Since starting its fall Team Dealer Show in Las Vegas in 1999, Sports, Inc. has grown the event from a single ball room at the Four Seasons hotel into two  ballrooms with separate conference rooms for major vendor attendees like Rawlings, Under Armour, Russell, Schutt Sports,  and Wilson.

Matt Martin, Sports, Inc.’s Marketing Director for Athletics, spoke in an exclusive interview with Sports Executive Weekly, noting that this most recent show saw five new vendors attending including Shock Doctor (who had previously shown in the spring, but not fall), Custom Chenille, and Powers.  A number of prospective members attended the show as guests.  

This 100% member-owned group was founded in 1965 and has seen strong growth recently, adding 23 dealers to its ranks during 2007. Sports, Inc. is rather unique in its constituency, however, with 199 of its members focusing on team sports, while just over 200 focus on Hunt/Fish/Camp side of outdoor.

At the Team Dealer show, the group featured a series of vendor presentations that showed dealers the new products, while also discussing ways to sell them. Interestingly, Martin noted that  “Sports, Inc. did not charge vendors for booth space for our shows during 2007”.  He continues stating, “Our main goal is to make our member owners more profitable.  By offering free space for exhibitors, the dealers in turn should benefit by getting better deals at the show and throughout the year.”

Whether a factor of timing, location or size of the group, the show had crowded hallways and a convivial atmosphere as dealers saw the latest wares and placed orders for next season’s sports.