Don’t ignore popularity of youth running sports

I again read with interest this year’s SportsBusiness Journal youth sports analysis (Aug. 17-23).  Ironically, the total sum of the “running” sports in high school (track and field and cross country, boys and girls) exceeds 1.2 million and is the most popular participatory sport for scholastic age children. Local newspapers and now Web sites across America are filled with articles and results from this sport and, our local Web site, receives 2 million page views monthly and is part of a national network, MileSplit, which records close to 20 million per month.

Despite these numbers, chronically, there is little attention afforded by SportsBusiness Journal to this huge number of American youth many of whom will actually continue their sport into adult life as joggers, competitors and even marathoners. It would be prudent from a business model to not miss all these very loyal fans of tomorrow. Of interest, the SGMA survey of kids playing on team sports is not accurate as they use very soft and skewed indicators for actual participation in organized sports.

Dr. Norbert Sander Jr.
New York City

Sander is executive director of The Armory Foundation.

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