Women's Basketball Analysis

Part
01
of seven
Part
01

Girl's Basketball (Middle/High School) Perceptions

After an exhaustive search through credible sources, we were unable to provide an analysis of the market of girls in middle or high school in the United States who play basketball due to the lack of recent or relevant studies on the group's motivations, challenges, or aspirations.

HELPFUL FINDINGS

US basketball players

  • The rate of high school participation in girls' basketball is diminishing.
  • According to a report from the White House, girls comprise only 12% of high school basketball players.
  • As reported by the Associated Press, the primary reason for this decline is a lack of free time.
  • According to Alicia Abernathy, a coach from Hickory High School in North Carolina, social media is also negatively impacting girls' participation in basketball, as a fear of public embarrassment is present.
  • Basketball is the third most popular sport (412,407) among high school girls, after track-and-field and volleyball.
  • Only 0.9% of female high school basketball players will play at the professional level.
  • According to a 2017 study, basketball witnessed the second lowest overuse injury rate among girls.

2017 Czech study

  • In a 2017 Czech study, 12 female basketball players aged 15 to 18 were consulted on factors that motivate and challenge them to play the sport. Some of the factors identified are as follows:
TEAM (SOCIABILITY)
  • Things such as the ability to rely on team members for support and team spirit were stated as leading factors that motivate female basketball players
BASKETBALL AS PART OF LIFESTYLE
  • Participants of the study stated they are unable to envision doing another activity outside of basketball as it has become part of their routine. If they do not play basketball, participants stated they feel inattentive and unsatisfied.
ENJOYMENT
  • Participants in the study claimed they enjoy playing basketball because they are attached to the sport and have grown up playing it.
MENTAL RELAXATION
  • Individuals also stated that basketball provides them with an escape from school and everyday problems.
SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT
  • Participants of the study noted that basketball provides them with the chance to experience achievement and prove to everyone, including themselves, that they are doing something exceptional. Adoration from others was also listed as a motivating factor for the participants.
BASKETBALL AS A SPORT
COACH
  • A challenge the individuals in the study have claimed to face involves the need for coaches to establish a "dual relationship" with players, meaning there should be a work relationship while on the court. Additionally, they stated that both the mental stability and the attitude of the coach are important factors as it improves outcomes.
SUSTAINABILITY
  • The consulted basketball players have also listed the ability to advance to a career and earn a living playing basketball as factors that motivate them.
TIME MANAGEMENT


Research Strategy:

Our research began by searching through consumer opinion sites such as Ipsos, Mintel, and McKinsey, hoping to find reports on the attitudes, motivations, and challenges of US middle/high school girls surrounding basketball or at least surveys that consult female players in this age group psychographically when it comes to basketball players. While we found statistics on the watching of high school sports and the popularity of basketball across age groups, there was no information available regarding aspirations, challenges, and attitudes in female high and middle school players.

We then searched for interviews with high and middle school female basketball players, hoping to find relevant statements that we could use to provide an analysis. To locate these interviews, we explored various publications such as Forbes and Fortune, as well as local publications such as local radio stations, who often conduct such interviews. We also searched basketball-specific publications, such as Breakthrough Basketball. Nevertheless, this research strategy did not yield the results we were seeking. Instead, we found interviews with high school basketball coaches, college basketball players, and former basketball players, with no focus on high and middle school players.

Afterward, we checked marketing analysis sites, such as Adage and Quarts, to find reports on marketing campaigns by companies like apparel brands explicitly aimed towards high school basketball players. Our goal was to locate statements from companies that have specifically targeted female basketball players aged 14 to 18, or marketing campaign analyses that could provide clarification on why the companies targeted the age group. This strategy also failed as we were unable to locate reports on marketing campaigns targeted at high school female basketball players. Though reports on companies that targeted women in general were available, there were no insights on middle and high school players.

