The sport is still really small in comparison to other small sports. I feel like a big reason for this is because it costs a lot of money for equipment and lessons and stuff, so it is a real turn-off to most people. Even in the NCAA it is evident with the news that Brown is cutting their program. They do not have the strongest athletic program, and to save money, they are getting rid of the team. Fencing teams spend money for schools while football and basketball teams make money money. (Brown is a terrible team anyway, but I just used them as an example; I'm sure there are more teams that actually had a good fencer once or did decently in the NCAA and then lost their program.) A big attraction to fencing, at least in the United States, for kids, is that fencing looks good for colleges and you have a good chance of getting recruited or a scholarship or accepted or something. With seemingly fewer NCAA fencing teams, the previously mentioned attraction is not as strong. Since it is so small, to compete at a relatively high level for most people usually costs flights, hotels, and usually both. That adds up, and many people are not willing to pay for it. Since money is a very big issue in the fencing community, it also creates a social hierarchy. You get a few snobby kids in NYC clubs and stuff and it makes the whole fencing community look like that, which is not true. You can cure cancer with the money that some of these snobby kids take for granted for their petty fencing expenses. This could be a good business opportunity for a company like Nike or something to make really low-priced fencing equipment. It would make overall expenses a fraction of the price, and make fencing, as a sport, much more appealing. Perhaps Underarmor can take initiative; they're starting to get their fingers in the fencing community. A great way for Underarmor to make the sport better is to perhaps create a fencing shoe based on the Vibram Five Finger shoes. It is light weight, durable, and uses up less fabric/materials and will cost less for manufacturing, and also less the consumer (fencers). Underarmor can also create fencing jackets made out of that really tight fitting material they make. They can even put some padding under it, similar to those lightweight basketball pads that NBA players use. They can even make it in different colors - maybe keep it white, but at least put a little design on the side or something. Discuss.