Up Challenge

A new product that is definitely of interest to the team sports business recently won the 2023 SFIA Start-Up Challenge. Reeplayer, led by founder Orhan Basak Ajredinovski, uses AI technology to autonomously record and live-stream high-quality footage for youth and amateur sports.

SFIA Launching ‘Super Regionals’

In more news from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the group is launching a new Super Regional Series in November, offering a localized opportunity for SFIA members, partners and industry leaders to meet about business insights and topics driving today’s sporting goods and...

Shaq Named to Run Reebok Basketball

This is a sentence we never imagined writing in TeamInsightExtra: Reebok has appointed none other than Shaquille O’Neal as president of Reebok Basketball. Wait, there’s more: Allen Iverson will also serve as division vice president.

New Era Appoints General Manager for North America

New Era Cap reached outside of the headwear business recently to name Steve Gallo, most recently president of the recovery footwear brand Oofos, as general manager for North America.

GroupeStahl Names Chief Revenue Officer

GroupeStahl, the heat printing technology company, has promoted Josh Ellsworth to chief revenue officer. He has worked for the company since 1999.

Sssshhh, Pickleball Is Trying To Be Quiet(er)

Every time we meet with or interview a pickleball company we ask the same question: Is anyone working on a way to reduce the admittedly annoying sound that playing pickleball makes?

EvoShield Partners With Realtree on Gear

Combining outdoor style with lightweight protective equipment, EvoShield has partnered with Realtree for a new line of camo batter's protective products. 

New Product: ChinSaver Chinstraps from Drymax

“In football, athletes must wear a plastic chin cup/strap which is hot, sweaty, dirty, oily, smelly and a breeding ground for bacteria,” says Gus Blythe, president of Drymax Technologies.

BSN Celebrates Coaches With #DunkdChallenge

In conjunction with National Coaches Day this week, BSN Sports has been recognizing coaches with its #DunkdChallenge, billed as a fun and engaging way to celebrate coaches nationwide for all they do for their athletes, schools and communities.