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Athletic equipment. Bat, baseball, mitt, basketball, helmet, and spiked shoes. National Photo Co. 1941


Sports is big, big business not only in the United States but around the world. Millions and millions of dollars are spent at sporting events and on sports-related equipment and apparel. According to charts based on data from the National Sporting Goods Association and published in the 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States, sales for all athletic and sports clothing and equipment for 2009 were almost $70 billion dollars.1 2009 revenue for Spectator Sports was just under $32 billion dollars while revenue for Other Amusement and Recreation Industries (including marinas, golf courses/country clubs, skiing facilities, fitness center, etc) was over $58 billion dollars.2

BERA - Business & Economics Research Advisor - A Quarterly Guide to Business & Economics Topics

Issue 3/4: Summer 2005
Updated December 2016

The Sports Industry

Table of Contents

General Guides and E-Resources
Sports Marketing    New section
Building & Managing Sports Venues    New section

Caption: left:
Athletic equipment. National Photo Co. from the
National Photo Company Collection
(Library of Congress)
Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-96727

This guide is devoted to those sports that are the largest in terms of monies at the professional level and/or which attract the greatest attention from the general population. As a result, not every sport is included. The primary focus is on the sports industry in the United States although there are a few instances in which the international aspects of the industry are mentioned. Because of the focus on professional sports, the Olympics and other amateur events are not included. For sources of information about the Olympics, see The Olympics: A Guide to Reference Sources . Each section of the guide contains links to print and electronic resources, as well as quick links to relevant LC catalog searches.

If you have any further questions, please Ask A Librarian.

Ellen Terrell, Lead
Janice Herd
Lawrence Marcus
Joseph Sams
Joan Sullivan

1 "Sporting Sporting Goods Sales by Product Category: 1990 to 2009, and Projection, 2010" Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2012 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011), Table 1250.

2 "Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation Services - Estimated Revenue: 2004 to 2009," Statistical Abstract of the United States, 2012 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011), Table 1228.

Last Updated: 11/29/2016

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