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17 Profitable Sports Business Ideas

Written by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

17 Profitable Sports Business Ideas

Participating in a physical game of paintball and feeling the wind as you drive a go-kart offer a different kind of thrill compared to a video game. That’s why sports-related businesses will continue to grow in popularity in the coming years.

There are other opportunities that you can take advantage of, such as launching a basketball training program, opening a go-kart circuit, or renting out jet skis. One very lucrative business opportunity related to sports is the sports card trading business. Check out other sports business ideas below.

1. Fitness Clothing Line

How to Start a Fitness Clothing Line

A huge market awaits you as Americans spend an average of $5,321 per year on wellness. The broader sports and fitness clothing industry in the US, which was valued at more than $62.4 billion in 2022, is still growing. 

Before you launch your fitness clothing line, it’s to your advantage to study the market so you can offer something new and unique. It’s also important to learn about the various clothing materials as well as the pros and cons of using them. You can start this business from home to save on startup costs, but it’s important to implement a creative marketing strategy that you can carry out through traditional and digital channels. As your business grows, you can set up a brick and mortar store to enhance customer experience and increase your loyal customer base. There will be bumps in the road, but you’ll find your business very rewarding if you know your target market well.

Pro Tip: Use eco-friendly materials and be clear about where your materials come from to attract customers who care about the environment.

2. Go-kart Business

How to Start a Go-kart Business

Go-kart market size, measured by revenue, was $118.4m in 2023 and is estimated to register a CAGR of over 3.5% between 2024 and 2032.

To set up your own go-kart track, you will need to explore financing options to acquire go-karts, safety equipment and a property that is accessible. You can start small and offer just a few go-karts. It’s easy to expand once you have increased your client base. You will also need to build a team of mechanics and other staff, prepare a business plan that includes an effective marketing campaign, and make sure to comply with insurance, zoning and other regulations.

Pro Tip: Start a membership program to get people to come back and keep track of what customers like so you can send them more relevant ads.

3. Bike Rental

How to start a bike rental business

The global bike rental market was valued at $2.1 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $11.3 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 18.5% from 2022 to 2031. More commuters now prefer to ride bikes because these are good for the environment. Anxiety over catching the coronavirus in public transportation systems has also fueled demand for bikes. 

There are a few things you need to consider before starting a bike rental business. Is there a market for bike rental in your area? What kind of bikes should you offer? How many bikes should you have at any given time? You will find the answers to these questions as you research the market. It is also important to comply with all the legal and regulatory requirements and to come up with a good marketing plan. An option is to place bike docks near subway or bus stations.

Pro Tip: Work with local tourist boards to offer guided tours that add educational elements to the rental experience.

4. Self-Defense Training

How to start a self-defense training business

If karate is used to defend honor, defend life, then karate means something. So goes one of the teachings of fictional karate master Mr. Miyagi of the Karate Kid films. Karate is among the martial arts used for self defense, along with krav maga, taekwondo, aikido, muay thai, judo, and more. 

If you’ve been trained in any of these combat systems, you can use your skills to start a self defense training business. Self defense training will not only protect your students from their attackers and possibly save their lives, but will also boost their self confidence.

Self defense is taught mostly in martial arts studios. There are 66,124 martial arts studios businesses in the US as of 2023, earning a total revenue of $16.8 billion in 2023. Before you open your own studio, it’s a good idea to scope out the market so you can devise ways to differentiate your business from existing competitors. With careful planning, your self defense training business can be very rewarding.

Pro Tip: Make sure you have different types of classes for different groups of people, like self-defense classes for women or anti-bullying classes for kids.

5. Gun Range

gun range business idea

Starting a gun range business may be the perfect venture for you if you have a passion for firearms and want to share this with others. The US shooting ranges industry, valued at $4.3 billion in 2022, has consistently grown in the last five years. There are 11,381 shooting ranges across the US as of 2023 and there’s still room for more. Demand for such facilities is expected to increase as consumers spend more on recreational activities. 

