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World Market for Sportswear

November 2018

Global value sales of sportswear grew by 4% in 2017, benefiting from more consumers exercising, and the desire to project an image of health on social media. To differentiate their offer, sportswear brands will collaborate with designers and use tech wearables, and also increasingly compete on sustainability. As digitalisation challenges traditional retail, brands will continue to introduce experiential features online and offline, while trying to get a slice of the booming resale market.

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Athleisure’s opportunities beyond fashion

With the continued casualisation of dress codes and the rise of social media, the influence of sports on consumers’ lifestyles is not restricted to fashion any longer, but extends to a variety of categories, from accessories to nutrition.

Luxury collaborations intensify

Collaborations between sportswear brands and designers are intensifying and multiplying as a way to offer consumers hype and novelty, as millennials and Gen Z seek to be distinct from others and to build their “brand me”, both online and offline.

Competing on sustainability

Sportswear brands are increasingly competing in the area of sustainability, which resonates particularly well with outdoor sports fanatics. From changing their supply chains to launching upcycled garments, sportswear players are stepping-up their eco-friendly commitments.

Local approach for global success

As urbanisation rises around the world and metropoles not only concentrate purchasing power, but also influence the surrounding populations, sportswear brands are increasingly focusing on a local marketing approach for global success.

Shopping reinvented

As connected consumers are disregarding the conventions of traditional retail, fashion and sportswear brands seek to grow experiential shopping to attract consumers’ attention.

Beat resale players or join them?

Fashion and sportswear brands will increasingly try to get a slice of the resale market, which is set to account for a third of US wardrobes by 2030, as data-driven second-hand clothing platforms such as ThredUP, Grailed and Depop flourish.


Six key trends shaping sportswear globally

Global Outlook

Apparel and footwear in context
Sportswear benefits from the global appetite for healthy living
Performance remains the cornerstone of sportswear…
…but the sports-inspired and outdoor categories are catching up

Geographic Perspective

Geographic performance
Sportswear: per capita spending by category
North America remains the king of sportswear
The US, China, India and the UK to contribute the most to growth
Sportswear in India and China benefits from demographic shifts…
…the growing consumer health focus and government initiatives

Leading Companies and Brands

Sportswear is a very consolidated industry but…
…competition from smaller brands and private labels is growing
Nike and adidas remain far ahead of the competition
Top 20 companies mirror the widespread adoption of athleisure
Sportswear takes share in the global apparel industry

Key Trends Shaping the Industry

Top trends set to dominate sportswear in the next five years
Athleisure continues to infiltrate consumers’ wardrobes…
…and increasingly offers opportunities beyond fashion
Fuelling the hype through luxury collaborations and endorsements
Are tech wearables the future of stylish functionality?
Zero waste claims are proliferating on the fashion agenda…
and sustainability becomes a new battlefield for Sportswear brands
Increased focus on consumers in major metropoles
Internet retailing is the most dynamic channel …
… but its pace of growth is diminishing
Resale puts increasing pressure on fashion brands

Market Snapshots

Global snapshot of sportswear
Regional snapshot of sportswear: Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot of sportswear: North America
Regional snapshot of sportswear: Western Europe
Regional snapshot of sportswear: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot of sportswear: Latin America
Regional snapshot of sportswear: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot of sportswear: Australasia



Appendix: Competitor Analytics

Competitor Analytics tool
Market Overlap
Overlap Matrices


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