Good as Goals
Carron can help find the perfect high-quality soccer goal net at pricing that suits any budget. Carron offers a variety of goal net constructions and sizes for all levels of play from junior to competition, with custom construction available. From practice to game day, your best bet is a Carron Net.
The annual Goals/Nets Vendor Roundtable examines the issues impacting the business in 2024.


Chris Livingston

Sales Manager, Bison

Russ Schirmer

Director of Sales, Carron Net

Matt Klein

Senior Product Manager, Champro

Andrew Peterson

VP–Sales, Gared Performance Sports Systems

Steve Vogelsang

VP–Sales & Marketing, Team Sports, Gill Athletics/Porter Athletic

Mike Cunningham

National Business Development Manager, Gill Athletics

Neal Halvorson

National Sales Manager, Trigon Sports


Let’s get right to it: Has the supply chain situation worked itself out?

Andrew Peterson, Gared: The supply chain challenges of recent years have largely been resolved, but persistent issues in the Red Sea have continued to impact container costs and delay deliveries beyond the usual timelines.

Matt Klein, Champro: We are starting to see a more consistent schedule and our planning has become more predictable. This has given us the ability to provide our products to our customers in a timely manner.

Steve Vogelsang, Gill Athletics: Supply chain lead times and freight costs have largely returned to normal. Primary lingering effects of the COVID-impacted supply chain are inflationary material prices and challenging labor availability.

Neil Halvorson, Trigon: Yes, we have seen noticeable improvement over the last year. Transportation costs continue to level off, along with increased availability of raw materials.

Russ Schirmer, Carron Net: For the products we make the supply chain is straightened out, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that our nets are made here with U.S or North American materials. Hence our raw materials don’t have a long way to go to get to us.

Chris Livingston, Bison: We’ve been lucky to avoid supply chain issues for a year or so, but it does help that we manufacture a large majority of our products here in Lincoln, NB.


Any further challenges expected in 2024?

Klein: We are monitoring our global supply chain to ensure our data is as accurate as possible. We have been working hard to validate our forecasts throughout the selling season to better supply our customers’ expectations and provide the products needed at the right time.

Halvorson: Of course, we always expect challenges. But we also look for opportunities. And we see great opportunities with our expanding product lines and our commitment to team dealers.

Livingston: The challenge for 2024 will be to adjust to the end user’s lower budgets and plan accordingly.

Peterson: We aren’t expecting any major challenges, but the continued growth in the sports equipment industry may cause longer lead times for our core products.

Schirmer: The challenges remain with the cost of raw materials and labor. Although the inflationary trend has subsided and, in a few cases, reversed, we haven’t seen any price decreases from our suppliers. We have added additional staff to keep up with demand for our nets, but there is a cost to acquire, train and retain the talent. Like other businesses, we also see folks leave the workforce (retire). One of our long-term production teammates retired earlier this year after sewing over a quarter of a million volleyball, tennis, badminton, paddleball and pickleball nets during her long career. That experience isn’t replaced overnight.  


So what can team dealers and their customers expect for product availability and delivery later this year?

Vogelsang: A return to normal. Our lead times and inventory levels are back to historical averages, if not improved slightly.

Halvorson: Our team dealers can expect us have plenty of inventory available in our key product lines in football, baseball/softball, soccer and basketball, in addition to our commitment to ship most orders within 24 hours.

Klein: Our planning team has been consistently and diligently reviewing our demand cycles to stay proactive and responsive to our customers’ needs and market trends. Our inventory is in a strong position throughout the year.

Peterson: Customers can anticipate us remaining ahead of the curve with regard to product availability and delivery. Our implementation of more efficient processes, collaboration with multiple vendors when necessary and in-house manufacturing have significantly reduced external shipping variables.

Schirmer: Team dealers can expect good availability and delivery times this year. We are caught up on our backlog and starting to make stock so that dealers can deliver our nets to their customers quickly.

Livingston: We’re easily back to our pre-COVID levels of inventory and shipping nearly all non-custom orders within one or two days from receipt of order. And we anticipate it will remain this way through the rest of the year.


What about price increases? They were unpredictable for the past year or two. Have they become more stable and what are your plans into late 2024?

Halvorson: We actually lowered prices on many of our key items in 2024, which in this day and age makes us pretty unique. As a result, we have seen immediate positive results in the first quarter of 2024.

Peterson: They were unpredictable for the past year or two. Thankfully we’ve maintained stable pricing across the board in recent years, although we’ve made minor adjustments to certain products in response to escalating costs. While most vendors are opting to retain these increased prices given the current demand, we anticipate they will remain steady moving forward.

