SGMA Changes its name after 107 years to Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA)

Dear Members and Friends of SGMA:

For the past 107 years, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) has been your source of research-based knowledge, a leader in professional development, the sports and fitness industry’s voice and advocate on Capitol Hill, and the community on which you rely to address common challenges and take collective action.

We all recognize the rapid and deep change our industry has experienced in recent years. As our industry evolves, our organization has identified the need to realign our positioning, communications and service offerings. Thus, following careful deliberations based on an extensive strategic planning process, the SGMA Board of Directors has approved a complete rebranding process for our Association. I’d like to walk you through some of these exciting developments:

Transition of Our Name – SGMA to SFIA

The SGMA Board of Directors has approved a new name for our organization: Sports & Fitness Industry Association, with the acronym SFIA.

Our research and personal experiences indicate that common understandings of “sporting goods” and “manufacturers” have evolved while our terminology has not. Thus, the change from “Sporting Goods” to “Sports & Fitness” is more definitive about our inclusion of brands connected to fitness and active lifestyle products. The change from “Manufacturers” to “Industry” embraces a broader community including suppliers, brands, major sports and fitness retailers and partners – a much clearer reflection of our current and future membership. This is not a change in philosophy for our organization as we already have many members in these categories. It is simply a more accurate and transparent indication of the industry segments that we serve. And while we continue to embrace, celebrate and support the many companies who manufacture their own products, our general membership (including many of those manufacturers) has indicated that there is a need to move beyond the traditional label of a “manufacturers” association.

Formal Ratification of the Name Change

While the Board has approved all of the elements connected to the overall rebranding, changing the name of SGMA requires a vote of the membership, which will be done by proxy and ratified at the SGMA Annual meeting this fall.

This Is About Much More Than a Name Change: New Industry Initiatives

This rebranding process is about much more than a name change. It starts with the basics—a laser focus on the new mission statement developed by our Board of Directors: To Promote Sports and Fitness Participation and Industry Vitality. It is a reflection of a broad Board-driven, multi-year strategic planning process that instills a disciplined focus on four core offerings: Thought Leadership & Events, Public & Industry Affairs, Member Services and Research Insights.

Specifically, we are working hard to enhance our member offerings with the launch of several initiatives including:

  • New Thought Leadership initiatives including the 2013 SFIA Industry Leaders Summit, scheduled for September 25-26, 2013.

  • A national campaign to grow sport and fitness participation: PHIT America

  • A new “member friendly’” website:

  • A comprehensive SFIA Supplier Directory

  • A groundbreaking new “Grassroots Sports Participation in America” research report

  • Content enhancements and design updates to our weekly e-newsletter, InBrief

  • Major upgrades to our Product Testing member benefit

You will learn more about these initiatives in the coming weeks. In the meantime, for more information, please visit the FAQ section on our website.

I want to emphasize that the foundation of our organization and the core constituents who benefit from their affiliation with our organization remains the same. The rebranding process simply helps us articulate a more accurate picture of who we represent and how we bring value to those entities while simultaneously identifying our members’ most pressing issues and providing resources that help address those problems.

In short, this is a very exciting time in the long, proud history of our trade association. The rebranding process is an important example of our ongoing commitment to fulfilling our organization’s mission. We remain universally committed to our most significant priority: to continue developing and delivering products, resources and events to our members that help enhance their businesses. The upcoming name change and the rollout of our new services and initiatives are a strong reflection of our continued commitment to fulfilling our leadership role in this great industry.

Thank you for your continued investment in SGMA as we transition to the newly branded Sports & Fitness Industry Association. As always, our staff remains proud to serve the sports and fitness community and the outstanding individuals who work in this industry.

Larry Franklin

Tom Cove

Chairman of the Board

President & CEO

Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association

Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association

Mission: To Promote Sports and Fitness Participation and Industry Vitality

Corporate Philosophy: We believe sports and physical activity enhance people’s lives. By providing tangible value to our member companies, SGMA promotes and supports the sports and fitness
industry’s growth, profitability and importance.

