Carlsbad’s Sports and Active Lifestyle Cluster is a Hub for Both Established and Startup Companies

October 11, 2023

Carlsbad is known for its stunning beaches and perfect climate but also for being a thriving hub for the Sports Innovation and Design industry. This dynamic sector has found a home in Carlsbad and has flourished, contributing significantly to the city’s economic growth and providing a wealth of employment opportunities for local residents.

Market and Impact

The Sports and Active Lifestyle industry has become a cornerstone of Carlsbad’s economy, generating substantial revenue and driving economic growth. According to recent studies, the industry contributes an estimated $6.3 billion annually to the San Diego county economy. This figure encompasses a wide range of businesses, from surfboard manufacturers to apparel designers, all of which have found a welcoming environment in Carlsbad. 

Beyond its economic impact, the Sports and Active Lifestyle industry in Carlsbad has been a catalyst for job creation. The city is home to over 116 businesses in this sector, employing approximately 1,800 individuals. These jobs range from highly skilled positions in research and development to retail and marketing roles, offering a diverse array of opportunities for workers of all backgrounds and skill sets. Because of the hub that has been created, many new innovative companies in the sector are moving to the region to tap into this experienced talentpool.

Carlsbad boasts an impressive roster of industry-leading companies that have chosen to call the city home. Iconic names like TaylorMade, recognized worldwide for its innovative golf equipment, SKLZ, a pioneer in sports training equipment, and Vuori, a fast growing apparel company that has become a de facto brand in athleisure, have established their headquarters here. 

These companies not only contribute to the local economy but also serve as examples of innovation happening at established businesses, driving the industry forward.

There are a number of up and coming innovative companies in the city as well:

  • Lights Helmets ( A shining example of innovation in safety equipment, Lights Helmets has set the standard for cutting-edge head protection. Their revolutionary helmets combine safety and style, garnering recognition from athletes and enthusiasts alike, including the recent partnership with the NFL
  • Edge Theory Labs ( Pioneers in sports performance recovery, Edge Theory Labs harnesses the power of data and technology to elevate athletic performance. Their state-of-the-art solutions have revolutionized the way athletes train and compete. Their first product is in cold plunge technology, utilizing both cold and heat for recovery and performance.
  • Vessel Golf ( One of the newer developers of  golf equipment, Vessel Golf has garnered acclaim for its premium golf bags and accessories. Their commitment to quality and innovation has earned them a dedicated following among golf enthusiasts worldwide. 


Why Carlsbad?

One of the key factors that sets Carlsbad apart as a hub for the Sports and Active Lifestyle industry is its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. This coastal location provides an ideal testing ground for water sports equipment and has attracted numerous companies specializing in surfing, paddleboarding, and other aquatic activities. Moreover, the city’s diverse topography, which includes trails, parks, and open spaces, has made it a prime location for businesses focused on outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and running.

null A recent gathering of local sports and active lifestyle brand leaders at PureProject Brewery, Carlsbad, CA.

Matt Sanford of Carlsbad’s Economic Development Manager adds “we are committed to fostering an environment that supports the growth of industries like Sports and Active Lifestyle. This sector not only aligns with our city’s ethos of healthy living and outdoor recreation but also presents exciting opportunities in this innovative space. We understand the significance of this sector in our community and are committed to providing the resources and support needed for continued innovation and success that bring innovation to the world.”

Carlsbad’s Sports and Active Lifestyle industry stands as a testament to the city’s dedication to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and a high quality of life. With a robust economic impact, a multitude of employment opportunities, and a roster of industry-leading companies, Carlsbad has firmly established itself as a premier destination for businesses and talent in this dynamic sector. As the city continues to prioritize sustainable practices, it is poised to not only maintain but also expand its influence in the Sports and Active Lifestyle industry, creating a brighter future for both its residents and the global community.