| May 16, 2019

Was Mother’s Day a Missed Opportunity for Sporting Goods?


You don’t have to dig too deep into the data to know that jewelry, apparel and accessories, and housewares are popular categories for Mother’s Day gifts. But what about sporting goods and apparel, which includes activewear and athletic footwear?

Moms are just as active as dads. Moms are athletes. Moms work out. Moms coach youth sports. Moms have careers. The question is, did retailers promote the sporting goods and apparel category in advance of Mother’s Day? If so, how much?

To find out, we reviewed 49 print circulars from mass, department, and sporting goods retailers in search of sporting goods and apparel-related promotions during the two weeks prior to Mother’s Day. Here’s what we learned.

Sporting Goods Promotions Were Relatively Scarce

Only 15 of the 49 retailer circulars we reviewed included any sporting goods promotions leading up to Mother’s Day. Big 5 Sports had the highest share of sporting goods-related promotions at 30%. Bass Pro Shops, Dunham’s and Cabela’s made up a clear second tier.


Activewear and Footwear Dominate

Just a handful of retailers had sporting goods promotions specifically geared towards Mother’s Day in their circulars. The few that did target Mother’s Day shoppers focused exclusively on activewear and footwear – no sporting goods in the traditional sense. Here are examples of these promotions from Academy, Fred Meyer and Dunham’s.


As one might expect, Nike (17.4%), Under Armour (13.5%) and Adidas (9%) were the three women’s apparel and footwear brands promoted most heavily prior to Mother’s Day. On average, activewear/sportswear products were discounted 32.8%. The average discount for athletic shoes was 25.6%.


Finally, we compared 2019 Mother’s Day promotions data with 2018 Father’s Day promotions data to get some perspective. Not surprisingly, there were far fewer sporting goods promotions during the two weeks prior to Mother’s Day 2019 (1,969 total promotions) than Father’s Day 2018 (3,291 total promotions).

The takeaway here for retailers and brands is that there is a tremendous opportunity to capture a larger share of Mother’s Day gift sales by ramping up promotions in the sporting goods and apparel category.


Remember, moms don’t just need sporting goods and athletic apparel for sports and fitness. With the amount of juggling mothers do between working, raising kids and managing the home, they often need these products just to get through the day. Next Mother’s Day, consider investing in promotions for product categories that suit the active lifestyle of the modern mom.

At Numerator, we provide comprehensive visibility and deeper insight into the competitive cross-media promotional landscape. Reach out to us at