2017 Portland Athletic and Outdoor Industry Report

At the time of the 2009 report, Prosper Portland (then Portland Development Commission) had begun to focus its job creation efforts around traded sector “clusters” or industries in which Portland had a significant economic advantage.

View Original 2009 Industry Report

The original report detailed the reasons for our advantages in the A&O industry (e.g. talent, infrastructure, entrepreneurs with industry experience) and made the case for a public-private partnership that would help retain, expand, and attract companies and talent in this industry. The report really helped to galvanize the industry around the idea that we had something unique in Portland and it was in everyone’s best interest to collaborate when possible.

View Full 2017 Industry Report

Why is this report significant/important?

Portland has weathered significant change since the original report – the Great Recession and subsequent recovery, continued growth of the A&O industry, the emergence of a strong entrepreneurial culture. To capture the current status of the industry, we worked with Business Oregon and Portland State University to update the data and held industry focus groups in Bend and Portland to understand the biggest industry challenges. EcoNorthwest took the information from all these sources and created an updated narrative, as well as a new call to action for the industry. The 2017 report aligns the industry with Prosper Portland’s strategic direction and creates a platform for discussion around issues that have risen to the forefront in the new economic and political climate. Given the industry’s strong emergence from the Great Recession and its continued growth and job creation, it’s an opportune time to shift the discussion toward training and retaining  diverse talent and exploring ways that A&O companies can be responsible corporate citizens.

What should the Portland A&O Industry take away from this report?

As one of the few industries in our city that continued to grow throughout the recession, A&O is in a good place, but greater global and demographic changes are going to deeply impact the industry.

Just as the Portland A&O industry has led the way on sustainability and conservation, it now has the opportunity to lead in creating collaborative solutions to issues with global impact. That leadership might mean providing more support for small businesses to export or access foreign markets or developing  tools and resources for A&O businesses to create culturally competent and diverse workplaces.

What are your next steps after this report? 

We expect to bring the industry together in smaller groups to discuss the report’s call to action and goals and determine how to move forward with refining the proposed goals and implementation.