Future Industry Leader Scholars Profile: Alex Stone

???????????????????????????????This summer, five young professionals in the sports and fitness industry were selected as the 2013 SFIA Future Industry Leader Scholarship recipients. All five of these recipients will be present at SFIA’s inaugural Industry Leaders Summit this coming September 25th-26th in Baltimore, MD.

Each of our scholarship recipients is incredibly talented and display an incredible amount of promise as they rise to the top of their field. In the next few weeks, SFIAinsider, in collaboration with SFIA Weekly, will be posting exclusive interviews with each of our five winners, in order of participant’s response. We are honored to have the opportunity to put them in the spotlight before the event.

This week, meet Alex Stone, an avid sports fan, US Marine, and current Under Armour employee. Continue reading to see the full interview.

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Park Proximity and Participation

Blog Post 5 Cover

Over the past ten years, obesity has become an increasingly serious issue in America, and sports participation has suffered slightly as more Americans become inactive. Thankfully, the sports and fitness industry is one of the most resilient industry’s in the world and is perfectly capable of weathering a minor blip. As for the cause of this slow down, many are quick to point at the increased popularity of video games or the meteoric rise of Facebook, Twitter and the like. But regardless of what one may point at to be the true “cause” of the drop in sports participation and rise in obesity, we here at SFIA are constantly analyzing data for solutions. And we may have a new one for you….

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Made in America: Part 2

THE FINAL MIA(Click image to view in full-screen mode)

Made in America Series, Part 2: How it was Done

The above infographic was the ultimate goal of our Made in America project. It shows every SFIA member company that manufactures in the United States and where exactly those companies manufacture their products. In white states, there are no SFIA member companies manufacturing their products, in yellow states there is a single SFIA member company factory, in green states there are 2-3 SFIA member company factories, in light blue states there are 4-9 SFIA member company factories, and in our two navy blue states (Massachusetts and Illinois) there are over 10 SFIA member factories. Illinois leads the way with a whopping total of 14 factories alone. In total, we found 76 SFIA member companies that produced their products (or at least some of their products) here in America. All 76 of those companies can be seen in the above infographic. If you’re wondering how exactly we can to that number, we’re about to tell you.

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Made in America: Part 1

mericaWhy take on the Made in America Project?

On my first day of work here at the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), I was tasked with my first major project of the summer, discovering which of our member companies manufacture here in the United States. At the time, I had a systematic approach to handling each of my interactions with the rest of the office: nod my head, smile, say thank you and don’t ask too many questions. When I got my assignment, I was genuinely excited to have real responsibility in the office on just my first day at work. That said I was tempted to deviate from my ingenious system and ask VJ Mayor, Director of Communications and Research, why he was having me take on this project.

I knew the obvious benefits that many a politician have hardwired into my brain. Obviously domestic production creates American jobs, and I will never be one to question just how valuable that can be. However, from a company’s perspective, I found it hard to blame anyone for producing overseas if it meant that they could get their products to American consumers at a lower price.

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Why Start a SFIA Blog?

Here at the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, we have a lot on our minds. One day, our research shines light on an important trend in sports participation that we feel demands the attention of our industry. The next, we find a story on one of our members new innovations that promise to change the industry for years to come. Some days are focused on Capitol Hill as we work to increase funding for physical education in school or eliminate foreign counterfeit markets. On others, the “sports fanatic” inside of us comes alive as our office is captivated by an amazing play or underdog victory.

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Swimming for Fitness: An Increase in Participation

phelps for blog

Swimming for fitness is quickly growing in popularity in the United States among all people, young and old. According to SFIA’s “Topline” report, which summarizes and evaluates data on levels of activity within the United States, Swimming for Fitness has experienced growth in total, casual, and core levels of participation. Total participation, which encompasses anyone who has actively swam for fitness at least once in the previous year, rose from approximately 21,517,000 participants in 2011 to 23,216,000 participants in 2012, an impressive 7.9 percent increase in participation. This 1.7 million increase in participants is the largest increase out of all the sports that SFIA covers for 2012. Casual participation measures persons who have swum at least once but less than 49 times in the previous year. Casual participation rates showed 7.6 percent growth from 2011 to 2012, an increase from approximately 14,065,000 participants to 15,139,000 participants. The transition from casual to core participants highlights those truly dedicated to the sport. Core participants are those who have swam for fitness 50 or more times in the previous year. In 2011, approximately 7,453,000 people swam as a means of physical exercise, and in 2012 the number rose to 8,077,000, which marks an 8.4 percent increase in participation.

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