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SPORTS APPAREL INDUSTRY                                                                                                 

Sports Apparel Industry

Sanaa North

Coastal Carolina University

CBAD 290

Carol Borisuk

September 23, 2021


The success and performance of an industry is hugely determined by a number of factors such as the level of competition, the general reputation, the preferences and tastes of consumers, and the availability of raw materials. By description, sports apparel industry is one of the leading industries across the globe. Most of the products from the sports apparel industries are used domestically, for instance, people use the clothing when doing physical exercises to make them physically fit and healthy. Even the companies engage in stiff and unhealthy competitions they create a conducive environment to the consumers. The consumers are able to get quality products at pocket-friendly prices. The demand for the sports apparel are rapidly increasing globally because they are trendy, convenient, versatile, and they can be used for a variety of events. The key players within the industry have focused their effort to innovate and introduce new fashionable and unique products that are capable to attract the interest of consumers across the entire world. This paper focuses on addressing some of the key aspects of the sports apparel industry such as the market trend, SWOT analysis, and the competition rivalries.

Keywords: Sports Apparel, Competition, Market trend, Profitability

Sports Apparel Industry


During the forecast period (2020-2025), the international sports apparel is expected to witness approximately CAGR of 4.11%. In the current society, people tend to incorporate sport and fitness activities in their day-to-day lifestyles because of the desire to lead active lifestyles, the rising health and self-consciousness, and the desire to remain fit. As a result,the market dynamic has greatly changed due to the increased participation leading to the high demand for sports apparel. Women’s participation in sports and other body fitness activities have also led to shift of the sports apparel’s demand curve to the right. The market share of the industry has been driven over the forecast period because of the engagement of women in both domestic and professional sports (Adler & Clarke, 2017).

The increased presence of fashionable sports apparel has been increased by the rising interrelationships between fashion and sports. This has immensely increased the interest of women. The industry has introduced a number of additional benefits to their products, which has attracted and lured the interests of many consumers. The additional benefits include temperature control, moisture management, and the key performance-boosting features, which only prevent discomfort but also avoid the potential injuries (Davies, 2017). These benefits have massively captured the interest of consumers and they are ready and willing to pay more for the services and products.

The Market Trends and SWOT Analysis for the Sport Apparel Industry

The demand for the sports apparel are rapidly increasing globally because they are trendy, convenient, versatile, and they can be used for a variety of events. The key players within the industry have focused their effort to innovate and introduce new fashionable and unique products that are capable to attract the interest of consumers across the entire world. Most of them market their products through the online social media platforms. The products are technically advanced making them more practical and comfortable. In effect, their demand has increased immeasurably thereby, increasing the industry’s profitability and productivity.

Globally, Asia-Pacific is ranked as the fastest growing market for the sports apparel followed closely by India and China, which has the highest percentage of young population. Young adults and children are the main consumers of fashionable footwear. In the developed countries, the desire to live improved lifestyle, the increasing g desire for the foreign brands, and the rising disposable income are some of the factors that have positively impacted the demand or sports apparel (Davies, 2017). The United States is the leading market for the sports apparel across the entire world. However, China is likely to dominate the United States because the government supports various initiatives to encourage active participation in sports. The developing countries like Kenya are on the edge of supporting athletics and other games such as football and rugby. Any country that supports sport activities is proportionately supporting the growth of sports apparel industry. The athletes must have the necessary sport equipment in order to be allowed to participate in the world tournament competitions.

Some of the commonly used fabrics used to make such clothing and footwear include; microfiber, polyester, spandex, and calico. Traditionally, the sport apparel clothing were worn by athletes only but as the society gradually became development due to the invention of new technologies, they are currently worn by the gym-goers and other people who are performing physical exercises for their own reasons (Stangl, 2021). As mentioned earlier, the adoption of the sports apparel has increased globally, especially in the developed countries such as Germany, United States of America, and Canada. The emerging countries such as Brazil, China, and India are not left behind as they are catching up quickly.