Finally, we searched academic databases hoping to find studies on the topic. Sites we explored included Google Scholar, Researchgate, and Semantic Scholar. With this strategy, we discovered some outdated studies, with the most recent dating back to 2005. We came across a 2017 study that focused on motivation factors among female basketball players aged 15-18, but it does not focus on the United States.
Part
02
of seven
Part
02

Girl's Basketball (Middle/High School) Gear Purchases

After an exhaustive search through credible sources, it appears that information on where middle and high school girls basketball players go to purchase gear is not available in the public domain.

HELPFUL FINDINGS

  • In the United States, middle school is considered to be grade levels 6-8 (ages 11-13), and high school is grades 9-12 (ages 14-18).
  • The 2018-19 ALL-USA Girls Basketball Team as chosen by the sports staff of USA TODAY in deliberation with recruiting experts and high school coaches include: Azzi Fudd (Player of the Year), Audrey Taylor (Coach of the Year), Fran Belibi (First Team), Jordan Horston, Haley Jones, etc.
  • In an article post by the high school basketball player Haley Jones, she shared her favorites movies, TV shows, and book, along with other things she likes. However, she does not share information on her favorite basketball gear.
  • Azzi Fudd's Instagram page has 39,000 followers with around 50 posts, but there is no quote, photo, or comment on her favorite basketball apparel or gear brand.
  • In a news article, 10th graders A’ja Wilson and Candace Parker, who played basketball in high school, shared their experiences with difficulties in finding the perfect clothing fit, while the clothing that did fit were very costly.
  • For Candice Parker, the article states, "Women’s jeans weren’t long enough on Parker, so she wore men’s pairs that her aunt sewed to look more feminine. She also wanted to wear a popular Tommy Hilfiger style of overalls, but she couldn’t, even with the extenders specifically made to make the overalls taller."
  • Presently, most brands are concentrating on more form-fitting dress-down apparel for players with long limbs, but most of the mentions are from male players discussing apparel and gear.
  • A paid industry report by A Technology Market lists the top brands in the basketball apparel market, including labels for females of all ages. It names brands such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, PUMA, ASICS, etc., as the leading manufacturers.
  • Walmart has served as the leader among sporting goods retailers in the country. From its sporting goods section, Walmart generated almost $10 billion in revenue in 2015. In terms of total sales from sporting goods, the companies following directly behind Walmart are Dick's Sporting Goods and Academy Sports + Outdoors.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Under Armour and other related trademarks have received criticism for seldom naming their basketball footwear for female athletes. The Baltimore Sun offered a partial explanation, stating, "The reason is part supply-and-demand and part the male-centric nature of professional sports."
  • In the United States, under 1% of basketball shoes purchased in 2018 were designed for women.
  • In the 1990s, Sheryl Swoopes become the very first female athlete to obtain a signature shoe from Nike. Also, Adidas revealed its Candace Parker Pro Bounce 18 shoes in the year 2018, which was named after a player who played for Los Angeles Sparks.
  • According to The Oregonian, Nike rules the high school marketplace in Oregon, as it arranges agreements to expressly supply 93% of all sizable public institutions possessing deals related to apparel.
  • Nike's deals in apparel retail presents large discounts for additional purchases, providing athletics officials motivation to purchase more. The institutions can receive special perks, including free items for staff member and coaches, along with buy-one, get-one-free uniforms.
  • Currently, Nike enjoys exclusive contracts for the layouts of uniforms for both the NFL and NBA. Meanwhile, high schools serve as "the next frontier," as several pupils like to wear big-name trademarks.
  • The Sports Stars of Tomorrow showcases various interviews of some of the best high school girls basketball players such as Rickea Jackson, Samantha Brunella, and others. The individuals share their playing experiences and future aspirations.
  • Rickea JackSon is an 18 year-old high school basketball player, and her profile showcases her personal notes, favorites, and inspirations.

Research Strategy:

Our research began by trying to identify the requested information using existing sources such as credible news articles, interviews, and comments from the players. Usually, through these sources, they showcase their preferences for various brands and items. For this information, we searched through articles from CNBC, USAB, AP News, The Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, etc. We also scoured through personal interviews and comments of various middle and high school girls basketball players and coaches in the United States from Sports Stars of Tomorrow, USA Today, SB Nation, etc. These individuals included Azzi Fudd, Audrey Taylor, Fran Belibi, Jordan Horston, Haley Jones, and others.

