The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Family SportCation = Big Business !


  The consumption of youth sports tournaments, elite programs, family sport-cations, equipment, uniforms, private coaching, digital media platforms and access to mom and dad consumers are all feeding into a multi billion dollar youth sports industry. Long gone are the days of local recreational leagues, orange slices and stopping for an ice cream as a post game celebration.  Today it’s about travel teams, weekend long tournaments, hotel rooms, flights, sports drinks, pop up tents, condo coolers, 7 uniforms, paid coaches, indoor training facilities, $50 under shirts and $150 cleats…and that’s just for the parents!
Today there are over 30 million boys and girls playing youth sports compared to under 8 million in 1970.  As my family and thousands of other families across the US enjoy these weekend Sport-Cations together and the friendships with other like minded sports families, we are not just providing for our kids with life long friendships and memories, but also preparing them for a great big world that is beyond the 15 mile radius most of us lived in growing up.  We are also preparing them for the reality of the global competition of life and how to sacrifice for those things you enjoy doing. Take a look at High School sports and cable networks.  High School teams are not just taking school buses to games anymore. They fly across country to play on national TV.  Why, because of human nature to compete and bragging about being the best and playing the best and the need to consume that competition!  It’s a business ladies and gentlemen and it starts when they are about 10.  The clock is ticking and the meter is running.
Youth sports are on a national and international stage. Many of this years Olympic athletes are still in High School.  However, most of our kids will never experience that next level in the upcoming 5-6 years and beyond.  So as a family to go
through this experience together in what is such a small window of time is a great thing!   These kids are active, they learn how to compete within a team dynamic, they build friendships, they socialize through talking, laughing and late night swims. Team travel is the ultimate bonding experience. Plus they get to explore other areas of the country most of which we/they would never visit.  Why else would you spend a weekend in Scranton? (No offense to those from Scranton, it’s a nice area in the summer)


As thousands of dollars are spent each year by millions of families and brands eager to gain access to moms and their kids, this is a multi billion dollar industry and one to take notice.  These are real consumers who travel multiple weekends a year who are in the prime sponsor upper middle income demo and are a captured audience stuck at a field for 2-3 days over the weekend and spending money on merchandise, food & bev and willing to try any new product that is onsite for free sampling.   This is a real business with real revenue and real participation without player salaries, striking refs and parents who are willing to travel and spend money…..Although maybe not every weekend in Scranton! 
Rob Thompson – Managing Partner of North American Sports Group Owner / Operator of 100+ of the coolest youth and elite tournaments in North America. Go to WebSite  for more information or contact;



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