Winter Green Research
The 2016 study has 633 pages, 288 tables and figures. Worldwide youth sports markets are poised to achieve significant growth as travel teams become more popular and families learn to enjoy time together during a weekend sporting event. Enormous market efficiency is being achieved as youth and recreational teams move to automated process. Apps can be used to book hotels and make travel arrangements.
A $15.5 billion market in the US, the youth sports market rivals the size of the $14 billion NFL. Youth sports markets are comprised of segments that represent revenue generation from travel, equipment, team membership, facility construction, software, and venue rental. Leagues who purchase and distribute sports software to teams or clubs have created a large market from what were previously disparate parts of what was not ever not even a market, just people buying clothes and equipment, and loosely organized groups of youth playing games on community fields.
As a result of this coalescence of the varying market segments brought about by youth sports software, the youth sports market has become well defined. Apps are used for communication. The primary purpose of youth and adult sports team sports is to deliver fun for the youth. Other agendas get mixed in, like building a strong and healthy body, developing a well-rounded and pleasant personality, developing team skills, and preparing a child to be a professional athlete. Youth sports depend on communication, tournament play, and video coaching that are needed to run a team effectively. Transaction management, registration, and fee collection are key aspects of some of the software.
Youth sports facilities can become part of a community development program. Every team, every sport has appeal and as there is more leisure, as the economy spins out more and more wealth at the top of the economic scale, there will be more spending on sports. Professional sports, betting, fantasy teams, semiprofessional teams, and teams just for fun will continue to look for venues and players.
Youth sports are sure to benefit from this trend. The brightest and the best will want to get top notch sports training for their children, and the entire middle class will follow as best they can. Sports are fun, the professional teams have begun to recognize that they need to invest in team development programs targeting children starting at age 3. This is when you can get the attention of the child and build skills incrementally that are providing a steady stream of youth available later for the professional teams.
Professional teams have noticed that the most ardent fans are those who played a sport as a youth. All the professional leagues have to invest in youth sports because otherwise they do not have players now and fans later.
Foundations and corporate arms of all large companies want to invest in supporting youth of the country and what better way than through sports. They can tie educational advancement of the sport interest.
Communities have to invest in youth sports providing activities that are supervised and better for all the residents, sports and teams have greater society benefits than the enjoyment of team play. Communities have found that it is cheaper to invest in planned sporting activities and keep children involved than to deal with the problems caused by kids that grow up without supervision, getting in trouble all the time.
The police departments have become interested in connecting with youth in a positive manner, spending money and time to get to know kids and provide guidance when needed. They are active in getting communities to fund development of facilities. It will be a problem to pay for all the facilities that communities want to build, so it will be interesting to see if communities find ways to contribute to the capital investment needed.
Private investment that sees benefit youth sporting programs is building in quantity. Foundations generally see the benefit of children being given sport opportunities.
The schools have by and large defunded gym programs for children creating a healthcare crisis of major proportion in the US and other parts of the world with childhood obesity and asthma creating lifelong chronic disease problems. The good news is that youth sports programs are becoming more available in more affluent parts of the world, poised to deliver healthy activity and build life long habits of movement and athletic skills development.
The market opportunity for youth team sports depends on a strong alliance between the schools and modern recreational facilities that meld education, drama, music and sports in a manner that supports learning and athletic development as one melded event.
With the advent of online learning, more students can move at their own pace and achieve academic excellence. One challenge is to make this happen in the context of incorporating sports achievement at the same time. Athleticism and brain development can be melded if education is done right.
Six in 10 children ages 6-12 regularly participate in team sports in the US. These sports programs are organized or casual.
With organized sports, there has been a rise in the number of travel teams, with the programs active at ever-earlier ages. There has been significant definition and growth in the youth sports industry. The coaching and league formation task is demanding for kids, families, and communities. Much of the organizational process has been automated with software.
The youth sports market is set to grow in response to increased interest worldwide in youth sports development programs. The programs are inherently satisfying to children and youth, giving them skills and accompanying self-esteem that translates to support academic skills as well as athletic ones. Software has become an important aspect of making team play easy to manage.
More changes are coming as digitization drives use of video so parents and children can share on the Internet the experience of team play. Video capture of game and practice play is poised to provide coaches and assistant coaches with an ever-increasing array of ways to help players improve play on the field.
Little league coaches bring a lot to the children whom they coach. The individual attention to skills development is a treasure to each child it touches. Stories proliferate about the value of little league coaches to girls and boys who had a dad or mom missing at crucial times of growing up. The same is true for the Girl’s and Boy’s clubs.
In these cases, a substitute parent is an invaluable part of forming a strong personality, able to be responsive to others, fit into a team, and perform with integrity. The coaches teach values in a context of fun.
The youth sports software is sold or given away free to teams, leagues and tournaments. Often a league will distribute the software to teams, clubs, or tournaments. Sometimes teams and clubs buy the software directly. A lot of youth sports software had been homegrown functionality bolted onto a stable platform. This homegrown small market software has basically become outdated, slated to be replaced with packaged, licensed or cloud software that is more robust.
The youth sports software provides registration and payment collection. The payment collection aspect of the software is sometimes important because it creates a way to collect a transaction fee that is used to pay for the software and provide continuing revenue to the provider.
The primary purpose of youth and adult sports team software is to deliver robust, automated process for the registration, scheduling, web site construction, coaching management, communication, tournament play, and video coaching that are needed to run a team effectively. Transaction management and fee collection are key aspects of some of the software.
According to Susan Eustis, leader of the market research team that prepared the study for WinterGreen Research, “Vendors are making acquisitions to upgrade software so it is able to provide a wide range of capabilities. Modules brought in from different companies and developers are difficult to integrate into a functioning platform. Once a platform is in place, the organization of travel teams is facilitated.”
Market growth comes from increased benefits of organization in youth sports leagues. Travel teams and tournaments are in vogue. These do not happen in a consistent manner unless there is automated process in place. Automated process is just better for making a team function smoothly, eliminating vast amounts of politics. Shared resource is always a problem, having automated management is better. Once one aspect of the team management is automated, there is demand to automate all the processes across the board leading to plenty of consolidation and acquisitions in this market.
In a $15.5 billion U.S. youth sports market, the youth and amateur adult league travel teams are gaining traction because they provide family vacation fun while improving skills of a youthful player. This is a nascent market, there is no end to growth in sight. Markets are expected to reach $41.2 billion by 2023. Youth sports teams will continue to get more organized and depend on software to provide increased management efficiency. Video images of play will provide better coaching.