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NBS Fall 2016 Team Athletic Market Recap

The Fall 2016 Team Athletic Market was held from November 14-16 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. In a very uncertain team environment, we were cautiously optimistic for a strong show. The phrase which resonated the entire show with the majority of our Members and vendors was “engaged” and our membership seemed energized and enthusiastic. Consensus among Members surveyed was that their team businesses were solid and tracking well, but that retail energy was at a low in the team sports categories.

We had 51 exhibitors/vendors on the show floor versus the 46 from last year. Including presentation vendors (four this year versus one last year), we had eight more options for our dealers to shop.

A majority of key vendors reported very strong shows including Wilson, Mizuno, Badger, Adidas, Champro, Mueller, and more. New vendors seemed happy with orders and number of leads, driven both from floor traffic and from the combined Hot Show/New Vendor event. This evening buying event statistically saw a downturn in business from past markets, but this has been an ongoing trend at the fall market as our membership has shifted towards more of a team dealer market, where less and less business is booked on futures and more is done on an “at-once” basis. Overall, the mood was upbeat.  

Regional team leader meetings saw great and energetic discussions, with consensus that our areas for future focus are better education/networking for our principles and roadmen; better year round communication and accessibility to other dealer’s strengths/ideas; and a continued effort to streamline deals into a handful of key items with broad acceptance by the group.