National Sporting Goods Association

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National Sporting Goods Association
NSGA Logo Blue.jpg
TypeTrade Association
FocusEducation, Research & Advocacy
Area served
United States United States Canada Canada
Key people
Matt Carlson, President & CEO


The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) is a non-profit trade association that provides information to and advocates for the sporting goods industry. NSGA members include retailers, institutional team dealers, wholesalers, manufacturers and industry associates.


The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) has worked on behalf of retailers and dealers since the association’s founders fought an unjust tax on sporting goods in 1927. South Carolina’s General Assembly had approved a 10 percent tax on retail sales of sporting goods in ’27, and this so enraged the state’s sporting goods dealers that they formed the Sporting Goods Dealer’s Association of South Carolina to urge repeal of the tax. One year later, they accomplished their goal.

Soon after, other regional sporting goods associations began to form. Ultimately, at a meeting in January 1929, in New York City, East Coast sporting goods distributors banded together to form the Athletic Goods Wholesalers Association. Two months later in St. Louis, Mo., Midwestern and Southern sporting goods dealers formed the Sporting Goods Distributors Association.

It wasn’t long before the two regional organizations met in Cleveland, Ohio; the result of this meeting was the merging of the two associations. On May 26, 1929, the Sporting Goods Distributors Association was born. In 1930, the name was changed to the National Sporting Goods Distributors Association. Finally, in 1936, the organization adopted the name National Sporting Goods Association.[citation needed]


NSGA membership consists of retailers, institutional team dealers and also includes wholesalers, manufacturers, sales agents and industry associates in the sporting goods industry. NSGA represents retailers operating more than 22,000 retail and Internet outlets that sell sports, fitness and recreational equipment, footwear and sportswear.


NSGA advocates on many issues on its members behalf. NSGA is involved in corporate, government and rulemaking advocacy efforts.


NSGA Now magazine is distributed to member companies. The magazine focuses on areas of greatest interest to retailers and dealers – new products, hot markets, member benefits, management issues and industry news.

NSGA publishes the NSGA Scoreboard, an enewsletter that goes out twice a month on Tuesday. This enewsletter combines all of the news in the industry and also shares news on NSGA research, team rule changes and news and NSGA services and programs. In addition, "HockeyVoice" serves specialty hockey retailers who are members of the Hockey Dealers Association (HDA), a division of NSGA.[1]

Research & Information[edit]

NSGA's research portfolio spans a variety of topics including sports participation, sporting goods market retail purchases, retailer financial performance metrics, and other custom research and has been executed for more than 30 years.

The sporting goods industry research provided by NSGA is utilized to the benefit of many segments including retailers, team dealers, manufacturers, wholesalers and other organizations interested in the state of the sporting goods industry.

Divisions and Committees[edit]

The NSGA Team Dealer Division provides services to team dealers who specialize in supplying equipment to high schools, colleges and organized teams. The Division acts as a liaison with rule-making bodies and with national high school and college federations. A Team Dealer Advisory Committee provides guidance and feedback to NSGA staff on issues important to team dealers.

NSGA divisions created in 2010 include the Hockey Dealers Association (HDA), which serves the hockey industry. In addition, NSGA created its Division for Sales Agents, which serves sales agencies, independent sales agents and company sales representatives in the many segments of the Sporting Goods Industry.

NSGA also holds an annual meeting of the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Committee. The Committee considers nominees and their qualifications before voting on candidates to be inducted into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame.

The Association also manages the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association, an active group of approximately 250 specialty ski and snowboard retailers.

Trade Shows[edit]

Prior to exiting the trade show business in 1999, NSGA had run an international trade show in Chicago for nearly 70 years and a regional trade show in Southern California for more than 40 years.

Key People[edit]

NSGA Officers and Directors[edit]

Chairman of the Board – David Labbe, Kittery Trading Post, Kittery, ME

Treasurer/Chairman-Elect – Cathy Pryor, Hibbett Sports, Birmingham, AL

Past Chairman – Randy Nill, Nill Bros. Sports, Kansas City, KS


Kevin Bezanson, Cleve's Source For Sports, Nova Scotia, Canada

Pat Donnelley, Donnelley Sports, Twin Falls, ID

Rhett Johnson, Johnson-Lambe Co., Raleigh, NC

Greg Miller, Universal Athletic, Bozeman, MT

Jeff Miller, Scholastic Sports Sales, Ltd, Manlius, NY

John Oehler, Dunham's Sports, Troy, MI

Jerry Williams, Schuylkill Valley Sports, Pottstown, PA


  1. ^ "Hockey Dealers Association".