Using this search method, we discovered that most of the news articles covered male basketball players with minimal focus on females. Some articles highlighted the preferences of female players such as A’ja Wilson and Candace Parker. We also came across interviews involving some of the best high school girls basketball players such as Rickea Jackson and Samantha Brunella, where they shared their playing experiences and future aspirations, but there were no references for their preferred brands or retailers. The profiles of various female basketball players contained their notes, favorites, and inspirations, but there were no insights on their inclinations for a specific brand. Additionally, we found that most of the endorsements in basketball involve men, while it is rare that brands received endorsements from middle and high school female basketball players.

Next, we attempted to triangulate an answer by identifying the top/most prominent basketball gears/apparel brands and retailers among high schoolers and explore these brands' press releases, news articles, other marketing campaigns highlighting their trademarks being used/endorsed/recommended or popularized by/for any middle and high school female basketball player. For this information, we searched through industry reports from Markets and Markets, A Technology Market, etc., along with exploring the companies' official sites and news articles such as SB Nation, Business Real Tree, etc. With this strategy, we came across a paid industry report containing a list of the top brands in the basketball apparel market, among others. Conducting further research through news articles and other marketing materials, we could not find 5-7 examples of brands and retailers' activities to appeal to middle and high school girls basketball players.

Later, we tried to look for the information to help identify the examples of the most used brands and retailers by middle and high school girls basketball players for their gear purchases. We consulted third-party sources such as Ad Week and Adage and referred to multiple social media profile pages on Instagram and blogs posts of the top players. We expected the players to use these channels to share pictures/banners/posters/quotes involving their favorite/recommended basketball apparel/gear.

From this research strategy, we discovered that the social media profiles of players like Azzi Fudd and article posts from others such as Haley Jones shared various pictures and comments related to their everyday life and likes and dislikes related to their favorite movies, TV shows, books, etc. However, there was no mention of them purchasing any specific basketball apparel or gear brands from a particular retailer. Also, the third-party sources mostly covered information on prominent brands rather than the players, while sharing details on their market penetration in the high school sports segment.

Due to the lack of relevant information, we were unable to provide 5-7 examples of brands and retailers who appeal to middle and high school girls basketball players when they want/need to buy basketball gear.
Part
03
of seven
Part
03

State of Girls Basketball - Middle and High School

Participation in girls high school basketball has been steadily decreasing since at least 2005. The reasons for this include tensions felt by coaches and administrators. Complete details about the state of middle and high school girls basketball, including solutions and opportunities, are presented below.

Tensions/Problems

  • Participation in girls basketball at the high school level has been declining and many teams are only fielding varsity teams because there are not enough athletes to have both a varsity and junior varsity team.
  • Interviews with several high school coaches had each of them mentioning a generational shift where kids are simply not willing to work hard, the way previous generations did.
  • Another problem mentioned by several coaches was the fact that there are very few opportunities for female athletes after college. Therefore, many girls choose to focus on academics because it provides them with more options. Additionally, girls have more opportunities than ever before, so there are many more activities competing for their time.
  • More kids are choosing to specialize in one sport at an early age, which means they typically play that sport year-round and don't participate in multiple sports. This has likely contributed to the decrease in female basketball players at the middle and high school levels.
  • Not specific to girls basketball, but relevant to youth sports in general, is the tension between coaches and parents. Many parents are looking for scholarships for their kids and are very vocal when playing time is reduced or the team isn't winning. There have even been lawsuits against coaches because of a perceived lack of playing time. These problems can result in good coaches leaving the field.

