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The athletics and outdoors industries generate $26 billion, employ 53,000, Portland Business Alliance report says.

COURTESY PHOTO: CAMBRAE - Professionals gathered at Providence Park to hear the "Oregon: State of Sport" report from the Portland Business Alliance.Outdoors, recreational and sports sectors are excelling in Oregon, providing lots of jobs and economic stimulus directly and indirectly in the Portland area.

That's according to a new report from the Portland Business Alliance titled "Oregon: State of Sport," which was unveiled June 30 at Providence Park. The report was presented by U.S. Bank and created by the PBA in coalition with statewide and regional business association partnerships.

Andrew Hoan is the president and CEO of the PBA, which is Greater Portland's chamber of commerce.

"This is the first time we're able to quantify something we've all felt to be true: Oregon is the definitive business leader and a regional economic force in the athletic, outdoor, team and recreation industries," Hoan said. "It's inspiring to get a deeper look at the ecosystem and our distinguishing characteristics, like exceptional industry-trained talent and education programs, that support and allow for these industries to develop, grow and thrive here."

This report comes as the World Athletics Championship, the largest track and field sports event in the world, is slated to come to Eugene this summer — and provide a big economic boost to the state.

"There's never been a more exciting or important time to celebrate the business of sport and recreation of all kinds across Oregon," said Jim Etzel, CEO of Sport Oregon. "This study further affirms our efforts to support existing sports teams — both professional and college — and to attract new teams, events and businesses that add economic value and jobs to our region and the state. Ultimately, these efforts will result in a greater quality of life for Oregonians and tourists."

The report found that there are 53,000 Oregonians employed across 3,100 businesses in the outdoor, recreation, sport and athletics industries.

Oregon is home to many leaders in the sport gear industry including Nike, Adidas and Columbia Sportswear.

For every job in these sectors, another 1.7 jobs are created in Oregon's economy, the study found. That means these sectors support 113,000 other jobs — about 10% — in the Portland metro area.

Overall, these fields support a $26 billion economic output per year, including direct and indirect economic impacts, according to the report.

"When we think of a healthy, prosperous and competitive Oregon that improves lives today and into the future, Oregon's athletic, outdoor, team and recreation ecosystem is unquestionably a part of the story," said Angela Wilhelms, president and CEO of Oregon Business & Industry. "The contributions companies small and large in this ecosystem have made are extraordinary, and we must continue to leverage this strength and use findings from this study to propel our entire state forward."COURTESY PHOTO: CAMBRAE - Professionals gathered at Providence Park to hear the "Oregon: State of Sport" report from the Portland Business Alliance.

Compared to Seattle, Denver and Salt Lake City, Portland's athletics jobs outpace overall job growth, number of jobs and diversity of roles, according to the study. Here, many of the roles are high-skilled and high-paying, the report found.

According to the Portland Business Alliance, the report is one of the most robust studies to date that provides measurements of the competitive advantages and benefits of Oregon's recreational, outdoor, athletic and sport economy.

"For the last 30 years, the Greater Portland market has been the top choice for apparel and outdoor companies serious about growth and innovation," said Monique Claiborne, Greater Portland Inc. president and CEO. "If we want to continue to be on top, we must invest in this ecosystem. This report shows us what we have to gain: more jobs and dollars for our local economies. I look forward to working with both public and private sector leaders to create more opportunities for this industry."


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