Before you start your business, it’s a good idea to make sure that your facility complies with federal, state and local regulations, and safety standards. Some cities prohibit outdoor ranges and require indoor spaces with walls, ceilings, and floors that are impenetrable to bullets. It would be best to consult your local authorities to make sure your business is compliant to all rules and regulations.

Pro Tip: To handle busy times and make things easier for customers, use advanced scheduling systems and memberships.

6. Basketball Training

basketball business idea

The number of U.S. Americans who played basketball at least once in a year reached 29.73 million people in 2023, and the trend is growing. If you love to play basketball and have experience with training professional basketball players, then starting a basketball training business might work for you.

When you’re starting a business, it is important to be selective about the niche you choose. It will help you save time and money. So, define your target market and understand what type of training they need. Most of those who engage in basketball are kids and teenagers, who move on to playing competitive high school basketball if they excel. Some later advance to competing in the college leagues and even get drafted into teams competing in the NBA. With adequate knowledge and experience on the sport, you can easily become successful in this field.

Pro Tip: Make a mobile app that lets players see how they’re doing, set up practice times, and get online training tools.

7. Bungee Workout

bungee business idea

Bungee workouts are fast gaining traction in the US because of viral videos on social media. This low-impact cardio and full-body exercise, which originated in Thailand, has people flying and bouncing around indoors while attached to bungee cords. The growing popularity of this latest fitness craze has led to a surge in demand for bungee cords.

The global bungee cords market was valued at $4284.6 million in 2023 and is anticipated to reach $5788.7 million by 2030.

To get started, it’s a good idea to find a good location for your studio. It will have to be in an area that’s easily accessible. Bungee workouts are for all people of all ages and body types, but you may still want to focus on a niche market and develop an appropriate training program. To find clients, it’s to your advantage to be well-connected and use social media platforms to promote your studio. You could also host bungee workout events. With market research and aggressive marketing, you’ll be able to make money in no time.

Pro Tip: To keep the practice fun and interesting for regular clients, make workouts or challenges with a theme.

8. Gym

How to open a gym business

The revenue of the fitness, health, and gym club industry in the United States was approximately 30.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2023. There are 113,326 gym, health & fitness clubs businesses in the US as of 2023, an increase of 2.3% compared to 2022.

Setting up a gym can be a breeze if you’re motivated and have a clear idea of what it will offer and what you want to achieve. You will need to invest in exercise equipment, choose a location that is accessible to potential customers, and secure the necessary permits and certifications. An option is to get a franchise or buy an existing fitness center. You will also need to identify a target market. There’s an increasing number of younger people who want to get fit and healthy, so you might want to direct your advertising and marketing efforts to this demographic. Don’t forget the older fitness buffs, though. Their number is also increasing.

Pro Tip: To offer a more complete health plan, combine wellness services like nutrition guidance and physical therapy.

9. Sneaker Business

How to start a shoe store business

Do you love to wear or collect sneakers? Sneakers are designed primarily for sports activities, but they are also being used everyday because of the comfort they provide. The trend now is to use them with almost any attire.

US sneaker market was valued at $23.40bn in 2023 and is anticipated to have an annual growth rate of 4.52% by 2028. Tapping into the business opportunities offered by this huge market will bring you some extra cash. So, why not consider setting up a sneaker business?

To get started, it’s important to choose which brands to carry and what your business model will be. Will you set up a physical store or do business online? It’s a good idea to study the market, its main players, dynamics, structure and demand drivers. It’s also to your advantage to look at what people are buying, when they make a purchase, and where to source your inventory. Starting a sneaker company is not as easy as you might think, but with perseverance, you can sustain and grow your business.

Pro Tip: Work with local designers to make personalized sneakers that are only available to a small group of people.

10. Paintball

How to start a paintball field

The paintball industry in the US generates an estimated revenue of $700 million annually. The game is so popular that major companies like Nike and Adidas have entered the market and designed shoes for optimal paintball performance. Other companies are sponsoring paintball tournaments. 