Opportunities

  • In high school sports, a study showed that basketball had the second-lowest overuse injury rate for girls compared to other high school sports. This can be used as a recruiting tool in the sport.
  • In the 15-19 age bracket in the U.S., only 12% of basketball participants are girls. This means there is a large pool of potential athletes to be tapped.
  • Studies show that although short term (i.e. middle school and high school) success at a sport can be linked to early specialization, adults who are world-class athletes in their field typically only had a moderate focus on their sport at an early age. Educating young athletes on this could result in changes to how youth chooses to engage in sports.
  • For youth participating in basketball, personal engagement is often a primary objective. This can be accomplished in several ways: "access to appropriate sport environments and role models; activities that provide personal relevance; a positive social climate; encouragement in the face of difficulty; opportunities for leadership, challenge, and knowledge-building; and opportunities to feel in control, competent, and connected with others."

Progress

  • In 2018, the NBA, WNBA, USA Basketball and other institutions launched the Her Time to Play campaign. The goal of the program was to inspire more girls in the 7-14 age bracket to play basketball. The program provides a free basketball curriculum to youth organizations, and also has a goal "to train and license 500 new female coaches and mentors through USA Basketball’s Coach Licensing Program."
  • In 2018, USA Basketball and the NBA announced rules and standards that should be followed for youth basketball competitions. These guidelines included recommendations on practice length; limits on the number of practices and total practice time per week; rest days per week; and total number of months per year to participate in basketball.
  • The guidelines published by USA Basketball also recommended that specialization in sports not occur before age 14. If followed, this would impact middle school basketball because many of these athletes would not reach the age of 14 until the end of their time in middle school.

Changes/Improvements Needed

  • The focus on competitiveness rather than playing for enjoyment needs to be addressed as this focus results in several issues including too early specialization, too frequent competitive event scheduling, and increased risk of burnout and injury. This is based on a study of youth basketball in general, not specific to females only. Scientific data does not support the idea that early specialization leads to future success in a sport.
  • Media coverage of women's sports, in general, needs to be improved. For example, the U.S. women's Olympic team won their 5th consecutive gold medal in 2012 but received less than 30 seconds of prime-time coverage. The men's team, which had won their 2nd consecutive gold medal received about 30 minutes of prime time coverage.
  • Statistics show that only 0.9% of female high school basketball players will play at the professional level. Therefore, if programs promote themselves as a sure-fire stepping stone for girls to become professional athletes, they are doing girls a disservice.
  • Some of the decline in participation in girls basketball at the middle and high school level is attributed to the lack of a solid club infrastructure in the sport. Improving this infrastructure could lead to improvements in participation.
  • Girls basketball is perceived as a sport with large barriers to entry. By focusing on athletes of a specific physical type (i.e., tall), the pool of potential athletes is limited. Changing this perspective of the sport could lead to increased participation.

Research Methodology

Our initial search was solely focused on girls basketball at the middle and high school level and we were able to provide at least one insight/statistic relevant to that specific demographic for each of the four areas of interest: tensions, opportunities, progress, and improvements needed. Since the data were limited in this demographic, we proceeded to expand our search to youth basketball in general, with a focus on females, where possible. This allowed us to provide additional information that, although not unique to girls basketball, was relevant to the demographic of interest. In all cases when the data is not specific to youth girls basketball, it is noted.

Part
04
of seven
Part
04

State of Girls Basketball - College

An analysis of the state of women's basketball in college has been provided in this research. There are concerns over the continuous decline in the number of female coaches. Sports contributors are also accusing media outlets of being bias in their coverage of women's sports. However, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has developed a five-year strategy aimed at boosting the current growth in women’s college basketball.

