"To help parents set budget expectations for their student-athletes, RetailMeNot.com sought to understand the costs associated with the most popular student sports," said Trae Bodge, senior editor, RetailMeNot.com. "We found that while parents believe that some sports are certainly more costly than others, like football, parents should expect to spend, on average, nearly $700 per child-athlete during the school year."In the survey of more than 1,000 parents with student-athletes in grades 6 to 12, 27% of respondents said that football was the most expensive sport. Other sports, listed in order of expense, included
Top 5 : Football 27%, Baseball/Softball 12 %, Hockey 11 %, Basket ball 9 % , Soccer 8%
On average, these parents estimate they spend $671 a year on these activities, and more than 2 in 10 (21%) spend $1,000 or more every year, per child.When asked where their money was going, 28% of these parents said uniforms and appropriate sports apparel were their biggest ongoing cost. Other parents reported the following items as their biggest expense: sporting equipment (27%), team dues (17%), travel (11%), sports camps (8%), practice space time (such as field, court, ice rink, and gymnasium costs) (4%), coaches fees (4%), and other (2%).
While more than half of these parents (51%) said they did not expect to pay travel costs outside of using their personal vehicle or public transport, 49% of these parents reported that they did expect to incur travel-related costs to support their child's sport:
Of those parents who expect to incur travel expenses to support their child's sport:
- 37% plan to spend money on hotel rooms.
- 43% of which expect to pay for 1–4 hotel nights per year
- 30% of which expect to pay for 5–9 hotel nights per year
- 19% of which expect to pay for 10–14 hotel nights per year
- 8% of which expect to pay for 15+ hotel nights per year
- 23% of those parents who expect to incur travel expenses to support their child's sport expect to pay for flight or other travel-related costs.
A majority of parents with student-athletes in grades 6 to 12 (57%) reported purchasing sporting goods at big-box specialty merchants like Sports Authority. Another 16% of these parents said they bought their sporting goods at large, national multi-category stores like Walmart or Target. Of those still shopping on Main Street, 1 in 10 parents (10%) said they still frequented their locally-owned sporting goods provider. Just under 1 in 10 parents (9%) purchased their sporting goods from a branded store, e.g., the Nike or the Adidas store. Only 4% of parents said they purchased their sporting goods from a national specialty store, e.g., Golfsmith.
The parents survey was conducted Sept. 20-24, 2012, among 1,006 parents with student-athletes in grades 6 to 12, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.