Due to increase in the affluent population, the sports apparel are gaining traction in the merging market. The growth of the market has also been facilitated by the increasing creation of awareness as far as quality of health is concerned. It is believed that physical exercises not only increased the life longevity of a person but also increase the immunity of the body against some diseases (Scur & Kolososki, 2019). Additionally, the renowned public figures or celebrities and aggressive advertisements have helped the industry to improve their success and productivity. Nevertheless, they challenges faced by the company include; fluctuation of the prices of the raw materials, easy availability of counterfeit products, and the availability of stiff competitions amongst the generic companies. The key growth opportunities for the sports apparel market include the increase in popularity of the industry and the increase in demand for fashionable and trendy sports apparel.

The Major Companies within the Industry

The Sports Apparel industry consists of several regional and international companies. Some of the most common companies in the industry include; Puma, Adidas AG, Armor, Nike, Colombia Sportswear Company, Lululemon Athletica, Anta International Group Holdings Ltd, VF Corporation, Lil Ning Company Limited, and Amer Sports Corporation.  In 2018, the worth or value of the Sports Apparel was $167.7 billion. In regard to this value, it is expected to increase to $248.1 billion by 2026. The en end user segment was the leading in 2018 in terms of market share internationally. By definition, sports apparel are jersey and footwear worn by participants during a strenuous physical activities such during sport activities or during workout sessions. They are mended in a way that they offer comfort and agility during such physical activities sessions. They are designed from breathable materials that allow easy and quicker evaporation of sweat hence; allowing an individual to remain fresh and comfortable for a longer period.

The competitors in the industry have incorporated the acquisition as the main strategy to increase their productivity and profitability. They compete to stay relevant in the global market by adopting the product launch in order to enhance their product portfolio. In today's world, competition is fierce, and to be competitive, one must be creative with ideas. If you keep providing the same product without innovation, your rival may significantly improve, enticing the customer to use their goods (Oloruntoba, 2020). A project must be creative enough to attract consumers and meet their daily needs for a project to succeed. The way individuals communicate defines the culture of an organization. To get positive outcomes and encouragement, effective communication is needed. Negative or ambiguous communication may damage a professional bond.

Knowledge networks have become an essential component to the global economy. Networking allows one to establish new avenues for the business that one’s prior model may not have allowed. Social media has enabled many people to advertise their products and services and also introduce their business to people across the globe which has been a major boost to the global economy. Networking enables one to stand out by introducing new services and products which in return attracts new potential clients and educate the existing ones. Networking also enables one to come across highly influential people who may be of great help looking at the current job competition that the globe is facing. This leads to increase in job opportunities across the world which helps in increasing the global economy.


Notably, the industry has been segmented based on distribution channel, end user, and region. As far as end user is concerned, the market is classified into women, men, and children. Depending with the distribution channel, it is grouped into brand outlets, e-commerce, and discount stores.  Based on region, the United States of American is considered as leading regional market. This has been contributed by the high rate of adoption of sports apparel and the highly evolving retail structure because of the aggressive celebrity endorsement and advertising. The popularity of the sports apparel has been a concern because of the high expenditure of the consumers of the products. China has the most developed infrastructure and high rate of disposable income across the world hence; it has the highest CAGR.



Davies, N. (2017). Smart Fabrics for Women's Sports Apparel. AATCC Review17(5), 46-49.

Oloruntoba, M. (2020). The antecedents of brand loyalty that lead to re-purchase intention in the South African sports and fitness apparel industry (Doctoral dissertation, The IIE).

Scur, G., & Kolososki, C. (2019). Outsourcing and supplier development: capability development process in the Brazilian sports apparel industry. Gestão & Produção26.

Stangl, L. J. M. (2021). Digital Transformation in the Sports Apparel Industry. The Case of Nike, Inc.