If you’re already in the paintball industry, starting a paintball business is just a matter of choosing the right location for your paintball field, introducing innovations and marketing your business. If you’re starting from scratch, it would be best to decide first whether you will open a paintball field or just sell supplies and accessories. It’s also important to learn the game and its rules, join an online community of paintballers, identify your potential customers, and aggressively promote your business online even before your launch.

Pro Tip: Hold seasonal events or games with a theme to get big groups and business teams to come together and work on their teamwork.

11. Sports Card Trading

How to start a sports trading card business

Collecting sports cards can be a fun and rewarding hobby. It can be a good investment and a lucrative venture, too. These cards can be sold for thousands or millions of dollars. The highest selling sports card so far is a 1952 Mickey Mantle card that fetched over $12.6 million. The sports trading card industry in the US is showing no signs of slowing and is predicted to reach $98.8 billion by 2027. So, if you’ve been thinking about how you can liquidate your sports cards, start your sports card business now. 

In order to start a successful sports card business, it’s important to know which cards you should invest in. The most valuable cards are often the rookie cards, or the first printed cards for a sports personality, and the autographed baseball cards. When the value of rookie cards becomes too high, it would be wise to invest in first and second-year cards as well because their value will usually increase. As long as you know how to find the right customers, your sports card business is primed for success.

Pro Tip: Add virtual reality features to your website or app to make collecting cards more fun to look at.

12. Fitness

How to start a fitness business

Americans have never been more concerned about their health, which is helping drive widespread interest in achieving better fitness. The US gym and fitness industry is worth $31.2 billion in 2023. Even if you’re not a fitness junkie, you could start your own fitness business and help people live healthier, happier lives while earning a solid income. 

You don’t even need a physical location. If you have some experience in fitness, you could begin by offering online classes, such as in yoga, Zumba or pilates. Then, once you’ve built up a brand, you could open your first location and start building your fitness empire. Just be sure to get all the required licenses and permits as well as a strong insurance plan — you don’t want your new fitness business to be sidetracked by a customer injury.

Pro Tip: Give people virtual reality exercise classes that put them in interactive worlds that make working out fun and interesting.

13. Sports Photography

How to start a photography business

Are you an amateur photographer who loves snapping great images? Photography industry in the US has reach an estimated $13.0 billion in 2024. You could start your photography business from home and give the world beautiful photos while also making a good living. 

You can capture thrilling moments in team or individual sports, outside the court (behind the scenes) amd training sessions and practice matches, do athletes photoshoot (for magazines and publications), fan interactions and reactions, detailed close-ups of sports equipment, sporting landscapes and venues. Assuming you already have a professional-level camera, you’ll just need some great editing software and to build a website showing off your portfolio and listing your prices and services. With a bit of talent and determination, you could be snapping your way to success in no time!

Pro Tip: Let people print their pictures quickly at events so they can take them home right away.

14. Yoga Studio

yoga business idea

Do you love to practice yoga? You can share your love of yoga with others and make money at the same time by starting a yoga business. More than 33.6 million Americans are believed to practice yoga as of 2023. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that has been known to improve strength, flexibility and balance. Its meditation and breathing exercises promote relaxation and improve mental well-being. 

Before you get started, decide on a business model first. Will you just get a franchise or develop your own brand? Franchising would be much easier because you will be promoting an established brand with systems already in place. But if you wish to build your own brand, you will need to study what other yoga studios in your area are offering and come up with something innovative to differentiate your brand in a saturated market. You will also need to draw up a good marketing strategy to promote your business and find a good location with high foot traffic.

Pro Tip: Hold retreats or workshops every two months with guest yogis to offer a range of training styles and methods.

15. Sports Coaching Business

Sports Coaching business idea

Not long ago, there were only a handful of coaching firms in the United States. The sports coaching market is estimated to reach a value of USD 4.18 billion by 2028. There are 307,090 people employed in the sports coaching industry in the US as of 2023.

Americans have learned to appreciate the value of good insight and planning, particularly when it comes to major decisions involving their finances, career and personal matters. 

If you have expertise in any of these areas, you could start your own coaching business and help people lead more fulfilling lives while grabbing a slice of this fast-growing market. It’s easy to get started. You just need a reliable computer, some relevant experience and a strong marketing campaign, highlighting your skills on social media and beyond. 

