New Industry Study: Economic Impact of Adapted Sport Events Reaches Nearly $140 Million in the United States

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Report Reveals Growing Footprint of Adapted Sport Industry in U.S. Economy, Surpassing Pre-Pandemic Levels

DENVER — Oct. 17, 2023 — The total economic impact of adapted and para sport-related events nationwide totaled approximately $139.1 million in 2022, rebounding to surpass pre-COVID levels, according to the industry’s preeminent economic impact study conducted by All In Sport Consulting in partnership with Stitch Marketing Research and Huddle Up Group (HUG). For the survey, the organizations collected detailed expenditure and budget data from a sampling of U.S.-based adapted sport entities to capture and project the economic power of the national adapted sports industry. The findings were announced at the 4th Annual Adapted Sport Leadership & Business Symposium (LABS) presented by All In Sport Consulting on Oct. 11-12, 2023.

“This year’s economic impact figures present strong evidence that para- and adapted sport organizations have moved past the pandemic and are fully back on track,” said Dawna Callahan, founder and chief executive officer of All In Sport Consulting. “Adapted sport events are thriving, and we are seeing an increasing number of events and participating athletes along with growing interest from sport tourism organizations in hosting events. The economic impact data is invaluable in helping the industry demonstrate a strong business case for adapted sport events, which benefit athletes and help build more dynamic, inclusive communities by improving access and breaking down both physical and attitudinal barriers.”

This is the third economic impact study the collaborating organizations have conducted since 2020. The first, conducted in 2020 reflecting pre-pandemic activity from 2019, was the first-ever economic impact study for the adapted sport industry. The inaugural study reported an annual economic impact for adapted sport events ranging from approximately $80.5 to $134.2 million. A follow-up study was conducted in 2022, reporting an annual economic impact of $77.8 million for 2021 events. The latest economic impact study, reflecting 2022 events and totaling $139.1 million, demonstrates an increase of approximately 78 percent over the previous report and an unquestionable recovery to pre-pandemic activity levels.

“This portion of the sports tourism and events industry is quite valuable, yet very much underserved,” said John Schmieder, founder and CEO of Huddle Up Group. “The results of this survey once again show the great value of adapted sport tourism, and support the premise that there is opportunity for destinations to get in the game.”

To conduct the study, the organizations emailed surveys to 256 contacts representing 189 organizations with fieldwork conducted between Aug. 15 and Sept. 25, 2023. Data from 44 organizations are included in the report, a significant increase over last year.

“We’re seeing more adapted sport organizations participate in the survey each year as we build an economic business case to help support their missions and goals,” Callahan said. “The study captures the movement’s economic power in dollars and cents – a critical component to the conversations aimed at changing the narrative and trajectory of the adapted sport industry.”

Study Highlights:

  • The organizations represented in the survey account for approximately 20 percent of the total number of adapted sport organizations in the U.S. market.
  • The average economic impact per event was $123,690 with each organization presenting an average of five events per year.
  • Therefore, the total economic impact of adapted sport and para events can be extrapolated at approximately $139,151,651 annually.

“We are thrilled to have contributed to the understanding of the significant economic impact of adapted sports events in the United States,” said Julie Julie Chavanu, project director for Stitch Marketing Research. “The positive trends we’ve observed since 2019 underscore the growing importance of these events to our economy. We are proud to be part of this groundbreaking study and look forward to continuing our support for this vital research in the future.”

The full “Adapted Sport: Economic Impact Survey Findings Report” is available for download here. The study was established by All In Sport Consulting and is sponsored by Richmond Region Tourism and the Tempe Tourism Office.

About All In Sport Consulting
All In Sport Consulting is a Denver-based consulting firm that works with organizations to create life-changing opportunities for people with disabilities through adaptive sport. Through services including strategic planning, adaptive sport program management and implementation, and training and education, All In Sport helps organizations ensure they are in the best position to create opportunities for all who want to experience the power of sport.

About Huddle Up Group
Founded in 2012 as a sports tourism industry consulting company, the Huddle Up Group has a successful track record of leading sports organizations through strategic growth and increased community collaboration. The Huddle Up team has extensive experience in building cohesive organizations and external relationships while collaborating with volunteer boards, donors, elected officials, hospitality community leaders, and various corporate partners.

About Stitch Marketing Research
Founded in 2007, Southern California-based Stitch Marketing Research is marketing intelligence consultancy, delivering insights on your marketplace and what moves it. Stitch MR’s unique proposition: a discovery process that evolves from the creation of new intelligence through new research. Stitch MR brings the human equation to the front and center of the marketing and strategy disciplines. We’re not just about cold numbers. Stitch Marketing Research delivers strategic insight to a wide range of organizations, from Fortune 100 to start-up, from automotive and healthcare to higher education and sports and fitness.

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