According to data from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), purchases of sports equipment on the Internet have gone from 1.4% of the total equipment market in 1999 to 10.1% in 2007. Since 2000, Internet purchases of sports equipment have gone from $750 million to more than $2.5 billion — a 242% increase in Internet sports equipment purchases. In contrast, purchases of sports equipment in all channels rose only 17% in that same time period.


The data for sports footwear is similar. Purchases of sports footwear on the Internet have gone from 0.6% in 1999 to 7.6% in 2007; in dollars, from slightly less than $200 million in 2000 to more than $1.3 billion in 2007 — a 575% increase in Internet sports footwear purchases. Again, to contrast, purchases of sports footwear in all channels rose 33% from 2000 to 2007.


No data on sports clothing purchases is available.


NSGA said that trends suggest that consumers are likely to continue purchasing on the Internet and at a higher rate. Although at some time it will level off, when is uncertain. 


The data used in this analysis is from in the NSGA report “The Sporting Goods Market in 2008” and previous years. Based on a consumer study of 100,000 U.S. households, the report summarizes retail sales totals-in units and dollars-for 22 types of athletic and sports shoes as well as products in more than 20 sport categories. Place-of-purchase data covers 10 channels of distribution, including Internet purchases.