TENSIONS AND CHALLENGES

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST FEMALE COACHES
  • According to a report by Laura Burton (a professor of Sport Management) and Nicole LaVoi (a Social and Behavioral Sciences senior lecturer), there appears to be a double standard in women's college basketball. Specifically, female coaches seem to be held to a different (more stringent) standard than male coaches, resulting in a continuous decline in the number of female coaches over the years.
  • In 1972, over "90% of female collegiate athletes were coached by women". Currently, women account for only 42% of coaches at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level.
  • As schools began to channel more resources towards women’s sports, an increasing number of male coaches became interested in pursuing a career in female athlete coaching.
  • During the recently concluded women’s college basketball season, MaChelle Joseph and Sylvia Hatchell were fired. Both women, who are prominent head coaches in female college basketball, were fired based on allegations made against their coaching style. Joseph’s players accused her of being demeaning, abusive, and manipulative. Players who were coached by Hatchell claimed that she was racially insensitive, she berated them and forced them to play while injured.
  • According to Burton and LaVoi, male coaches with a similar style would not have been accused of being demanding, tough, and passionate. They went further to state that this double standard is perhaps the reason why the "percentage of collegiate women head coaches" has remained stagnant and almost at an all-time low.
DISAGREEMENTS OVER BIASED MEDIA COVERAGE
  • Sports contributors are accusing media outlets of being bias in their coverage of women's sports, including female college basketball. According to David Berri, a Forbes contributor with two decades of research experience in sports, there is a media bias in favor of male sports. This has affected women's college basketball negatively since very little information is published about it by media outlets.
  • Berri mentions that sports reporters claim women's college basketball in the United States does not have a competitive balance because one team dominates the sport. This dominating force is The University of Connecticut's female basketball team (The UConn Huskies) who won a total of 10 NCAA championships between 2000 and 2017.
  • David Berri argues, however, that this trend of dominance has also occurred in men's college basketball. He goes further to prove that regardless of the same trend being visible in men's sports, media coverage has remained consistent without any effect on league attendance.
  • The Forbes' sports contributor alleges that women's college basketball has very little coverage at CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Yahoo Sports, and Bleacher Report. In some cases, sports reporters even make negative remarks about women's college basketball.
  • For instance, Josh Peter, a reporter at USA Today, said a recent UConn Huskies' win has made "the women's tournament look like a farce". Peter went further to say "UConn’s win on Saturday was a loss for women’s college basketball."
  • In concluding, David Berri insists that this poor coverage and negative reportage is the major problem with women's college basketball, and not the dominance of a few teams.

PROGRESS

  • CBB Today reports that there has been exponential growth in women’s college basketball during the past season. In leveraging this momentum, the NCAA plans on expanding on the sport's evolution. Recently, the NCAA announced its strategic plan aimed at promoting women’s college basketball.
  • In collaborating with industry stakeholders and partners, the NCAA is working towards unifying and growing the women’s basketball community. The association is also working on empowering student-athletes, as well as celebrating and elevating the game.
  • In addition, the NCAA's vision for the next five years also includes creating an experience that will inspire everyone involved in women's college basketball.
  • There were remarkable improvements in viewership during the recently concluded Division I Women’s Final Four round. A total of 40,189 attendees were present during the "three-game attendance for the Final Four". All games within this round were sold out.
  • Also, close to 275,000 people were present at the Big Dance. This participation places the 2019 NCAA Tournament as the eight most attended of all-time. On ESPN, the national championship game was watched by 3.69 million people. Also, the national semifinal games had a viewership of 3.64 million.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association's new five-year strategy to promote women's college basketball presents an opportunity for partnership and endorsement deals for companies that produce sports-related products such as athleisure outfits, games, and workout tools. Consumer packaged goods manufacturers, airlines, and transport companies who convey these large numbers of attendees can also leverage this opportunity for promotional purposes.
  • Currently, there is limited marketing aimed at promoting women's college basketball. This presents an opportunity for the NCAA to boost its efforts in advancing the sport by increasing its marketing budget for these female basketball tournaments.
  • A more deliberate attempt by the NCAA and its partners to counter negative press statements about women's college basketball and generate positive and widespread media coverage would ensure that the current growth momentum is sustained. This also enables expansion and continuous growth in the women's college basketball community.

