5 Jan


WASHINGTON, DC – January 7, 2020 -- In the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s 2019 State of the Industry report, the identity of one of the top industry issues/concerns was clearly stated: “Addressing Sports Participation Growth Is An Imperative.”

Simply said, more and more Americans are becoming physically inactive and the people who are physically active are not as physically active as they used to be, based on research conducted by SFIA and the Physical Activity Council:

  • Physical inactivity rates increased from 26.5% to 27.3% from 2013 to 2018;
  • Casual sports/fitness participants outnumber core or serious sports/fitness participants;
  • Accessibility to sports by lower-income families is a big issue;
  • 62% of all children (age 6-17) can’t afford to play sports.


With the increased visibility of professional and collegiate sports, combined with the growth of sports apparel and footwear as fashion products, the sports and sports entertainment industries are getting misled and fooled.

“You see sports on television 24/7,” said Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America.  “With this increased sports coverage coupled with the growth of sports apparel and footwear sales for leisure and fashion, you would think sports participation is growing.  But, while people are fans of sports and are wearing the gear, they are less physically active. Some sports industry representatives may feel good now, but what if -- or when -- sports apparel and footwear are not the cool thing to wear?” 

The key to the sports industry’s future is to get more people physically active and playing sports.

“The sports and fitness industry will never grow long-term unless participation trends are turned around,” said Baugh. “Every part of the industry has to make real investments to get more Americans physically active, especially kids, where the trends are most severe.”


PHIT America has two great programs to fix this inactivity pandemic issue in the long term.

“You can’t tackle the whole problem,” said Baugh.  “You have to attack the ‘roots’ of physical activity and overcome the barriers of the cost to play sports.”

PHIT America has two core programs, AMPED and The PASS, which it promotes and supports:

  1. The AMPED program gets all children physically active in school-based programs at less than $10 per child. For $4,000, the children in an entire school can get physically active for three years. That is just pennies per day to get kids moving, physically active, and playing sports.
  2. The PASS program is the second program. The PASS helps children from needy families afford to play sports with direct financial support so they can participate in structured school or community programs.

With these two programs, PHIT America gets all children physically active and then helps those who want to play sports actually get access to structured programs.  

“Every company in the sports industry, big and small, has to attack the sports participation crisis,” stated Baugh.  “If you are waiting for the big brands to take the initiative, they are not doing enough to turn this issue around.  Imagine getting 400 students at one school physically active in your community or helping 100 young athletes who want to play a sport – probably for the first time. That is what PHIT America is doing.”

Contact Mike May at Mike@PHITAmerica.org to join our ‘Movement.’

PHIT America is a non-profit campaign focused on overcoming the ramifications of the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ by funding physical activity and sports programs which will get 50 million children more physically active and fit for improved health and academic performance.

The AMPED and PASS programs are developed by 7-year PHIT America strategic partner, KIDS in the GAME, who is the leader in providing outstanding programs to get kids physically active and playing sports.