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Issues: Youth Sports and the Pandemic

As its impact wanes and then reappears, COVID-19 continues to dominate conversations in the world of team sports. As schools reopen this summer and fall and a semblance of normalcy returns to the playing fields of America, people are realizing just how important sports are to children and...

Learning Lessons from COVID-19

This is a great time to reflect on 2020 and what we’ve learned from it — and how we implement that learning into our 2021 business practices.

USA Football Has a Plan for Return To The Gridiron this Fall

In even more welcome news for team dealers, USA Football has said loud and clear that it plans to play football this year and it recently circulated a document based on phased reopening guidelines from the CDC. Of course, much depends on local city or...

Guest Column: Industry Veteran Jim Hoff Takes On the COVID-19 Pandemic

‍Here we are, likely experiencing the most unusual circumstances of our entire lives — and trying to figure it all out. How do we adjust our personal lives to deal with the new normal while we also try to make adjustments to run our businesses and survive?

What Data Reveals About Youth Sports’ Recovery from COVID-19

There is no doubting that the mandated shutdowns of youth sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic this spring and summer have greatly impacted the business of team sports. Team dealers and their vendors certainly know that.That impact has also been felt by the...

Summer Like No Other

July 4 didn’t bring the usual array of community events and fireworks extravaganzas to the U.S. this year, but even as COVID concerns played out across the country, the active lifestyle industry saw some bright spots.

COVID-19 Impact & Influence on Textiles

While it’s too early to tell what the lasting impact of Coronavirus will be, a new reality is already starting to take shape in terms of the future of work and the relevance of textiles in our everyday lives. To better understand the current situation, and ponder repercussions going forward...

Cautious Optimism After May Retail Sales Report

Pent-up demand from two months of shutdowns prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a 17.7 percent seasonally adjusted increase in retail sales from April, when they were off 14.7 percent from March. But overall May sales were down 6.1 percent year-over-year, with some categories...

Reopened Journeys Experiences Regional Differences

As of yesterday, more than 900 Journeys stores had reopened across the U.S. While traffic hasbeen down double-digits versus the year-ago period, parent Genesco says the business has been able to offset the traffic headwind through...

VFC: Evolving Behaviors Perfect for Brands, DTC

Emerging consumer behaviors and values born out of the COVID-19 crisis bode well for the parent of Vans, The North Face, Timberland and Dickies brands, the company says. So with an eye toward possible acquisitions post-pandemic, further revenue growth from Direct to Consumer sales and maintaining...

Dealers React To COVID-19 Crisis

Optimism mixed with apprehension dominate as dealers await the fall season. Bizarre, unprecedented and unexpected. Those are three words that may best describe the state of affairs in team sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ramifications are citywide, countywide, statewide, nationwide, global.

Best Foot Forward

After a tough couple of months – to say the least – the team business wants to get back to normal — or something close to it. The best we can do right now is take it one day at a time, to put our best foot forward as it were.

One Billion Gowns by August

The COVID-19 pandemic could well have been the demise of the U.S. textile and apparel industry. Instead, it has presented the industry with an opportunity to respond in a cooperative effort that may harbinger the development of a robust vertical supply chain in the U.S. and Western Hemisphere.

Reimagining Trade Shows

The COVID-19 crisis created seismic change across almost every aspect of the footwear industry — and that included the traditional buying cycle. Faced with retail shutdowns, travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders and product shortages, the ways, hows and whens of...

Sporting Goods Are Among the Few Positives Among COVID-19 Pandemic

Although team sports sales have taken a massive hit as a result of school closings and the cancellation of spring sports throughout the country, the general category of sporting goods, along with home fitness and bicycles, actually fared fairly well in the midst of the pandemic...

Bison Thanks Its Employees For Extra Effort

Companies around the team sports business are certainly struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on spring and summer sales, but many are finding ways to stay open and to reward loyal employees that have made that possible.

Blythe’s Patches Up COVID-19 Efforts

With Spring sports cancelled and thousands of high school athletes missing out on their varsity seasons – and the chance to purchase that always-important Varsity Jacket to mark the occasion – Mike Blythe has come up with a...

COVID-19 Pandemic Forces Cancellation of Little League World Series

While there still remains some small hope that some of its regular season games will be played this summer, last week Little League International decided to cancel its World Series and Region Tournaments for the first time in the organization’s history.

