SGMA GRANTS GROW

NEW YORK — Sports-related projects and programs are getting their biggest boost yet from the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.
The SGMA invests a percentage of exhibitors’ attendance fees for The Super Show, its annual sporting goods trade show, in a variety of athletic-oriented efforts in the U.S. and overseas.
The 3,186 exhibitors at this year’s Super Show provided more than $5 million for the SGMA grants program — an 11 percent increase over the 1995 trade show, said Mike May, director of statistics for the association.
Distribution of SGMA grants is based on the largest number of exhibitors at The Super Show for each respective category. This year, the tennis industry will benefit from market research and program funding provided by the SGMA.
Unlike 1995, when the SGMA set aside more than $2.2 million for industry research and its grants reserve fund, this year the group is investing more heavily in programs, May said. By supporting sports, the SGMA aims to stimulate market segments, motivate new participants and increase the quality of play, he added.
By the end of 1996, more than 66,000 people should be participating in 255 new amateur sports programs — a 5 percent increase compared with 1995, May said.
In the next 12 months, there will be a major push to support inner-city sports leagues, particularly in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Seattle. The Police Athletic League, a nonprofit organization that caters to municipal sports programs, is among the 35 sports-oriented projects and programs funded by the SGMA, May added.
For 1997, the SGMA plans to generate $5 million in funds from The Super Show, which is slated for Feb. 14-17 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Gains are not expected, since there is no additional booth space for more vendors, May said.
Show attendance for the 1997 edition, however, is expected to exceed 110,000 — compared to 103,750 this year.
The SGMA grants program has increased progressively, since the first Super Show in 1986. Here’s the lowdown for the past 11 years.

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