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September 8, 2022

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Media Contact: Scott Yoffe
Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022

Solana Beach, CA - Bill Walton, Chairman of the San Diego Sport Innovators (SDSI), noted that a recent survey of 120 SDSI Members points toward a very bullish 2023 for companies in the Sport, Active and Healthy-Living space.

“The Pandemic has helped individuals and families shift their time and spending toward healthy habits, getting outside and being active. In the midst of the great loss the pandemic caused, we are proud as an industry to have stepped up and supported so many people who are refocused on active and healthy habits. Our SDSI companies have been in a fortunate place to support this increased demand and as a result, business in the sport, active and healthy-living space has been near or above an all-time sales high,” noted Walton. “We thought it prudent to survey the membership now, at the onset of business planning for 2023, to gain a collective look into the future, to see if this increase in business is sustainable.”

The Survey results were startling in their optimism. Sixty-three percent see it as a year of opportunity and 68% are planning for a significant increase in sales. The same percent saw beginning 2023 inventories as acceptable or better, while 93% of all respondents plan to maintain current employee counts or increase staffing.

Mike Irwin of Bottle Rocket Advisors noted “Recession is a loaded term with significant economic data and buzz, but it’s also a potentially toxic word when viewed from the consumer point of view. I am suggesting replacing the ‘R’ word with ‘Transition.’ Look back 24 months and the sky was falling. Fast forward to today and we’re seeing historic, unprecedented demand and sales. My advice is to find your place in the transition and view opportunity through the aperture of your company and market channel.”

John Sarkisian, noted local entrepreneur, had similar comments. “In the macroeconomic world, no doubt there are significant headwinds and change. In my opinion, the economy has been through one of the most significant shocks since World War II, all as a consequence of the pandemic. But consider that 70% of the GDP is driven by consumer spending. Our typical consumer has a healthy balance sheet. Their main asset, their home, is very significantly up in value. Savings remain high. Many are in hybrid work-from-home situations. Small businesses have profited from governmental assistance. Employment is at an all-time high. People with jobs spend. And fortunately for our market, they spend on personal health, outdoor gear and apparel, and sport activities. My point of view is that changing or transitioning times represent a time of great opportunity, and a time when great wealth can be created!”

Kevin Cox, president of Encinitas’ Electra Bike Company noted “Electra started here in Encinitas nearly 30 years ago by resurrecting the classic cruiser bike and putting the fun back into bike riding. Today, Electra is a global lifestyle bicycle brand focusing on making both e-bikes and pedal bikes for a worldwide customer base. We worked tirelessly through the pandemic to help ensure our retailers received the necessary products to support and grow their businesses. But as the “bike boom” has slowed, many retailers have found themselves in an over-inventoried situation. Helping retailers navigate a controlled landing during these post-pandemic times will be a key to near term success. And, as with most market fluctuations, there is massive opportunity for those that can simplify their business and focus on what they can control...which is why we remain optimistic.”

“So, there you have it,” noted Bob Rief, Executive Director of SDSI. “The pandemic, for all its truly sad effects, has greatly increased sales in our healthy living space. Our collective customer is now health conscious, working in a hybrid environment and has more personal recreational time, be it golf, surfing, swimming, soccer, nutrition, technology or walking. That's the heart of the business at SDSI. We foresee a year of change, opportunity and profit in the sport, active and healthy lifestyle industry and that means a healthier and more active San Diego. It doesn’t get better than that!”


About SDSI - SDSI is a 501©3 not-for-profit organization chaired by Bill Walton and John Sarkisian. It serves as the business community for the $5.1 billion Sport, Active and Healthy Living Industry (SAL). SDSI represents 1,200 businesses in San Diego County with more than 47,000 employees. SDSI supports healthy living companies in all stages by facilitating cross vertical knowledge sharing, partnership building, business mentorship, and using the power of our community to help companies in our space do well AND do good. For more information or to get involved, visit

Bob Rief
Executive Director
[email protected]

Renne Catalano Gussman
Director of Business Development
[email protected]