Healthy Habits: Small Steps To Staying Active

Amidst fluctuating sales in the Performance Sportswear market over recent years, the nascent category of Athleisure has emerged as an anomalous beacon of consistent growth. Going beyond sales figures and market-share, Athleisure also represents a defining cultural trend – where fashion meets function – born from the converging demands of the fast-paced, style-conscious consumers of today. Looking the part has become as important as leading an active lifestyle, particularly for younger generations, and sporting apparel brands are doubling down on this sustained market movement that has proven to be far from the fad it was once thought to be.

 Although the precise origins of ‘sport-casual’ apparel remain hotly contested, it’s worth noting the contribution of brands that served as the vanguard in tapping the burgeoning trend and seeding it’s phenomenal expansion. Nearly 20 years ago, Lululemon hit the market with ‘yoga pants’ – the first product of it’s kind to merge technical sportswear with a comfortable, aesthetic appeal; clothing that is as suited to the gym as it is the street. Since its inception, popularity and prominence of this product category exploded, with today’s market for activewear leggings alone in the tens of billions globally. Catalysed by – at least in part – Lululemon’s innovation in the space, this approach to clothing design spread beyond the female-focus to men’s sportswear and athletically-inspired footwear – both subcategories experiencing similar atypical growth rates. Athleisure has rapidly become a distinct category unto itself, with its recent inclusion as an official dictionary term cementing it’s proliferation and profundity in the sportswear space. The Australian Athleisure market has eagerly followed the lead of global brands (including Nike, Adidas and Under Armour) and their capitalisation in the United States, and much can be learned from the drivers behind the stalwart shift in buyer preferences;

Active Lifestyles

Across the globe, the last decade has seen a spike in the promotion of the fitness industry – particularly across social media – leading to a greater focus on healthy living. Athleisure products have carved out a unique niche in this cultural space, allowing consumers to both participate in sporting activities and portray their identities as active individuals; using clothing as a social statement.

Formal Fashion Pushback

Not only has Athleisure apparel pervaded fitness and casual settings as the clothing of choice, it has even become increasingly acceptable as a fashionable form of work attire. Many progressive workplaces – particularly within creative fields largely comprised of millennial professionals – welcome comfortable sportswear as an appropriate alternative to formal business wear.

Strategic Partnerships

Leading Athleisure brands are increasingly leveraging fitness and fashion influencers to boost the cultural clout of the category, and building loyalty through the follower bases of these social ambassadors. Celebrity endorsements of the Athleisure movement not only inspire consumers to participate in an active lifestyle, but also feel part of the community through the products that represent it.

 

These factors, among others, have seen many Australian brands make bold moves to secure a slice of the growing Activewear market pie – as predictions for further expansion show promise exceeding that of the more mature categories in the active apparel sector. And for those brands looking to break out from conventional performance sportswear and take a punt on Athleisure, a swap from technical runners to running-inspired sneakers might be all that’s needed to get a foot in the door.

July 2019 Update

A lot has happened since the last quarterly update with several initiatives underway or planned that I believe will allow us to make a profound change to the sporting goods industry and our community.

Head office
We are pleased to inform you that with effect from 1 July 2019, ASGA has relocated to a new office, the main telephone number has also changed.  The new office space allows ASGA to be more flexible with its rental agreement while gaining a significant saving, to be used towards membership services.

Our new office location at:
552 Victoria Street
North Melbourne
Victoria 3051

Phone number: 1300 467 106 

Sustainability Committee
Held in Melbourne on March 28th, the event centred around a keynote discussion – lead by sustainability expert Nick Harford – that focused on national waste policy and the subsequent obligations of businesses in the sector. The robust dialogue between participants ranged from packaging to the treatment of soft plastics and responsible product stewardship.

Emerging from the unanimous desire to aim towards an environmentally-conscious industry, the conversation culminated with an agreement to form a specialised sustainability committee to lead the charge. This group will be responsible for providing advice and assistance to the Australian Sporting Goods Industry with regards to setting, promoting and achieving sustainability outcomes.

If you are interested in joining the committee or require more information, please do not hesitate in contacting me on 1300 467 106 or  [email protected].  

Parallel Imports
Over the last few months, members have expressed some concern over parallel imports coming into Australia.  Parallel importation pits the policy interests of promoting competition and protecting intellectual property rights against each other.  

The Australian Sporting Goods Association is exploring the issues associated with parallel imports by forming a working group. This is your opportunity to voice your concerns with Government Policy associated with parallel imports. To register your interest, please email me at [email protected].

New Blog
We have now launched an online blog with a focus on content specific to the sporting goods industry. This month we focus on Australian sports participation you can find the blog at this link.

Data Committee
We have focused on continuously improving our market intelligence services by forming data improvement committees. Our first committee looked at the Footwear report, in particular, updating the categories classification. We will see several changes implemented to the footwear report over the coming months.  

We will also be forming groups to improve the Apparel, Golf and Retail report these groups will be held in August if you are interested in participating, please contact me on 1300 467 106  or [email protected]

Report Dashboard
Our online market intelligence dashboard will soon be completed allowing members to quickly read market trends through snapshots, in addition to the existing detailed information. Over the next month, we will be in contact with members to arrange training on the new dashboard.

Between now and the end of this year, we will continue to develop the dashboard platform, further enabling us to streamline our market intelligence reports. I believe that our ongoing efforts to continuously improve the reports will keep our members on the forefront of the industry. 

 

Shaun Bajada
Executive Director

2019 Australian Sporting Participation Snapshot

Australia is a nation defined by active lifestyles and sporting endeavours, with our love for physical pursuits spanning all ages and demographics. Thankfully for brands in the sector, Sport Aus has recently released their national participation data to shed light on the most popular forms of sporting and non-sporting activities across key demographic groups. The AusPlay Report, based on a population-tracking survey conducted by the Australian Sports Commision, is the largest of its kind with over 20,000 people contributing to the research. The participation estimates compare statistics across the 2016/2017/2018 calendar years, providing insights into where Australians are spending their active time and sporting goods dollars. In order to give our members a deeper understanding of the evolving trends in physical participation, we’ve summarised the top-line takeaways of the report below.

ADULTS (15+)

As the results indicate, the top 5 physical activities participated in by Australian adults are; walking (43.7%), Gym (32.7%), swimming (14.7%), jogging (15.7%) and cycling (11.8%). Continuing the historical trend, recreational walking remains the most popular practice for maintaining fitness, with over 9.1 million Australians throwing on their runners and undertaking vigorous strolls as their primary form of exercise. There also appears to be significant growth in the attendance of adults to gyms, health clubs  and fitness classes, rising from approximately 6.5 million in 2016 to 7.1 million participants in 2018.

It’s also worth noting that all of the top 5 are primarily undertaken individually, indicating a broad preference of Australian adults for solo participation, as opposed to team sports. A slight decrease is apparent in the participation rates for Soccer (-0.9%), Netball (-0.5%) and Cricket (-0.3%) over the 3-year period, however the data also indicated an increase of around 85,000 people – aged 15 and over – taking part in Australian Rules Football (+0.4%).

CHILDREN (0-14)

According the the AusPlay Report, the most popular organised activity for children  – outside of school hours – is Swimming. Increasing by more than 4% since 2016, over one third of all Australian children are now reported to hit the pool on a regular basis (34.5%). The specific Swimming statistics (here), also included as part of the broader Ausplay research, made note that the participation rates for children’s organised out-of-school Swimming peaked between the ages of 5-8 and participation decreased significantly with those aged 12-14.

Making up the rest of the Top 5 activities for Australian children are Soccer (14.6%), Dancing (10.1%), Gymnastics (10.1%) and Australian Rules Football (8.15%). The data also highlighted the important distinction between genders with regard to activity preference, with boys more likely to play overtly team sports (Soccer, AFL, Cricket and Basketball) and girls more likely to participate in less team-oriented endeavours (Dancing and Gymnastics).

The findings of the report reflect Australia’s identity as a great sporting nation, and the continued growth in overall participation rates is a positive sign for our thriving sports industry. ASGA is proud to play a role in promoting participation in a diverse range of physical activities and their broad benefits for all active Australians, and we thank the ASC for their invaluable study of the sector.

To learn more about 2019 AusPlay Research, please follow the links below :

http://static.ausport.gov.au/ausplay/report_April_2019/

 

Leading the way to a sustainable industry

As a peak industry body, ASGA serves to lead the Australian Sporting Goods Industry, with sustainability as a core policy of our operations. Many of our members share this sentiment and are actively in support of this vital mission. To further our goal of positive social impact, ASGA hosted its first sustainability forum to address the most immediate and important waste-management challenges faced by manufacturers, brands and consumers in the space.

Held in Melbourne on March 28th, the event centered around a keynote discussion – lead by sustainability expert Nick Harford – that focused on national waste policy and the subsequent obligations of businesses in the sector. The robust dialogue between participants ranged from packaging to the treatment of soft plastics and responsible product stewardship.

Emerging from the unanimous desire to aim towards an environmentally-conscious industry, the conversation culminated with an agreement to form a specialised sustainability committee to lead the charge. This group will be responsible for providing advice and assistance to the Australian Sporting Goods Industry with regards to setting, promoting and achieving sustainability outcomes.

The goals determined by the committee will be achieved through the development of projects that encompass issues and initiatives including community participation, supply chain management and socially-responsible business practices. Based on the input of sector stakeholders, the first project for the committee will involve finding solutions to reduce the environmental impacts of sourcing, manufacturing and disposing of Australian sporting goods.

This inaugural initiative – identified by the forum participants – will specifically address the sporting footwear segment and it’s significant contribution to landfill each year in light of growing consumer demand. Working from the campaign platform created by ASGA, an industry-led approach to repurposing unwanted pairs of athletic shoes will serve as a blueprint for further sporting goods recycling programs in future.

At this precursory stage, the proposed project will involve the deployment of recycling bins within retail stores, serving as collection points for discarded shoes, followed by the conversion of this useless waste into useful manufacturing materials. Through a robust resource reclamation process, we aim to close the loop and provide a best-practice framework for efficient reclamation methodology and subsequent conversion into new products.

ASGA is committed to seeing this project – and many more like it – through to fruition and making a positive difference within the Australian Sporting Goods Industry. If you would like to support the footwear project, or join brands including Nike, New Balance, Russell Athletic and Lululemon as part of the Sustainability Committee, please reach out to ASGA to learn more.

We thank you in advance for your valuable contribution.

The 3 questions to be answered

Clarity and acceleration are on the other side

Competing priorities are a part of our lives. Time pressure from “other’s emergencies” seems to be a constant. Complexity of our working lives is increasing and does not look like stopping.

These are all statements that came from my last group discussion with a brand’s business leaders. All are sobering statements by themselves, and down right confronting as a trio.

So how can we tackle this? What are the practical ways to bring calm and control back into our workflows?

Matt Church, the Australian Motivational Speaker, speaks of “activity before clarity”. The message being to just go and do a lot of work and through lots of discussions, marketing, selling, and delivering, we will gain more and more clarity about our product, the market’s needs, and our value proposition. This makes sense to me. When I first started in field sales for Aveda in the UK as an Account Manager, I was told to make at least 10 client approaches a week to gain new business. This was not always easy, and at the time it was just as much about hitting the weekly KPI in my report as it was about winning business (we’ve all been there, right!?!)

But what happened was I became a lot clearer about my brand’s value, what problems we solved, where we had competitive advantage, and what I was looking for (ie. The type of client, the size of client, the state of a client, and the attitude of a client). Before I knew it, I was hitting the right prospects at the right time and exceeding targets without needing to do anywhere near 10 approaches a week. My weekly report didn’t have the required 10 filled in, but the boss didn’t seem to mind.

What I didn’t realise was that I was going through a long and painful process to answer three questions I didn’t even realise needed answering:

1.       What am I trying to achieve?

If there is one question that smashes professionals in the face and sits them on their back side, it is this. A succinct answer that feels right is hard to nail. It’s like your own mini Mission or Vision Statement. So many organisations have meaningless Mission Statements and vague Vision Statements, so it’s not hard to see why most of us as individuals can’t answer what seems to be such a simple answer. By the way, if your answer this question is “earn $X”, or “sell X units”, you are not even trying…

2.       Why am I doing what I am doing?

 As an Account Manager I used to drive for hours to client’s I knew would waste my time. Yet, I would waste several hours driving and meeting with them. Why? Because I was following the rules I had set up in my mind that didn’t exist. Because I didn’t realise how precious my time was. Because, I wasn’t engaged in my role. Sometimes there is politics involved, or circumstance, or we are being nice. By asking why I am doing the cycles of work I am doing, a lot of unproductive nonsense can be cut out.

3.       What do I need to do next?

The only thing we can do is the next thing. It may be to stop doing something that is not serving us. In my case, I needed to stop driving to client’s hours away that were not going to grow my business. Gary Vanderchuk talks about not wasting time as one of his key sales tactics. “When I know they don’t want to buy from me, I’ll cut the meeting short”, he says. That is one of his key actions that works for him. Consciously asking, ‘what needs to be done next?’ cuts through the aimlessness that causes ineffectual and wasteful workflows.

By asking these questions often, daily if needed, there is a powerful habit that forms to create clarity, purpose, and ongoing rhythm in our workflows.

When to reflect

A story of quitting on the way to the top

Ipswich, Queensland – 1996. Ashleigh Barty is born to an indigenous dad and a mother with English descendancy. Humble beginnings served Ash well, and her attitude was old school right from the start. She opted for tennis instead of netball as a child because, in her words “netball is a girls sport”. Ash rapidly became a gun tennis player winning the Wimbledon Juniors title at age 15.

Next step – the Pro’s. Ash would spend the next two years earning every start to every tournament she played in. Eventually Ash would experience some success in the doubles game more than singles. Ranked outside the top 200 in the world, Ash then made a decision… she quit.

“it was too much too quickly for me as I’ve been travelling from quite a young age… I wanted to experience life as a normal teenaged girl and have some normal experiences.”

Ash had a chat to some cricket administrators about trialling for a new WBBL (Womens Big Bash League) concept. Unlike others that tried to cross over from different sports, Ash had the goods and was signed up for the Brisbane Heat’s inaugural season.

Playing Twenty20 cricket fro Brisbane - taking a break

After two years hiatus, Ash decided to return to tennis in 2016. Starting from the bottom again, she would compete well straight away. Ash was now ready to take on the challenge of the Pro Tour. In 2017, The Malaysian Open becomes her first Top Tier (WTA) Singles Title, followed by a string of successes in the doubles game.

In a world of big personalities and brands like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, Ash is unnoticeable. Almost invisible on the world stage. In Australia, the antics of Nick Kyrios get 100 times more column space in the papers than Ash. But like a skilled ninja she operates in the shadows slowly but surely working her way up the world rankings.

As Ernest Hemmingway once said, “everything in life happens gradually, and then suddenly”.

Boom – Ash Barty is the 2019 French Open Singles Champion. Ash Barty is the world ranked number two player in the world. Aged 23 years old. But she is not just a Major Winner. She is a force to be reckoned with. Her game is tight. She is strong, skillful, and strategic.

What a story.

The girl has come a long way

But, for me, this is a story of quitting. Ash taught us that we are all allowed to quit, but we can never give up on our ultimate goal. Ash never stopped being a professional tennis player, she just took some time out from playing tennis.

Angela Duckworth writes about the power of ‘never giving up’ in her book Grit.

ne of the building blocks of grit, or Tenacity as I put it, is the practice of committing to something hard. Duckworth’s rules are:

  1. You need to have one hard thing to practice regularly.
  2. You can quit, but only at a natural stopping point that is designated at the start.
  3. You choose your own.

Thank you Ashleigh Barty for teaching us about the power of quitting while never giving up.   

This article first appeared on https://www.paulfarina.com.au

The Pitch In: Grow Community Golf campaign

Golf is gearing up to ensure that our elected representatives are doing their bit to support the game and its facilities at the local level.

Much of the urgent work needs to be carried out in regional areas, but some of Australia’s biggest cities also have courses that need help too.

Golf facilities are more than just places for playing golf. They are community hubs that include a place for weddings, birthdays, funeral wakes, family reunions, small business conferences and charitable events.  The buildings at our community golf courses are invariably not private, but a place for everybody to use and enjoy appropriately. 

Therefore, the people who benefit from investing in the facilities extend well and truly beyond those just using the golf course.

Community golf projects like the ones found at Merbein in the Mallee, Palmerston City in the NT, Robe in SA and Riverside in Tassie – these are great places for Australians to use in so many ways. But they need help.  They need our elected representatives to Pitch In.

Learn more at http://www.pitchinforgolf.com.au

February 2019 Update

It’s been a pleasure to get to know our valued members over my first 6 months as Executive Director, and it’s my aim to reflect your concerns, needs and interests in the initiatives we undertake on your behalf. The beginning of 2019 has already presented exciting opportunities and sweeping changes to both ASGA and the broader industry, and I eagerly look forward to working closely with members and industry partners moving forward.

ASGA REBRANDING Following over 6 months of work, we’re proud to launch the completely revamped branding of ASGA. From the updated logo design, to the full redevelopment of the ASGA website, we’re excited to bring in the new year with a fresh perspective for our members. We invite you to explore the ASGA branding changes at ​www.asga.com.au.

SUSTAINABILITY PROJECTS Another new focus for 2019, we’re keenly working on numerous projects to address the immediate and important waste-management challenges within the sector. With the aim of developing an effective industry-led approach, we’ll be holding a series of forums on sustainability issues over the coming months.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT As part our renewed commitment in developing industry professionals, ASGA has partnered with team performance specialist, ​ Paul Farina, to deliver a series of educational Masterclasses. These bespoke short-courses cover a range of topics including Leadership, Strategy and Team Performance; learn more at ​asga.com.au/masterclasses​.

HAVE YOUR SAY It’s our mission to advocate for the interests of our membership base, and we invite you to share your thoughts regarding positive changes to be made to the Sporting Goods Industry.  Please feel free to reach out via ​phone​ or ​email​, and I will also endeavour to conduct face-to-face conversations with many of our members in the coming year.

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