By Eric Smith
With just a few weeks to go before the signature B2B event of the outdoor world, the industry’s trade organization on Thursday released some important facts and figures that show how much revenue it’s generating and how that money is helping member organizations flourish amid an ongoing trade war and evolving economy.
According to its 2018 annual report, Boulder, CO-based Outdoor Industry Association generated $8.9 million in revenue last year, with 65 percent of that from sponsorships and royalties, 18 percent from foundation contributions, 16 percent from member dues and 1 percent from other sources.
Of the organization’s 1,300 members, 905 are manufacturers, distributors or suppliers, 217 are associates and 178 are retailers or sales reps. OIA’s mission is to benefit those members through policy, sustainability and participation, which it laid out in the annual report, released online Thursday afternoon.
“Over the past three years, the Outdoor Industry Association staff and board of directors have sharpened our focus in order to maximize our impact in the areas of public policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation,” OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts said in a video introduction to the annual report. “Doing so has helped to clarify the work we do on behalf of, and in partnership with, you, our members.
“At the same time, it has helped us amplify our industry’s shared values in order to drive meaningful action locally, nationally and globally. We take very seriously our role as a convener for the outdoor industry’s brightest minds and understand the responsibility that comes with being our members’ collective voice.”
Here is a breakdown of OIA’s annual report by section.
OIA tackled a host of policy issues in 2018, including bolstering its government affairs team with two new members: Patricia Rojas-Ungar, based in Washington, DC, who was hired as the vice president of government affairs; and David Weinstein, based in Bozeman, MT, who was hired as the state and local policy director.
The association focused its policy efforts in 2018 on encouraging midterm voters to “Vote the Outdoors,” helping states around the country establish outdoor recreation offices and advocating for tariff reduction on outdoor products.
Here is a list of OIA’s policy accomplishments by the numbers:
- $100 million in savings for the outdoor industry through OIA’s trade policy.
- 12 million-plus people reached through the “Vote the Outdoors” midterm campaign.
- Supported the creation of $460 million to fund recreation and conservation.
- Worked on the passage of:
- California Proposition 68, which included a $4.1 billion bond to expand access.
- Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment, which provides an estimated $20 million to invest in local recreation.
- Reauthorization of the Colorado state lottery to fund local community recreation.
“In 2018, we released the first-ever State of Sustainability In the Outdoor Industry Report to showcase the outdoor industry’s 10-plus years of leadership in sustainable business and supply chain management via the OIA Sustainability Working Group,” OIA said in the annual report. “The comprehensive report benchmarks the industry’s collective efforts, allows companies to see how they compare to other companies of their size and measures the industry-wide adoption of OIA’s tools.”
Here’s a snapshot of OIA’s sustainability achievements in 2018.
- Hosted 15 webinars.
- Released the first-ever state of sustainability report.
- Launched the Sustainability Boot Camp.
- Was signatory to the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
- Counted 738 facilities tied to an OIA member that posted a Higg FEM (facilities environmental module).
OIA’s philanthropic arm, the Outdoor Foundation, set a fundraising record last year with $2.3 million raised, allowing the organization to create a new community-based, grant-giving initiative, Thrive Outside Communities. That was just one of the ways OIA and the Outdoor Foundation worked to introduce more youth to the outdoors. Here are the key participation numbers:
- Raised $2.3 million
- Gave $867,000 in grants managed by Outdoor Foundation
- Funded 63 nonprofit projects
- Developed the Thrive Outside community initiative
Events and Research
OIA helps its members through a variety of initiatives, including the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy, Capitol Summit, Sustainability Boot Camps, Outdoor University @ Outdoor Retailer events and topical webinars on business, policy and sustainability. Here are some of the numbers for those events:
- 114 Capitol Summit attendees
- 4,982 attendees of Outdoor University at Outdoor Retailer shows
- 18 educational webinars
And OIA in 2018 released the first-ever State of Sustainability report “to showcase the outdoor industry’s 10-plus years of leadership in sustainable business and supply chain management via the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Sustainability Working Group (SWG),” the organization said. “The comprehensive report benchmarks the industry’s sustainability efforts, allows companies to see how they compare to other companies of their size and measures the adoption of OIA’s SWG tools and partnerships.”
Here are OIA’s reports released last year: