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Is the Youth Sports Industry Recession-Proof?

Dec 15, 2022 | Sports
Kids lining up on a track preparing to run a race

Source Summary

The future of the economy is uncertain; many experts are warning that a recession is likely in 2023. The youth sports industry, however, is showing no signs of slowing down. Despite the financial volatility families may experience, parents are willing to make sacrifices in other areas of their life—eating out, vacations, gym memberships—in order to continue a child’s sporting endeavors. Families recognize that youth sports can build the qualities of teamwork and leadership while creating lifelong memories and friendships for their kids, and they’re endlessly beguiled by the possibility that their offspring’s sporting prowess could lead to college scholarships or professional sports careers.


We wrote extensively about the continuing professionalization of youth sports in our Future of Youth Sports Report in 2020. It’s not surprising that a recession would cause families to curb spending in other areas to fuel what are likely pipe dreams of their children becoming professional athletes down the line. Families are prioritizing youth sports more than ever (a $30B industry in 2021, more than the NFL and MLB combined). A recession is not enough to slow down the runaway freight train of a youth sports industry that’s expected to triple to almost $75B by 2026.