CURRENT LIMITATIONS AND PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS

  • Currently, the NCAA is yet to grant college athletes the right to license their names, likenesses, and images for money. This limits the ability of female college basketball players to generate funds through endorsement deals. According to Marc Edelman, a senior contributor at Forbes, this restriction is a violation of the fundamental principles governing American free trade.
  • Edelman states that lifting the restriction on licensing would be of significant benefit to elite female college basketball players. He mentioned Arike Ogunbowale as an example of a women's college basketball athlete who was signed to a club but could not leverage her image and name rights in generating income.
  • Also, the members of the women's college basketball community feel they have not been accorded the recognition they deserve. In the past, "every women’s college basketball champion since 1983 had been invited to" the White House. However, since Donald Trump (the current United States president) was inaugurated, no women’s championship team has gone to the White House alone — on a special invitation.
  • Under Trump, these women’s teams have only visited the White House once, in November 2017. However, this visit was a joint invitation consisting of both women’s and men’s college championship teams. The South Carolina Gamecocks, who had won the women’s championship that year, turned down the offer. The team's coach, Dawn Staley, stated that the team felt disrespected for being ignored for several months before being invited.
  • Some female college basketball coaches have expressed their disappointment in this trend, mentioning that this lack of recognition may be linked to gender preferences. These concerns can inhibit performance in female college basketball athletes, who may no longer feel as inspired or motivated as their male counterparts.
Part
05
of seven
Part
05

Middle/High School Sport Apparel Retailers

No information on the retail sports apparel sector as it pertains to middle and high school basketball players is available on the public domain, therefore, it is not possible to provide an analysis of this sector either. Below is an overview of the information that was available.

RELEVANT INSIGHTS

PLAYERS FOR BASKETBALL APPARELS

  • Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Recreational Equipment Inc., Big 5 Sporting Goods, Hibbett Sports, and Modell's Sporting Goods are on the list of sporting goods retailers.
  • In 2017, Walmart's sales were $375 billion, Academy Sports + Outdoors' sales were $5.77 billion, Recreational Equipment Inc.'s (REI) sales were $1.96 billion, Big 5 Sporting Goods' sales were $1.03 billion, Hibbett Sports' sales were $9.22 million, and Modell's Sporting Goods' sales amounted to $8.65 million.

EXPECTATIONS OF BASKETBALL PLAYERS/FANS

  • Basketball players prefer a fitting that is more form-fitting.
  • Basketball players are tall and slender, with "wacky-inflatable-tube-man arms that dangle to their knees". The player's bodies are disproportionate and do not adhere to the rules of clothing manufacturers, which is why many go through extreme lengths to find clothing that fits normally.
  • Stylish sportswear is a new trend for basketball players. Michael Jordan, a famous basketball player, played a part in the rise of the stylish sportswear trend.

RETAILER'S APPROACH TO MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL

  • According to The Oregonian, Nike controls Oregon’s high school marketplace and has signed deals to solely outfit 93% of all large public institutions that have apparel contracts.
  • The company deals in apparel retail and offers large discounts for extra purchases thereby incentivizing athletics officials to purchase more. The company also provides special advantages to schools that qualify such as "buy-one, get-one-free uniforms" or free apparel for coaches and staff.
  • Retailers offer schools with top-tier basketball programs exclusive sponsorships that go further than the school-wide deals.
  • According to the Oregonian, Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour refused to be interviewed to further discuss their strategies for outfitting high school teams in Oregon.
  • Nike exclusively designs NBA and NFL uniforms. The retailer's domination of high schools is its next frontier and many students are elated to wear big-name brands.
  • Nike will exclusively outfit Portland high schools through 2021. The company has entered agreements with multiple reputed basketball programs in Oregon and will give hand-picked teams thousands of dollars worth of free merchandise annually.
  • Nike, Under Armour, and their competitors are approaching the entire high school league with apparel and other accessories and this has become tempting for children attending middle and high school.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We started our research by searching for reports and surveys of sports apparel retailers in sources such as Market and Market, Transparency Market Research, Business Real Tree, and AP News. The idea was to check if these sources provided information specific to the retail sports apparel sector for middle/high school basketball players and fans. These sources provided information on the top players in basket apparel retail, they informed that retailers enter into deals with high schools to promote their products, and also offer exclusive sponsorships.

