Press Releases

RetailMeNot's Shoppers Trend Report Reveals Football to Be the Most Expensive Sport for Student Athletes, According to Parents
On average, parents spend $671 a year on sports-related costs, with 21% of parents spending more than $1,000 per child

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- (, the largest online coupon site in the United States, today announced the findings of a survey jointly conducted with The Omnibus Company ( about the cost of student athletics. 


"To help parents set budget expectations for their student-athletes, sought to understand the costs associated with the most popular student sports," said Trae Bodge, senior editor, "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."

According to the survey of more than 1,000 parents with student-athletes in grades 6 to 12, 27% of parents said that football was the most expensive sport. Other sports, listed in order of expense, included:

•         Football


•         Baseball/Softball


•         Hockey


•         Basketball


•         Soccer


•         Gymnastics


•         Golf


•         Track & Field/Cross-Country


•         Volleyball


•         Swimming/Diving


•         Lacrosse


•         Wrestling


•         Field Hockey


•         Other


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.

Where are they shopping?

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.

Methodology: The parents survey was conducted between September 20 and September 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.

About ( is the leading consumer destination for collaborative online coupon, deal and promotional code hunting and sharing. Our mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience. Since November 2006, our users have shared hundreds of thousands of deals and offers from retailers from across the globe. Online coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and expired coupons drop down the list. is operated by WhaleShark Media, Inc., the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals.

Shopping on the go? Download the RetailMeNot Coupons App for iPhone and Android phones to access Hot Deals, browse top coupons, popular stores and categories and get thousands of online and in-store coupons to shop when you want, where you want. Make sure to "like" on Facebook, follow the company via Twitter @retailmenot and add us on Google+.

About WhaleShark Media, Inc.

WhaleShark Media, Inc. ( is the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals. The company's websites enable consumers seeking to save money to find hundreds of thousands of offers from retailers across the globe. WhaleShark Media experiences more than 400 million consumer visits to its sites every year. The WhaleShark Media portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes, the largest online coupon site in the United States;, the largest online coupon site in the United Kingdom; in Germany; and in France;;; and WhaleShark Media is a fast-growing, profitable company funded by venture capital firms Austin VenturesNorwest Venture Partners, Adams Street PartnersGoogle VenturesJ.P. Morgan Asset Management, and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).

Be sure to "like" WhaleShark Media on Facebook and follow the company via Twitter @whalesharkmedia.

About The Omnibus Company

The Omnibus Company ( delivers industry leading research results for clients.  The Omnibus Company is a division of Kelton (, a global insights firm.

Media Contact:

RetailMeNot PR Department


Allison+Partners Public Relations


Media Contacts

North America
RetailMeNot PR Department
Media Inquiries: +1 512 777 2957
Jordy Mongin
RetailMeNot, France