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Sports and Active Lifestyle

“San Diego is the epicenter of the Sport and Active lifestyle vertical (SAL). Its amazing climate, diverse geography - ocean, desert and mountains - and proximity to Mexico for its manufacturing capacity make San Diego a natural place to start, run or birth a company focused on healthy living, sports and an active lifestyle.”

Bob Rief, Executive Director of SD Sport Innovators, Former CEO of Sanuk & OTZ Footwear

With miles of coastline, near-perfect weather and research and development (R&D) expertise, San Diego provides an optimal environment for companies that create products or services that cater to active people everywhere. Widely considered the birthplace of U.S. surfing, San Diego’s sports and active lifestyle (SAL) cluster has evolved to include a range of enterprises that provide specialized business services to companies, as well as training and coaching facilities and event planning groups. In North County San Diego along the 78 Corridor, world-renowned golf companies, including Callaway, Cobra Puma, and TaylorMade, are just a drive away from one another. 
In 2019, San Diego’s sports innovation will be on display as the region hosts the inaugural World Beach Games, a 10-day Olympic-style event that will feature more than 20 beach-style sports.

Industry Highlights & Contributions

  • Hole in one: The world’s largest golf companies, including TaylorMade, Callaway and Titleist are headquartered in San Diego.
  • Talent: San Diego is home to some of the best action sports athletes in the world, including Tony Hawk, Shaun White and Rob Machado.
  • Economic impact: San Diego SAL companies account for $1.4 billion in economic activity.1
  • Cycling: San Diego is home to 227 local specialty bike retail shops, employing 1,226 people and supporting $220 million in annual sales.2



CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 2,000 companies since 1985 and is widely regarded as the world’s most successful regional program linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for commercialization of products.

San Diego Hall of Champions

The San Diego Hall of Champions is the nation’s largest multi-sport museum. It was established to recognize San Diego’s outstanding athletic accomplishments and traditions and provide a backdrop for all types of events in an atmosphere of San Diego’s rich and diverse sports history.

San Diego Sport Innovators

SDSI is a nonprofit business accelerator and trade organization that connects and drives the growth of Southern California’s vibrant sports economy by offering elite level networking, innovative programs and services for startups, mature companies, and service providers.

San Diego Sports Commission

The San Diego Sports Commission works with the San Diego Tourism Authority to find and secure the best hospitality for all events in-market. The group also helps navigate the city’s permitting process, connect events, and market and promote all events locally to ensure their success.


 1. San Diego Sport Innovators, “San Diego County’s Sports and Active Lifestyle Industry”, 2013 2. San Diego Sports Innovators, “San Diego, CA North America’s Cycling Capital”, 2016