Source: Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association

SILVER SPRING, MD - September 12, 2012 -Following a two-year strategic review and planning process, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) refined its mission statement, core services and communications platform to focus on promoting sports and fitness participation and industry vitality. Reflecting this direction, the organization will change its name to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA).

"We all recognize the rapid and deep change our industry has experienced in recent years. Health and wellness, as well as sports, will be vibrant cultural and economic engines on a global level. Our Board intends for its trade association to be at the forefront of this evolution, and it starts with providing our member companies the right services and communications," said Larry Franklin, SGMA Chairman.

"Traditional concepts of "sporting goods" and "manufacturers" have evolved while our terminology has not. Thus, the change from "Sporting Goods" to "Sports & Fitness" is more definitive about our inclusion of brands connected to fitness and active lifestyle products. The change from "Manufacturers" to "Industry" embraces a broader community including suppliers, brands, major sports and fitness retailers and partners - a much clearer reflection of our current and future membership," said Tom Cove, SGMA President and CEO.

"This is not a change in philosophy for our organization as we already have many members in these categories. It is simply a more accurate and transparent indication of the industry segments that we serve," Cove added. "And while we continue to embrace, celebrate and support the many companies who continue to manufacture their own products, our general membership -- including many of those manufacturers -- has indicated that there is a need to move beyond the traditional label of a 'manufacturers' association."

The rebranding process is about much more than a name change. It starts with the basics-a new mission statement developed by the Board of Directors: To Promote Sports and Fitness Participation and Industry Vitality. This translates to focusing the new SFIA on four core product areas: Thought Leadership & Events, Public & Industry Affairs, Member Services and Research Insights.

Several new initiatives are planned including: • Innovative Thought Leadership programs led by the 2013 SFIA Industry Leaders Summit, scheduled for September 25-26, 2013• A national campaign to grow sport and fitness participation: PHIT America • A new "member friendly'" website: www.SFIA.org • A comprehensive SFIA Supplier Directory • A groundbreaking new "Grassroots Sports Participation in America" research report • Content enhancements and design updates to our weekly e-newsletter, InBrief • Major upgrades to our Product Testing member benefit

"Think about how important "social media" and "direct-to-consumer" platforms are to our industry today and will be in the future. Similarly, it's remarkable to consider how industry trade shows have changed, especially when we remember the SGMA Super Show during its heyday.One thing you learn if you've been around since 1906 like we have---we must realign our positioning, communications and service offerings to meet the changing needs and expectations of our member companies." said Cove.

While the Board approved the overall rebranding, changing the name of SGMA requires a vote of its membership, which will be done by proxy and ratified at the SGMA Annual meeting this fall.

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The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), soon to be the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy. More information about SGMA membership, SGMA Research, and SGMA's thought leadership initiatives can be found at www.SGMA.com.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.