Next, we searched through media articles and news such as SB Nation, New Love Makeup, and AB News. The idea was to check if there were any articles on the latest trends in products for middle and high school basketball players. The sources mentioned that stylish sportswear is a new trend for basketball players but did not mention what demographic.

As there was no information readily available, we attempted to triangulate the information. We first searched for the top players in the sportswear apparel retailers sector to check if they took the mindset of middle and high school basketball players into consideration when manufacturing clothes and if this was mentioned in sources such as The Washington Post, the Trend Spotter, and Fortune. The sources mentioned deals that Nike, Under Armour and their competitors are making with middle and high schools but made no mention of expectations and what was or was not working.

Next, we searched for interviews with famous basket players and fans in middle and high school to get an idea of what they liked in sports apparel. We searched through sources such as Sports Stars of Tomorrow, USAB, and Inc. However, the interviews were predominantly concentrated on athlete's achievements and awards. Personal information on the likes and dislikes of the athlete focused on their favorite player, class, song, and meal. No information regarded apparel.

We also searched for deals retailers such as Nike, Adidas, and Reebok have with middle and high schools such as Horace Greeley High School, Conestoga Senior High School, Adlai E. Stevenson High, and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to see if they had made customized products for the basketball players and fans. The idea was to dig deep into their expectation of school children for their sportswear products. Unfortunately, we could find no details on these deals.

Last, we searched through third-party sources such as Ad Week, Adage, and social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) of famous players and fans to see their preference for sportswear endorsements. Unfortunately, no information could be found on the expectations, likes, and dislikes.

Part
06
of seven
Part
06

Retail Basketball Apparel Key Leaders

Major sporting goods retail players in the US are Walmart, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Hibbett Sports, and Modell's Sporting Goods.

OVERVIEW

  • With the growth of the e-commerce space and the convenience it offers, over 7,000 stores are scheduled to close in 2019.
  • The online spend has increased from $3,500 in 2013 to $5,200 in 2018 per US household.
  • Moreover, people are increasing their spending on e-commerce platforms and are moving away from physical stores.
  • Retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods are also moving towards self-disruption, where retailers are coming with innovative ideas to showcase their products.

WALMART

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS

  • The total retail sales for 2017 were $5.77 billion.
  • The sales were generated from their 243 stores and their online platform.

BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS

HIBBETT SPORTS

MODELL'S SPORTING GOODS

Research Strategy:

While we were able to identify five US go-to retailers in basketball apparel, we were unable to determine why or how they were disrupting the market specifically related to basketball apparel. The only thing we could identify as their strong point is that they all have online stores. Furthermore, research revealed that self-disrupt is a concept that works for brands.

We began by searching for general disruptors in industry reports on sites such as IbisWorld and McKincsey. Unfortunately, most reports contained information on the general disruptors to the sporting goods retails. We also tried to identify specific companies that are disrupting the US sporting goods retails in news media sources. According top Financial Review, Decathlon is an example of a disruptor in the industry but as the report discusses disruptions in the Australian market, we have decided not to include the company in our research.

Part
07
of seven
Part
07

Social Media Interactions

Some examples of brands or companies that interact on social media with girls who play basketball include Nike, Adidas, Brown Bottling Group, Under Armour, and Chick-Fil-A. These brands generally sponsor girls' basketball team competitions and then interact with the athletes and teams on social media through a dedicated social media handle focused on broadcasting activities surrounding the competition.

Nike

  • Nike sponsors basketball competition for girls under the age of 17, and they broadcast activities surrounding the competition as well as interact with teams and athletes participating in the competition on social media.
  • Nike also sponsors high school girls' basketball teams and the sponsorship is highlighted on social media with dozens of posts about the sponsorship.
  • On Instagram, the sponsorship has led to the hashtag, #nikegirlsbasketball, with dozens of posts.
  • Nike's website and social media channels are dedicated to girls' basketball competition sponsorship, where they post information related to the sponsorship and for girls teams that have been invited to the competition.

