Fitness Tracker Alone Is Get-In-Shape Motivation

According to The NPD Group, the sports instruments market hit the ground running in 2015, growing 6% in dollar sales and 2% in unit sales in the 12 months ending January 2015 (Feb’14-Jan’15). The category reached $382.5 million, compared to $359.9 million the previous year.

Sports instruments include action video cameras, binoculars, calorie counters, compasses, GPS systems and accessories, MP3/music systems and accessories, pedometers, photo equipment accessories, pods/fitness trackers, solar power products, watches, and other wrist instruments.

In line with the trend that started in 2013, pods/fitness trackers more than doubled in dollars over the past year, from $27.2 million to $71.7 million. The newer kids on the block, solar powered products, are performing well, says the report. Dollar sales increased 9% through January, more than doubling in percentage growth from the year before (4%) and becoming an $8.7 million industry. While action video cameras, another class of instruments which has risen in popularity in recent years, also experienced growth (2%), its growth rate slowed considerably compared to the year before (38%).

GPS accessories grew 13% in dollar sales, though GPS systems have experienced declines for two consecutive years, as have compasses and wrist instruments/watches, the largest class of instruments based on dollar sales.

Top Five Sports Instrument Classes Dollar Share of Market


Dollar Share (Percent)

Wrist instruments/watches


Digital imaging (Action video cameras)


Digital imaging accessories (Photo equipment accessories)


GPS devices


Source: The NPD Group, April 2015

Matt Powell, sports industry analyst, The NPD Group, says “Fitness trackers have changed the way America moves… appealing to active consumers… (just) owning one provides greater incentive… to get into shape… these devices have added a new dimension to fitness… “

“Products that combine fitness tracking with social media will likely be the next must-have items in the sporting goods industry,” added Powell.

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