Ignoring key trends not only puts you behind your competition, but also plays a role in the overall decline of your business over time. For the purposes of example, let’s examine some trends in the sports and leisure markets, and then examine how they play into the awards business.
- Fewer children are playing sports.
- Fewer Americans identify themselves as middle or upper-middle class than they did pre-2008.
- Golf, once the mainstay participation sport of middle and upper-class Americans, is declining significantly in all age ranges.
- The fastest growing sport, game, or participation segment in the American market is fantasy sports.
If we examine the implications of the four trends above, there are some revelations that jump out immediately that affect our industry. First, less participation in youth sports means fewer awards given out, and ultimately fewer awards sold. If this trend continues, it signals erosion of one of our major industry segments.
Looking at the golf statistics, and coupling that with the shrinking middle class, we see a re-prioritization of how people are spending their money. There are far more distractions today than ever before, and Americans are lured by the “ease of use” that many of these distractions provide. With smartphones, we can multitask and have access to many things, good and bad. One thing I am sure of is that I never had a smartphone when I was a kid. As a result, my mother had to drag me in from a full day of playing outside. This lack of motivation to play outside adversely affects the revenues of those of us in the awards industry.
—Eric Priceman, Victory