Adidas

Brown Bottling Group

  • Brown Bottling Group sponsors holiday tournament for boys’ and girls’ basketball high school teams around central Mississippi.
  • The company then interacts with the athletes and teams by sharing information about the game and celebrating the winners on their social media channels.

Under Armour

  • In January 2019, Under Armour launched "three grassroots platforms with Girls UAA, Girls UA Rise, and Girls UA Future, which encompass the entire spectrum of grassroots basketball from 17U to 10U for girls."
  • The company then launched dedicated social media handles to interact with girls that play basketball and various high school girls' basketball teams.
  • They post information about the games, celebrate winners, make announcements, and post pictures and clips from the tournament.

Chick-Fil-A




Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Participation in the most popular sport—basketball—is dominated by boys; girls constitute only 12 percent of participants"
Quotes
  • "And with limited athletic opportunities available to them beyond college, it’s hard to fault that choice."
  • "“Girls are like, ‘I can’t dedicate after-school time because I’m in this club for engineering,‘” Dawkins said. “Or ‘I’ve got honors classes and I just can’t dedicate two hours for basketball when I’ve got four hours’ worth of homework.′ And as a coach, I can’t really knock that because I’m also supposed to be teaching these girls life skills and how to be a great member of society."
  • "Specialization - defined as focusing on and practicing just one sport for most, if not all, of the year - has taken off as the rise of club and travel teams has turned U.S. youth sports into a $17 billion industry. According to research from the Aspen Institute, an estimated 40 percent of young athletes now specialize in an individual sport, often with the hopes of getting recognized and receiving a college scholarship."
Quotes
  • "In fact, in a study of high school sports, basketball had the lowest overuse injury rate in boys and the second lowest rate in girls [58]"
Quotes
  • "Outdoor track and field continues to lead the way for girls with 488,592 participants, followed by volleyball (446,583), basketball (412,407), soccer (390,482), fast-pitch softball (367,861), cross country (223,518), tennis (190,768), swimming/diving (175,594), competitive spirit (162,669) and lacrosse (96,904)."
Quotes
  • "While more girls than ever are playing sports in high school, the rate of participation in girls' basketball is declining"
  • "What are reasons for the decline? Alicia Abernathy, who coachers the j.v. team at Hickory (N.C.) High School, wonders if a fear of failure is at play. “Everything is on social media. Everybody is putting you out there to be seen,” she said. “It’s a narcissistic view of themselves that they see, ‘If I mess up or I fail, everybody is going to know about it,’ instead of coming out and doing it."
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "More than player talent and facilities, parents and their behavior toward coaches might be the biggest factor in the success of a high-school sports programs, according to those interviewed for this story. And what’s driving this divide between parents and coaches? Many say it’s the push to land athletic scholarships."
  • "When McKay accepted the position at Todd Beamer, he changed his policy about what he will discuss in private meetings with parents. They usually questioned playing time for their son. McKay now requires the player to be in the meeting with their parent(s) and be prepared to hear the truth about why they’re not on the field."
Quotes
  • "The curriculum, co-created with the Women’s Sports Foundation, includes lessons on healthy eating and nutrition, mental wellness, body image and bullying. Each chapter features a WNBA team and highlights personal stories shared by WNBA players, including five-time All-Stars Elena Delle Donne and Brittney Griner and 2016 MVP Nneka Ogwumike."
Quotes
  • "However, an overemphasis on competitive success in youth sports may impede children from realizing the benefits of participation, and may ultimately limit their ability to reach their athletic potential. Such a highly-competitive approach may be driven by desires for children to gain placement on elite travel teams, secure high school roster spots, obtain collegiate scholarships, and eventually earn professional contracts. "
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "Academy Sports + Outdoors, with $5.77 billion in 2017 retail sales across 243 stores Big 5 Sporting Goods, with $1.03 billion in 2017 retail sales across 432 stores Hibbett Sports, with $9.22 million in 2017 retail sales across 1,093 stores Modell's Sporting Goods, with $8.65 million in 2017 retail sales across 163 stores"