Youth fitness and wellness is emerging as a growing market. Now it has the backing of America’s top sports leagues
Almost every major sports association in the United States is coming together in the name of fitness and wellness.
The Biden-Harris administration announced an historic partnership between 14 professional sports leagues and players’ associations with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. The participating bodies include the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA & WNBA, MLS, PGA Tour, NWSL, MLBPA, NWSLPA, NHLPA, MLSPA and USLPA.
Last year, the Biden-Harris administration also launched the White House Challenge to End and Build Healthy Communities, asking stakeholders nationwide to make bold commitments toward eliminating hunger and reducing diet-related diseases. The partnership, announced Thursday, represents one of the new commitments stemming from that challenge.
“I think collaboration is the key to really meaningful actions,” Chef José Andrés, co-chair of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, said of the initiatives. “Collaboration between professional athletes, chefs and community health advocates that gives the President’s Council its strength. This collaboration we are announcing today, I think is another massive step in the right direction.”
In participation, the NFL will build on its Play60 program which encourages an hour of physical activity a day for young people along with a healthy diet. The MLB will do the same with its Play Ball initiative, a similar program but naturally focused on baseball and softball.
The NHL will work to increase opportunities for children and families to enjoy hockey via financial investments, national advocacy, and a number of strategic programs. The NBA and WNBA will continue to combat food insecurity and host more events that promote physical activity to young people, building on those scheduled during the upcoming All-Star Game in Indianapolis later this month. Other sports leagues will make similar contributions.
An Emerging Youth Fitness & Wellness Market
Major sports organizations and athletes expressing an interest in promoting health and wellness to future generations has been a commonality of late. Ex-Atlanta Falcons players Mohamed Sanu, Sean Weatherspoon, Christian Blake and Elijah Wilkinson did so by partnering with Legacy Sports to launch new Atlanta youth fitness centers this past year.
D1 Training reached 100 locations this past summer. Led by former University of Tennessee football player and ex-Peyton Manning teammate, Will Bartholomew, D1 offers youth and adult sports and fitness training.
League One Volleyball (LOVB) also recently inked a deal with Tonal. The digital fitness supplier will provide volleyball-specific training programs with individual, adaptive strength training regimens with its “gym-on-a-wall” devices.
The two entities are coming together at an ideal time and around an ideal sport with volleyball currently the fastest high-school sport for females in the U.S.
“While conditioning is a crucial component to every volleyball player’s journey, not every athlete has access to elite programs, and our partnership with Tonal changes this dynamic,” Stacey Vollman Warwick, LOVB head of commercial, said of the partnership.