BSN Sports Reassures Suppliers After Pushing Terms To Net-180 Days

With every vendor worried about their team dealer customers not paying their bills — not to mention trying to survive the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 crisis themselves – a letter sent in April by BSN Sports/Varsity Brands to all of its suppliers caused...

New Era Furloughs Most of Its Employees As Business Dries Up

With the MLB season on hold, youth baseball leagues shut down in most of the country and retail orders down significantly, cap maker New Era has instituted a temporary furlough of the majority of its U.S. workforce.

SFIA Provides Update on PPP Program

In some much-needed good financial news for smaller team dealers and vendors impacted by the almost total shutdown of team sports in America due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Tuesday afternoon the Senate passed the COVID 3.5 bill.

PHIT America Launches ‘50 Million Healthy Kids’ Campaign

While America has screeched to a halt and is more sedentary than ever during the time of COVID-19, PHIT America is working on a long-term plan to create more active kids and future consumers for the team sports and fitness industry with its 50 Million Healthy Kids plan.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic Reason Behind Lowering of Varsity Brands’ Debt Rating

Citing the impact on school closings, social distancing and restrictions on large gatherings and sporting events, Standard & Poors last week lowered the debt ratings of Varsity Brands Co., the parent of BSN Sports, Varsity Spirit and Herff Jones.

News Report: Laux Sporting Goods Faces a Daunting Challenge

In an effort to support local businesses that are being threatened by the devastating effects of the coronavirus, local western New York newspaper The Athletic is publishing an ongoing series of stories to highlight what it calls its “treasured communities.” Here’s an excerpt from...

Manufacturers Putting Their Manufacturing Into COVID-19 Efforts

Reports keep coming across our desks about a number of suppliers to the team industry pivoting their manufacturing resources from their traditional products into COVID-19-related goods. Here are four of them...

AD Survey Looks Into Pandemic Concerns Among College Sports

Athletic academic progress and financial uncertainty were top concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey of more than 100 athletic directors from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

Badger Sport Performance Activity Masks Raising Funds for First Responders

Founder Sport Group, a provider of performance athletic apparel, this week reported initial sales of more than $14,000 of its Badger Performance Activity Masks, all of which is being donated to the All Clear Foundation; a 501c3 organization dedicated to improving...

Team Vendors Answer The Call in COVID-19 Response

TeamInsightExtra has invited all vendors and suppliers to the team sports industry to send us their messages related to the COVID-19 Pandemic to share with our readers. Below is a collection of those messages.

On My Mind: How COVID-19 Is Changing the Team Sports Business … Forever

Words like unprecedented, life-changing and apocalyptic are being tossed around these days as we cope with the changes in our lives brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The business of team sports is certainly not immune to this impact and we will continue to...

COVID-19 CARES Act Providing Financial Relief Options for Team Dealers and Retailers

The one piece of good news the team sports industry has received in the past month came late last week with the Federal Government’s approval of the $2 trillion CARES Act stimulus bill, which will provide $349 billion for small business loans and tax benefits targeted to...

On My Mind…One Thing and One Thing Only: Coronavirus

I had originally written a pithy editorial for this issue of TeamInsightExtra on the demise of Modell’s Sporting Goods and the sudden departure of my friend Cathy Pryor from Hibbett Sports, but in light of all that has happened in the world this week – and influenced by...

More Coronavirus Fallout: Little League Recommends Suspension of All Activities Through May 11

What little hope was held out for the early resumption of spring sports across America received a blow when Little League International, following the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “is strongly advising” all its...

Team Business Struggles With Coronavirus Challenges

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, simply, “May you live in interesting times.” While seemingly a blessing for an active life, the “interesting times” of the winter of 2020 are anything but … for life in general, for stock markets, for health care and, certainly, for the team sports business.

Team Business Weighs Impact of Coronavirus

The Coronavirus epidemic spreading around the globe has a good chance of hitting close to home for many in the team sports industry, as manufacturing and supply chain disruptions threaten deliveries of everything from footwear to apparel to equipment.

Taking Action

As retailers open back up, masks are going to play a big role — and BOCO Gear is ready. Known for its endurance gear such as hats and accessories, Boulder, CO-based BOCO Gear began reacting to the COVID-19 epidemic back in January, when the brand started...

UA’s Frisk: 2020 Will Be Year of “Rebalancing” for Brands, Retailers

Under Armour President and CEO Patrik Frisk thinks overriding “rebalancing” strategies amid the COVID-19 pandemic will focus on everything from inventory levels and distribution focus to further rationalization of overall U.S. brick-and-mortar store space.