SGMA * 8505 Fenton Street, Suite 211 * Silver Spring, MD * 20910 * p: 301.495.6321 *

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Serving on a Non-Profit Board of Directors


Board meetings of non-profits can be fun, or they can be excruciating. This opinion depends what which side of the argument you are standing: whether you are on the winning or losing side of the current debate. After twenty years of representing boards of directors, attending board meetings and watching some boards flourish and others fail, I have the following suggestions.

1. Most time at board meeting is lost because no one remembers what happened at the last five meetings.

The law requires that the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws be kept for a Non-Profit Association. That means that someone somewhere has to keep track of all the amendments, resolutions, minutes, etc. However, one person is not enough. Each board meeting some issue that has been determined or discussed will resurface. To eliminate those hours of time spent arguing on what happened in the past the Association should provide each Board Member with a Notebook. The Notebook should contain the following dividers and information.


  • Purpose, Goals and Mission Statement
  • Articles of Incorporation: Latest amended copy
  • Bylaws: latest amended copy and copies going back 3 years.
  • Meeting Minutes: Starting 3 years before the oldest member joined the board
  • Meeting Notices: Starting 3 years before the oldest member joined the board
  • Agenda: For past 1-3 years
  • Financial and Budgets: for past 1-3 years
  • Goals & Strategic Planning
  • Committees Dividers: One for Each committee for their reports
  • Robert’s Rules of Order
  • Contracts: memorandums of understanding, employment contracts, etc.

Each board member should be required to place all new material in their notebooks and keep the notebooks up to date and with them at all board meetings. Having everyone flip to page XX can quickly kill any arguments. This also requires the board member to spend a few minutes when they receive agenda’s and reports to review items while placing them in the notebook.

Some Associations fine members for not having their notebooks or not having them up to date. The dollar into the coffee kitty is minor compared to the embarrassment of not keeping things current.

Staying current and keeping good records is part of the responsible and duties of a member of the board.

2. The front piece of the Notebook should have a quick-one page outline of what is expected of a member of the Board. A suggestion would be.



  • Attend all Board Meetings
  • Attend all Committee Meetings where you have agreed to serve on the committee
  • Read and Understand the Articles and Bylaws
  • Read and Understand the Purpose and Goals
  • Have all Agenda Items to Secretary XX days in Advance
  • Have all Committee Reports to Secretary XX days in Advance
  • Before each Board meeting Read and Review the Agenda, all committee reports, proposed resolutions, etc.
  • Assist the Board in Recruiting your Replacement when your term is over

3. The President or Chairman of the Board, (person running that meeting), should also familiarize themselves with Robert’s Rules of Order. It will help move meetings along. The purpose of a Board meeting is not to agonize over every issue. If you can’t understand or be able to live with losing on a vote, do not run for the board. A majority rules and a person who is always in the majority is worthless to the board. Opinions and ideas are great, needed; they just do not have to be tolerated before every vote. Very often the minority on an issue will want to drag on hoping if nothing else the constant droning will switch a vote. If won’t. If the votes are there for a win, call a vote, vote and move on. No need wasting everyone’s time hearing things he or she all ready know.

The president also needs to be able to determine when to call for a vote, which is when it will pass. Not when a consensus is reached. It never matters who or how many people voted for something, only whether it passed or not.

4. On that issue. If you want to serve, you must learn to be prepared (to steal from the Boy Scouts) before a board meeting. Know the issues, the votes, get ready and vote. Do you lobbing before the meeting, not at the meeting. Your chances will increase dramatically of moving your vote forward.

5. Have all reports into he secretary XX (45 days) in advance. The Secretary copies and forwards to all board members XX (30 days) in advance. You cannot receive, review and vote on an issue at a board meeting. Get your committee or individual reports done and in so everyone can read and understand rather than waste everyone’s time at meetings.

Effective board meetings can be very short and sweet if everyone understands in advance that board meetings are for voting, not for arguing.

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