Mike May

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Hoosier Hoops

There’s no denying that certain states have strong affiliations with particular high school sports — baseball in Florida, football in Texas, wrestling in Iowa. When it comes to basketball, Indiana produces the most passionate players and, in many cases, some of the best players in the history...

Grappling with COVID

A number of factors have affected the sport of wrestling in the past two years, not the least of which has been the impact of COVID-19 on what is arguably the most close-contact sport in a time when social distancing is a mantra. Here Team insight takes a close look at a number of those factors.

Pop Warner Football Returns to ‘Normal’

A year ago, the Pop Warner Football experience was not business as usual. Some local Pop Warner leagues played a limited schedule, some local leagues were delayed until spring 2021, and some local leagues cancelled their fall 2020 season altogether.

Special Times

While nearly every sporting goods team dealer and local retailer understandably dedicates the majority of their time to the Big Four – football, basketball, baseball and softball – that generate the most revenue, they are well aware that the so-called “specialty sports” deserve a fair amount of...

The Reconditioning Challenge Discussed

One of the biggest jobs in the sport is to get football helmets reconditioned on an annual basis and for many dealers it is both a headache and opportunity – both made even greater because of the COVID impact.

Flagging the Future

With increased safety concerns still impacting participation in tackle football, flag football continues to make strides in terms of popularity and participation in the U.S., especially with females.

Forward Pass

Football is back. It is back with youngsters in local youth leagues on Saturdays. It is back at varsity high school games on Friday nights. It’s back with colleges on weekends. And its back with the pros on seemingly every day of the week.But football is most certainly not completely back to normal.

Kicking It In

Soccer is somewhat like the Eveready battery — it takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. Or in this case, keeps on kickin’. That is perhaps the best way to describe how the sport has navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAIA Putting Its Flag Down in Football

Illustrating the growth of girls’ flag football as a collegiate sport, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) will be launching its second season of varsity girls’ flag football in the spring of 2022.

Special Times

While nearly every sporting goods team dealer and local retailer understandably dedicates the majority of their time to the Big Four – football, basketball, baseball and softball – that generate the most revenue, they are well aware that the so-called “specialty sports” deserve a fair amount of...

The 1-On-1 Project: Part 5

High school sports have always been the lifeblood of team sports and, like all other aspects of the business, they have had a challenging 18 months. COVID-mandated cancellations and postponements have made the past few campaigns seasons like no other in history.

Shine On Again!

In the Spring of 2020, if you didn’t know otherwise you would have thought that baseball and fast-pitch softball teams, even the amateurs, were on strike. Diamonds were deserted. Dugouts sat vacant and bleachers were empty. Concession stands shuttered — not a hot dog vendor to be found.

On The Rebound

Think back to a little more than a year ago when one of America’s favorite sports pastimes – NCAA March Madness – was cancelled due to the pandemic. Tough times for team sports amid dark times in America.

Deep Route

Football is always in season. If it’s not the regular season, then it’s the pre-season, the post-season, the off-season. And, of course there is the tried and true belief in the football-mad southern states that there are only two seasons in sports: Football and Spring Football.

Cheer Up!

Cheerleaders use an incredible amount of apparel, equipment, accessories and footwear and they have to buy it from someone. An editor's first-person account of a competitive cheer competition.

Fast-Pitch Times

Longtime ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale recently released a book titled “The Lost Season,” his summary of the 2019-20 college basketball season that was COVID-cancelled in March of last year. Were he so inclined, Vitale’s book could also have been an appropriate way to describe...

Play Ball?

First, the good news: Baseball is played outdoors in the spring and summer and with built-in social distancing. But dealers should not go filling out their lineup cards just yet.Because now the not-so-good news: There’s still a pandemic raging across America, vaccinations are...

Organized Ball

Like all team sports, baseball was certainly not spared the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result the main governing bodies of youth baseball had their collective hands full trying to bring a sense of structure to their turbulent world of recreation and...

Field of Dreams

Despite the looming presence of COVID-19, baseball actually continued to be played in certain parts of the country in 2020 – with increased safety protocols – by local recreation leagues, travel teams and high schools. The impact on the team business was obvious.

Hats Off

While the baseball-style cap is strongly linked to one sport, the cap is actually as popular with fans, parents, coaches and athletes in others as well. But the majority of caps are actually worn by those who play, coach and enjoy watching baseball. That’s where the business is for team dealers.

A Football Team

When you have a significant challenge on your hands, it is always a good idea to get the biggest guy in the room on your side. That’s one way to look at the partnership taking shape between the National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Football League...

Fourth & Long?

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the sport of football in America is, in many respects, at a crossroads. It’s an incredibly popular sport, yet it’s played by a relatively small segment of the overall population – 99 percent of its participants are male and the overwhelming majority are ...

Otherwise

There’s no denying that the vast majority of team dealers and local sporting goods retailers spend a large percentage of their time stocking, selling and delivering product connected with the “major” sports of football, basketball, baseball, softball and – to some – soccer.

A Special Core 4

Four of the more interesting and niche specialty sports – girls’ wrestling, rugby, track and field/cross-country and pickleball – are a microcosm of the challenges and opportunities team dealers face in selling specialty sports.

The Impact of COVID-19 on High School Sports – Fall 2020 Update

Topsy turvy. That may be best way to describe the state of high school, club and recreational sports in the U.S. this year, especially since mid-March. And, the murky waters of competitive sports as schools return and as many districts attempt to play a semblance of a fall sports schedule...