Sports Industry Guide

images of sports balls

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends and developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the sports industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.


Start-Up Information


COBRA logo

The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.


Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP)

Bike Shop BOP196
Country Sports Retailer BOP569
Horse Riding School BOP131
Livery Yard BOP079
Outdoor Activity Centre BOP174
Personal Fitness Trainer BOP379
Sports Shop BOP317
Introduction to Community Amateur Sports Clubs BIF501
Tack Shop BOP302


Mini Business Profiles (MBP)

All-terrain Boarding Centre MBP073
Archery Instructor MBP246
Betting Shop MBP095
Bike and Watersports Equipment Hire MBP373
Go-Karting Circuit MBP035
Indoor Climbing Centre MBP255
Martial Arts Instructor MBP410
Outdoor and Extreme Sports Instructor MBP422
Snooker Hall MBP428
Bike and Watersports Instructor MBP373
Outdoor Watersports Instructor MBP228



Market Research & Statistics

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.


IBISWorld logo

  • Gambling and Betting Activities
  • Online Sporting Retailers
  • Sporting Goods Manufacturing
  • Sporting & Outdoor Equipment
  • Sports Clubs
  • Sports Facilities




Mintel logo

  • Attitude Toward Sports Nutrition
  • Betting Shops
  • Cycling
  • Economic and Social Impact of the 2010 World Cup
  • ESports
  • Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools
  • London Olympics 2012: What the Games Mean for Business
  • Major Sporting Events
  • Online Gaming and Betting
  • Skiing & Snowboarding
  • Spectator Sports
  • Sport and the Media
  • Sports & Energy Drinks
  • Sports Betting
  • Sports and Outdoor Fashion
  • Sports Sponsorship
  • Sports Participation
  • Ten Pin Bowling
  • The Football Industry
  • Winter Sports in Europe


EMIS logo

  • Equipment and Apparel Market 2018 – 2025 (via Allied Market Global)
  • Europe Sports Equipment market 2019-2026 (via Allied Market Global)
  • Global Sports Analytics Market 2019-2026 
  • Sports Apparel Market- 2019-2026
  • Sports Protective Equipment Market 2018 – 2026 (via Allied Market Global)

Passport logo

  • Sportswear in the United Kingdom (reports also available for other countries)


Local Data Online

Provides a birds-eye view of the makeup and complexity of the retail and leisure offering in a chosen location.

Review key trends over time:

  • Vacancy rates
  • Occupancy trends
  • Retail mix

Understand demand profiles through demographic data such as:

  • Employment statistics
  • Average weekly earnings
  • Crime rates
  • Unemployment
  • House prices

Also, contact details and individual reports of companies in the digital communications industry are available from our electronic sources: Market IQ.


Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching NewsBank and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.


Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

Federation of Sports and Play Associations

A UK federation of 28 associations and groups involved in sports retailing, manufacturing and management. The site provides news, features and links to specific organisations including Fitness Products Association, Independent Sports Retailers Association, Golf Facilities Trade Association and Sports and Fitness Equipment Association.


Official website of the Federation Internationale De Football Association, the international governing body for association football. Includes rankings, statistics, regulations and news.

Football Association

Official website of the Football Association, the governing body for association football in the United Kingdom. Includes news on players, fixtures and other information on British football.

English Football League

Official website of the English football league. Includes news, fixtures, results and statistics.

Golf Industry

Worldwide golf industry directory. Includes news, tour information and a worldwide course directory.

Lawn Tennis Association

LTA is the governing body of UK tennis. Website provides detailed information for players, fans, coaches and clubs.

Professional Footballers’ Association

The oldest sports players’ association, founded in 1907. Represents the interests of professional footballers.

Scottish Footballers Association

Official website of the Scottish Football Association. Includes news and information on teams, fixtures, results and regulations.

Sporting Goods Industries Association (SGIA)

Trade Association representing manufacturers, wholesalers and distributers of sporting goods in the UK. SGIA Lobbies on behalf of the industry.

Sports England

Sport England is responsible for the distribution of Lottery Funds to sport in the UK. Contains useful information sheets including countryside and water recreation, organisations producing information on health topics, participation statistics and qualifications for fitness instructors.


Website of the Union of European Football Associations. Contains information on UEFA competitions, regulations, news and statistics.

UK Active

Major trade association for the health and fitness industry in the UK. Formally known as the Fitness Industry Association.


Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk.

Images by btsiders, Mr. Flibble, Schwarzerkater under a Creative Commons license

Skip to content