Klein: The market will set itself as the supply market becomes stable. Prices within the market might become more competitive with the supply chain ramping up from previous years. We will need to keep a close eye on industry trends, including changes in raw material, costs, currency fluctuations and competitor pricing strategies. Understanding these factors can help us anticipate potential price increases and plan accordingly.

Vogelsang: We had a very nominal price adjustments going into 2024. We expect no mid/late year price changes and anticipate historically average price adjustments in 2025.

Livingston: We used a commodity surcharge over the last couple of years to deal with the changing material prices. However, we felt comfortable enough with today’s market to remove the surcharge and we’re fairly confident we won’t need to bring it back anytime soon.

Schirmer: At this time, we expect our prices will be stable through 2024.  


Were there any positives for the goals/nets business in the past year?

Peterson: Yes, we observed a surge in demand for both goals and nets last year and this growth has continued into the first quarter of 2024.

Klein: Our net business continues to be a strong asset for Champro. We are forecasting similar growth that will put us in a strong position for increased demand.

Mike Cunningham, Gill Athletics: There continues to be a push to utilize ball stop systems to help make fields and track multi-purpose. These systems are designed to help multiple sports conduct practices in smaller spaces, therefore improving efficiency in space.

Halvorson: We continue to see strong demand for our BPCAGE Professional portable baseball batting cage, along with our line of baseball nets and soccer and lacrosse goals/nets.

Schirmer: Our goal/sport net sales increased over the past year, so I expect that team dealers had similar welcome increases.

Livingston: Last year was a record year for Bison after the record year prior.


Please provide some advice to team dealers how they can sell and deliver more goals and nets?

Klein: It’s important to understand the specific requirements of schools and programs. Stocking a diverse range of goals and nets to cater to different sports and age groups that fit those requirements can help provide those products quickly. Additionally, creating bundle deals that include goals, nets and other related equipment such as balls or training accessories could make purchasing much easier for schools and programs.

Halvorson: Being proactive in reaching out to the school AD or coach, church, rec dept., etc., will keep them from going to the internet. Building the relationship so those customers know the team dealer is their go-to for all things equipment will lead to increased sales of these items.

Peterson: While most team dealers excel in selling uniforms, many are hesitant about equipment sales and only engage when prompted. It’s crucial for team dealers to proactively educate schools, churches, municipalities and other organizations about the necessity of regular equipment maintenance and timely replacements.

Cunningham: Most coaches and athletic directors don’t know where to turn (with the exception of Google) to purchase these items. Having a general understanding of the goals and nets that you represent and relying on your manufacturer’s sales and customer service team will allow you to present the solution to potential customers who are looking for your solutions.

Schirmer: Dealers should always be talking to the customers about their sports schedules well in advance to make sure netting orders are placed immediately. This helps avoid delays getting the goals/nets they will need and makes the dealers look more consultative.

Livingston: Budgets are going to be tighter this year due to less COVID money, so the key to more sales is to get into the schools early while they have the money.


Finally, what is your outlook for the Fall 2024 season?

Peterson: Fall will be a monumental time for us if sales continue to grow at the current rate. After our successful rebranding last year, we’re eagerly poised and ready for the busy summer and fall seasons.

Klein: We are ready to provide our customers the products they need when they need them. We brought in our Fall products earlier than usual to ensure that we can continue to provide our customers the products they need before and during peak seasons.

Halvorson: We are working to maintain the successes we’ve seen so far with a continued focus on growth and new products.

Livingston: The 2024 Fall outlook will have a lot do with budgets. Sales will mirror what schools do with their budgets, so let’s hope for a small increase at the very least.

Schirmer: Fall of 2022 is going to be a banner season if we all prepare for it properly.

Champro has developed an innovative net for baseball and softball. Its Triple Play Rebound Screen is a patent pending net that has a distinctive S-shaped frame designed to provide three angles of rebound without adjustment.



We have to ask about the fastest-growing sport in America: Any thoughts on pickleball?

Chris Livingston, Bison:
Pickleball has been our fastest growing category over the last two years. Our recreational system is up 27 percent over the last two years and our competition system up 59 percent over the same timeframe. We do also offer a portable option as well.

Neal Halvorson, Trigon:
It has definitely taken our industry by storm. We continue to explore options to enter that market with posts and nets.

Matt Klein, Champro:
It’s exciting to see a new sport have success. As a new popular sport, we will have to monitor to see if in the future pickleball fits in our product assortment.

Andrew Peterson, Gared:
We do offer several indoor and outdoor pickleball systems designed for competition play, including the addition of two new systems this year. As this category keeps growing, we’ll continue to monitor the market and listen to feedback from facilities on additional equipment needs.

Russ Schirmer, Carron Net:
There is continued robust demand for our regulation as well as custom-sized pickleball nets. They are selling as fast as we can make them.