The challenge will be attracting and maintaining clients, so you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the coaching crowd and prove your worth. A great website will surely help.

Pro Tip: As a sports teacher, you can use AI to give clients personalized coaching tips and keep track of their progress.

16. Gun Store

How to Open a Gun Store

Starting a gun store can be an exciting venture in the world of sports business, catering to enthusiasts of shooting sports and hunting. Shooting sports, which include disciplines like trap and skeet shooting, target shooting, and more, have a rich tradition and a passionate community. By offering a range of firearms, ammunition, and accessories, an entrepreneur can tap into this market, ensuring that sport shooters have access to the latest and best equipment for their discipline.

Beyond merely selling firearms, a gun store can offer value-added services such as firearms training, shooting range facilities, and maintenance workshops. This not only diversifies the income streams but also creates a hub for the local shooting sports community. Entrepreneurs who appreciate the precision, discipline, and camaraderie of shooting sports can find this venture rewarding both financially and personally.

Pro Tip: Hold regular seminars on gun safety and upkeep to bring in new customers and teach them about the product.

17. Mini Golf Course

How to Start a Mini Golf Course

Mini golf course not only promises fun and entertainment but also presents a lucrative opportunity as families, tourists, and enthusiasts seek engaging leisure activities. Mini golf is versatile, catering to both casual outings and competitive play.

Strategically choosing a location, incorporating creative design elements, and understanding local regulations are vital. Additionally, by offering seasonal themes or incorporating advanced tech like augmented reality, you can elevate the experience. With the right approach, a mini golf course can be a profitable venture, ensuring repeat customers and becoming a staple in community recreation.

Pro Tip: To make the game more fun, add interactive technology like digital scorecards and augmented reality hurdles.

More Sports Business Ideas

Unique sports business ideas

  • Virtual reality sports simulation center
  • Extreme adventure racing events
  • Sports equipment rental subscription service
  • Sports nutrition meal delivery
  • Sports technology consulting firm
  • eSports arena and gaming lounge
  • Outdoor adventure retreats for athletes
  • Sports memorabilia auction platform
  • Sports injury prevention clinic
  • Athletic skill development app

Sports business ideas to run from home:

  • Online coaching platform
  • Equipment repair and maintenance service
  • Event planning and management consultancy
  • Data analytics and insights service
  • Memorabilia restoration and conservation
  • Virtual sports training camps
  • Fan merchandise ecommerce store
  • Podcast
  • Online betting tips and analysis subscription service
  • Sports fitness and wellness blog

Water sports ideas

  • Coastal kayak tours and rentals
  • Stand-Up paddleboard yoga classes
  • Jet ski adventure tours
  • Windsurfing equipment sales and rentals
  • Scuba diving instruction and dive tours
  • Wakeboarding and waterskiing lessons
  • Hydrofoil surfboard manufacturing
  • River rafting expeditions
  • Underwater photography excursions
  • Kiteboarding equipment sales and lessons

Fantasy sports business ideas

  • Fantasy sports social media platform
  • Fantasy sports analytics tool
  • Fantasy sports podcast network
  • Fantasy sports virtual reality experience
  • Fantasy sports trading card game
  • Fantasy sports community events and conventions
  • Fantasy sports strategy guide publishing
  • Fantasy sports live streaming service
  • Fantasy sports gamification app
  • Fantasy sports AI assistant for drafting and management
  • Fantasy sports merchandise store
  • Fantasy sports coaching and strategy consultancy
  • Fantasy sports mobile game development
  • Fantasy sports data visualization software
  • Fantasy sports player performance prediction algorithm

Indoor sports business ideas

  • Indoor climbing gym
  • Indoor trampoline park
  • Indoor tennis court rental
  • Indoor soccer field facility
  • Indoor batting cages
  • Indoor archery range
  • Indoor golf simulator center
  • Indoor skateboarding park
  • Indoor laser tag arena
  • Bowling alley


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17 Profitable Sports Business Ideas