Fashion Heavyweights Propose Changes to Seasonal Calendar

The current buying and retailing schedule is broken, and the unprecedented changes in the industry brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic make changes urgent, according to an open letter from major fashion industry players released on Tuesday.

Brands Continue to Step Up in Response to COVID-19

On top of its other donations, Nike has committed to donating more than 140,000 pieces of footwear, apparel and gear to healthcare workers in the U.S. and Europe. Working with nonprofit Good360 stateside and with local organizations in Europe, the...

Industry Responds to COVID-19

Seattle-based Brooks Running is gearing up for a second shoe giveback to healthcare workers. After a 10,000-pair giveaway on April 2 evaporated in 45 minutes, the athletic brand is expanding: For every purchase of a pair of select Brooks models, including the Glycerin 18 and...

Italian Shoe Trade Group Forges Partnership with DropShip Company

Citing the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had in shuttering shoe and clothing stores worldwide, the Assocalzaturifici Italiani has inked a partnership with Brandsdistribution, a drop ship firm that is launching a multichannel platform in BDroppy that will offer footwear brands...

Sports Cancellations, Store Closures Hurt March Athletic Footwear Sales

Dollar sales of baseball, soccer and golf shoes slipped an average 30 percent in March, according to research firm The NPD Group. Performance basketball and running shoe sales also fell.

Crocs, Skechers Make Adjustments in Wake of COVID-19

Crocs, despite realizing a 5 percent decline in second quarter revenues to $281.2 million, saw its Americas’ revenues increase 14 percent bolstered by a 23 percent retail comp gain prior to March store shutdown with both wholesale and e-commerce showing strength.

Industry Responds to COVID-19

The Running Industry Association (RIA) will defer member dues for all new retailers and offer current members an option to defer until January 2021 as well. The move is part of the RIA’s “Keep You Running” initiative that is designed to help retailers survive the mandated closures and...

Wolverine Adapts to COVID-19-Impacted World

Forecasting a “very challenged” U.S. retail market in April and bracing for the second quarter to be its “most challenging” period of 2020, Wolverine Worldwide continue to modify its operational structure and business plans following a first quarter where overall revenues dipped...

Brands Continue to Respond to COVID-19 — and Support Retail

Ferndale, WA-based Superfeet is debuting new options to support its retail partners as they remain shut under stay-at-home orders. The firm says it is offering drop-ship capabilities to consumers free of charge for stores who don’t want or are unable to ship inventory...

Brands Stepping Up Efforts to Battle COVID-19

Industry brands continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with assistance in a variety of ways.‍

Brands Stepping Up Efforts to Battle COVID-19

Boston-based New Balance said it was producing face mask prototypes in its Lawrence, MA factory and hoped to scale production to include its other New England factories soon.

Chaco’s Lisa Kondrat Describes the Pivot to Making Masks

ReChaco is resetting. As of Monday, March 30, the Rockford, MI-based factory that creates custom footwear and repairs older footwear for Wolverine’s sandal brand is now in the medical mask-making business.

RIA Survey Provides Key Insights on Run Specialty Channel

The longer the COVID-19 crisis lurches forward, the more likely U.S. run specialty shops will be challenged to generate higher year-over-year monthly sales. Some 29 percent of run specialty survey respondents projected “up to flat” year-over-year sales in April, while...

Vibram, Nike, HanesBrands Respond to COVID-19

Citing ongoing developments in Europe and the rest of the world, Vibram late last week decided to temporarily suspend production at its Albizzate, Italy facility for at least a week, and to close Vibram stores in Milan and Montebelluna, Italy and Boston.

RIA Cancels In-Person 2020 KICK Show; Virtual Trade Show in the Works

Due to COVID-19, the Running Industry Association (RIA) has canceled the RIA KICK Show that was scheduled to take place in Denver on May 11-14.The RIA is currently formalizing plans to re-introduce the show in a digital format. Details will be released in April.

COVID-19: Retail — and the World — on Lockdown

Given the global pandemic’s fluid severity depending on U.S. state and country, it’s hard to measure the virus’ eventual aggregate negative impact on trade until it runs its course.

Imports to Take Longer, Larger Hit from Coronavirus Impact Expected

Factory shutdowns and travel restrictions within China continue to affect production in the country, according the latest Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation/Hackett Associates.