National Sporting Goods Association

CBX Software Sponsors National
Founded 1929
Type Trade Association
Focus Education & Advocacy

Area served

United States


Key people

Matt Carlson, President & CEO
Serving the Sporting Goods Industry Since 1929


The (NSGA) is a non-profit trade association that provides information to and advocates for the Sporting Goods Industry. NSGA members include retailers, institutional team dealers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and industry associates.


The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) has worked on behalf of retailers and dealers since the association’s founders fought an unjust tax on sporting goods in 1927. South Carolina’s General Assembly had approved a 10 percent tax on retail sales of sporting goods in ’27, and this so enraged the state’s sporting goods dealers that they formed the Sporting Goods Dealer’s Association of South Carolina to urge repeal of the tax. One year later, they accomplished their goal.

Soon after, other regional sporting goods associations began to form. Ultimately, at a meeting in January 1929, in New York City, East Coast sporting goods distributors banded together to form the Athletic Goods Wholesalers Association. Two months later in St. Louis, Mo., Midwestern and Southern sporting goods dealers formed the Sporting Goods Distributors Association.

It wasn’t long before the two regional organizations met in Cleveland, Ohio; the result of this meeting was the merging of the two associations. On May 26, 1929, the Sporting Goods Distributors Association was born. In 1930, the name was changed to the National Sporting Goods Distributors Association. Finally, in 1936, the organization adopted the name National Sporting Goods Association.


NSGA membership consists of retailers/institutional team dealers/wholesalers, manufacturers/sales agents and industry associates in the Sporting Goods Industry. NSGA represents retailers operating more than 22, 000 retail and Internet outlets that sell sports, fitness and recreational equipment, footwear and sportswear.

Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame[edit]

The Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame honors the pioneers and leaders of the sporting goods industry. More than 150 retailers, dealers and manufacturers have been inducted since the first group in 1956. Such names as Evinrude, Colt, Remington, Riddell, du Pont, Shakespeare, Coleman, Cramer, Head, Brunswick, Dassler, Easton and Knight are among the Hall of Fame inductions.


NSGA advocates on many issues on its' members behalf. NSGA is involved in corporate, government and rulemaking advocacy efforts.

On the team side, NSGA regularly meets with rulemaking bodies such as the NCAA and National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) to advocate on our members' behalf. The Association's efforts have helped members in numerous ways, including in 2012 when a football glove rule change was delayed by a year, saving members millions of dollars in inventory that would have been obsolete without the Association's efforts.


The NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit draws industry retailers, team dealers, manufacturers, agents, licensing groups, industry associates and members of the media together in a forum to address industry problems and concerns; increase communication; exchange ideas; and network in a relaxed setting. The NSGA Management Conference is the longest-running event of its kind in the Sporting Goods Industry and celebrated its 50th year in 2014.


NSGA Now magazine is distributed to member companies. The magazine focuses on areas of greatest interest to retailers and dealers – new products, hot markets, member benefits, management issues and industry news.

NSGA publishes the NSGA Scoreboard, an enewsletter that goes out twice a month on Tuesday. This enewsletter combines all of the news in the industry and also shares news on NSGA research, team rule changes and news and NSGA services and programs. In addition, "HockeyVoice" serves specialty hockey retailers who are members of the Hockey Dealers Association (HDA), a division of NSGA.

Research & Information[edit]

NSGA's research portfolio spans a variety of topics including sports participation, sporting goods market retail purchases, retailer financial performance metrics, and other custom research.

The Sporting Goods Industry research provided by NSGA is utilized to the benefit of many segments including retailers, team dealers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and other organizations interested in the state of the sporting goods industry.

NSGA’s Information Center responds to the needs of members by providing information on manufacturing, retailing, sports participation and other data useful in conducting daily business. This membership benefit, called “Ask NSGA”, provides members a source of assistance when searching for a particular product, identifying the contact information for a particular organization, or finding answers to other industry-related questions.

Divisions and Committees[edit]

The NSGA Team Dealer Division provides services to team dealers who specialize in supplying equipment to high schools, colleges and organized teams. The Division acts as a liaison with rule-making bodies and with national high school and college federations. A Team Dealer Advisory Committee provides guidance and feedback to NSGA staff on issues important to team dealers.

NSGA divisions created in 2010 include the Hockey Dealers Association (HDA), which serves the hockey industry. In addition, NSGA created its Division for Sales Agents, which serves sales agencies, independent sales agents and company sales representatives in the many segments of the Sporting Goods Industry.

NSGA also holds an annual meeting of the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Committee. The Committee considers nominees and their qualifications before voting on candidates to be inducted into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame.

The Association also manages the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association, an active group of approximately 250 specialty ski and snowboard retailers.

Trade Shows[edit]

Prior to exiting the trade show business in 1999, NSGA had run an international trade show in Chicago for nearly 70 years and a regional trade show in Southern California for more than 40 years.

NSGA Officers and Directors[edit]

Chairman of the Board – Randy Nill, Nill Brothers Sporting Goods, Kansas City, Kan.

Treasurer/Chairman-Elect – David Labbe, Kittery Trading Post, Kittery, Maine


Dale Donaldson, Mallard's Source for Sports, Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada

Pat Donnelley, Donnelley Sports, Twin Falls, Idaho

Rhett Johnson, Johnson-Lambe Co., Raleigh, North Carolina

Jeff Miller, Scholastic Sports Sales, Ltd., Manlius, New York

Cathy Pryor, Hibbett Sports, Birmingham, Alabama

Pete Schneider, Athletic Dealers of America, Viera, Fla.

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