Sports Industry Guide

Golf ball, tennis ball and football

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
accessible via electronic databases
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 

Small Business Help Books 

This is a collection of books containing practical information for those starting and running a business. Located within the Business & IP Centre.
The complete Guide to Personal Training by Morc Coulson [SBH.BT.135]
A reference guide for anyone involved in prescribing exercise programmes to personal training clients. This guide contains practical tips for designing a range of appropriate client exercise programmes but always with a focus on the best ways you can sustain a financially successful business in this area - and how you can stand out from the crowd.

How to Build a Six-Figure Personal Training Business by Dave Fletcher [SBH.BT.46]
Using his own experiences as a highly successful PT, Dave Fletcher shows you how to apply your business brain and transform your passion for health and fitness into an income worthy of a top city professional.

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
  • Recreational and Sports Rental and Leasing
  • 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

EMIS logo

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

GlobalData logo

  • Global Trends in Sports Retailing
  • UK: Clothing & Footwear - Sportswear

Passport logo

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

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete 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.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Trade magazines are useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

Groundsman (Institute of Groundsmanship, monthly) [(P) DY 94 - E(9)] (available in the Science 2 Reading Room)  
Covers management and maintenance of sports grounds for cricket, football, rugby and golf courses.

Sports Business International (SportsBusiness Group Ltd, monthly) [ZK.9.d.1230] (must be ordered using Explore the British Library)
Magazine aimed at managers, promoters and sports executives.

Sports Insight (Maze Media Ltd) [(P) 381.4568876 - E (1) BUS] (available in the Business & IP Centre)
Official publication of the Sports and Play Association. Contains news and features on sports apparel and equipment as well as related topics.


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

BIGGA: The British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association Membership Handbook (BIGGA) [(B) DIR 338.4779635202541 BUS]
Contains contact details of suppliers and services to the golf/greenkeeping industry. Covers aeration, drainage, irrigation, turf and seeds and water/pond management.
The British Boat industry Directory (Harque Directories Ltd.) [(B) DIR 623. 82 BUS]
Guide to the marine industry, listing related suppliers, contractors and services. Includes a section on products.
DOCCA: The Directory of Country Clothing, Footwear & Accessories (Alibi Publishing Ltd.) [(B) DIR 338.768702541 BUS]
Lists retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers of clothing, footwear and equipment for country pursuits such as shooting and fishing.
Golf Course Architecture Green Pages (Tudor Rose) [(B) DIR 796.352068 BUS] Provides details of golf course designers and other suppliers of golf related products and services.

MSA Yearbook (Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association) [(B) DIR 796.7094105 BUS]
Motor Sports Association directory. Contains listings of suppliers and manufacturers but also includes comprehensive coverage of regulations and governance of all forms of motor sports from circuit racing to rallying and karting.
Reed Marina Guide (MS Publications) [(B) DIR 387.15 BUS]
Source directory for sail and power boat owners detailing facilities of over 150 marinas. Also lists suppliers and service providers around the coast of the British Isles and provides details of manufacturers and retailers of marine and boating equipment and related services.

Sports Market Place (Grey House Publishing) [(B) DIR 796.02573 BUS] Directory of manufacturers, retailers, sponsors and services covering over 100 sports. Includes a list of events and trade shows.

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 or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

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