Who We Are
The Sport & Social Industry Association is a trade organization that connects the hundreds of existing and emerging companies in the Social Sports Industry. It consists of businesses that produce and manage various adult sports leagues, tournaments and social events. We are a non-profit 501c6 and our main goal is to help the industry and its member businesses grow through cooperative efforts. We do this through organizing various knowledge share, group purchasing and national sponsorship efforts. We have also built a glossary of terms for the industry to use in measuring ourselves. The SSIA consists of over 60 dues paying member organizations in the US and Canada.
Why We Exist
All established industries have some form of trade organization because of the instant benefits they offer. Trade associations allow companies in an industry to work together to establish industry standards and benchmarks. They also allow competitors to ensure that their market is thriving, regardless of the elements that differentiate them. In a nutshell, a trade association allows an industry to communicate appropriately to various constituents in a way that improves the fortunes of everyone involved in the industry. As of 2010, there was no such organization for the hundreds of established businesses in the Social Sports Industry. The SSIA has grown from 25 company members initially to now over 60 member organizations in the US and Canada, showing that together, we can help our industry members in ways that were not possible before the SSIA.
What Are Social Sports
Sport & Social Clubs provide dynamic sports leagues and social events to the active, 21+, fun seeking demographic.
Some might consider playing sports and socializing as two separate events. A “Sport & Social” business (and it’s customers) see them as one and the same. Meaning not only can one event contain both sport and social activities, but that putting the two together creates the optimal experience for any active, social person. Sport and Social leagues allow for people to meet and compete on the field, then join the party afterwards. Sport and Social businesses aim to bring all types of people together through sports on the field and to provide amazing social activities that are all about having fun off the field.
Sport & Social businesses include a designated place for all members to visit after the game for a beer, a bite to eat and a friendly conversation with teammates and opponents. In addition to sports leagues with post-game happy hours, Sport and Social businesses usually host larger social events that are coupled with a sporting event such as an endurance race. The sporting event could also be a national/regional tournament, obstacle course or scavenger hunt. Sport and Social businesses are becoming more and more organized, business-savvy and successful everyday, and the Sport and Social Industry Association is the perfect place for these businesses to collaborate with other companies in the industry, learn about best practices and enjoy a healthier business climate due to the scale that a united industry creates. There are hundreds of established Sport and Social organizations in the US and internationally. The SSIA aims to bring these organizations together to learn from each other and increase their bottom line in the process.
In 2010, an initial outreach was performed to approximately 70 Sport and Social businesses nationwide. From this group, about half responded and almost all of these respondents were interested in learning more about how Sport and Social businesses can work together to accomplish similar goals. From these conversations, it was determined that a survey should be conducted. It was sent out to 70 Sport and Social businesses, of which 35 responded and completed. After the results came in, a research report was performed on the survey results and distributed to the 35 businesses that responded. This report established that the Sport and Social businesses in aggregate represented over $50MM in revenue per year and over 1MM members.
The SSIA planned to produce a similar survey and report for 2015, which would allow us to evaluate the growth of our industry over 5 years. This report would be unveiled at the 2015 Sport & Social Industry Conference to participating members.
In early 2011, the first ever Sport & Social Industry Conference was organized because of overwhelming interest in the surveyed clubs to meet the many other business owners in their industry. The event took place in February of 2011 in San Diego, California. A total of 38 attendees from 28 businesses participated and the consensus was that there should be a similar event at least once per year and that the SSIA should begin to structure itself in a way to help its member organizations accomplish three common objectives – increase industry revenue, decrease industry cost and maximize industry collaboration.
A working group was established on a volunteer basis to begin meeting and planning for each of these objectives. Over an 8-week period, this group consisting of 12 business owners held conference calls and completed tasks related to establishing SSIA priorities, budgets and fund raising plans. They established bylaws and formed an Executive Committee to help guide the organization moving forward.
The 2012 Sport and Social Conference took place on January 19th and 20th in Tampa Bay, Florida. The membership grew 20% and new member benefits in the insurance and equipment space were added. In addition, the Executive Committee had its first in-person meeting in Chicago, where it discussed and decided on the direction of the SSIA moving forward. This meeting became a staple and huge value add to the entire organization.
The 2013 Sport and Social Conference took place on February 18th – 22nd in San Antonio, TX. There was the first ever Executive Committee Election establishing the 1st leadership/governance board for the SSIA. In addition, the membership grew to 60 members.
2014 was a great year for the SSIA! We had our 4th added 2 new Partner Programs that added to our member benefits and had amazing Conference in Ft. Lauderdale on February 17th – 21nds.
2015 was a huge year for the SSIA! We celebrated our 5th Anniversary in San Diego for the Sport & Social Industry Conference. We also elected a brand new Executive Committee in April, and had our most productive Executive Committee Retreat in Charlotte, NC. In addition, we went over 70 members for the first time in our brief history. We are so excited for the 2016 conference at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya in early February. Learn more here.