In 2014, demand for gym and exercise machines surpassed golf equipment as the largest segment in the US market for sports equipment, supported by the rising number of health clubs in the US. The segment is expected to account for the largest share of value gains in the overall market through 2021, driven by improvements to the technology and convenience of such equipment.
Manufacturers of fitness equipment, particularly cardio machines such as treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals, are continually incorporating new technologies into their equipment. For instance, many ICON Health & Fitness products feature display screens that can show Google Maps street views during exercise, allowing users to virtually workout anywhere in the world. In November, Brunswick announced that its Life Fitness brand would be partnering with VirZOOM to enable virtual reality workouts on Brunswick’s Lifecycle Upright and Recumbent stationary bikes.
Consumer demand for equipment furnished with the most up-to-date technologies will drive health clubs and fitness centers to replace old machines more frequently to keep up with the latest technology, rather than just to replace worn-out equipment. For example, Brunswick offers Life Fitness Elevation Series cardio equipment with high-definition touch screens featuring entertainment apps, internet, TV, and interactive courses.
The production of more portable and space-saving versions of equipment will provide manufacturers with opportunities to sell to users who would not otherwise purchase these products for home use as well as encourage some consumers to upgrade from their old equipment. For instance, Bodycraft's SpaceWalker treadmill is a compact treadmill that can lie on its side and serve as a bench or a table when folded up and not in use. In addition, the development of features such as ICON Health & Fitness’ iFit programs that provide users with personal coaching will increase the convenience and usefulness of household workout equipment.
For more insights into the US sports equipment market, see Sports Equipment: United States, a report recently released by the Freedonia Focus Reports division of The Freedonia Group. This report forecasts US sports equipment demand and shipments in nominal US dollars at the manufacturer level to 2021. Total demand is segmented by product in terms of:
- gymnasium and exercise equipment
- golf equipment
- water and winter sports equipment
- team sports equipment
- fishing equipment
- playground equipment
- other sports equipment such as bike helmets, bowling equipment, and racket sports equipment.
Other related Freedonia Focus Reports include Athletic Footwear: United States, Bicycles: United States, E-Commerce: United States, Recreation: United States, and Toys & Games: United States.
About the Author
Luke Hickman is a Market Research Analyst for Freedonia Focus Reports. He holds a degree in economics, and his experience as an analyst covers multiple industries.