The future of the sporting goods market is expected to be favorable on account of the growing consciousness of consumers towards their health and wellness needs and rising sports participation in Europe.
The market is projected to reach USD 66.66 billion by 2023 growing at a CAGR of 4.6 % over the period 2019-2023.
- Definition / Scope
- Market Overview
- Market Risks
- Top Market Opportunities
- Market Trends
- Industry Challenges
- Technology Trends
- Pricing Trends
- Regulatory Trends
- Other Key Market Trends
- Market Size and Forecast
- Market Outlook
- Technology Roadmap
- Distribution Chain Analysis
- Competitive Landcape
- Competitive Factors
- Key Market Players
- Strategic Conclusion
Definition / Scope
Sporting goods is a general term for all the items used in the process of education, competitive sports, and physical exercise. Sports equipment are devices used for engaging in sports activity, protecting the athletes from injuries. These devices assist in following the rules and regulations of a particular sport.
The equipment ranges from balls, to nets, and to protective gear like helmets. Sporting equipment can be used as protective gear or as a tool used to help the athletes play the sport. On the other hand, sports apparel is a performance clothing, which helps athletes to optimize their performance in sports activities by providing the required comfort during the activities.
Sports Footwears are shoes primarily designed for sports or other forms of physical exercise, but which are now also often used for everyday wear. Examples of such shoes include athletic footwear such as basketball shoes, tennis shoes, cross trainers and other shoes worn for specific sports.
The European region is a dominant sporting goods market in the world. The market was valued to be a US$ 54.08 billion market in 2018 and is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period of 2019-2023.
The market is supported by growth drivers such as increasing awareness of the general public regarding health and fitness, hectic work life persuading people to include sports in their daily routines and rising prevalence of obesity in the region.
However, various reasons inclusive of increasing time spent on the internet and the rising number of participation of youngsters in non-physical related activities, are among the few restraints for the growth of the market to stumble upon.
Besides, such reasons, rising number of organized sports events such as Olympics, Asian Games, Common Wealth Games or Euro Cup are motivating various sports-enthusiasts to participate in sports, which in turn is expected to fuel the growth of the market.
Moreover, the popularity of the online retail platform is rapidly increasing, owing to its advantages such as the ability to read reviews of other consumers and ability to compare the price of products, brand, and product variety.
Thus, the distribution of sports equipment and apparel via the online retail platform is anticipated to boost the growth of overall sports equipment and apparel industry.
The European sporting goods market is highly competitive, with several international as well as domestic players present in the market which include Adidas AG, Nike Inc., Under Armour Inc., PUMA SE, Amer Sports, Odlo, Hammer Sports, Polar Electro, and others. The domestic manufacturers will continue to collaborate with global players to develop high-end products for local consumers.
Counterfeit Goods: The sporting goods market offers the lucrative potential of growth; however, the presence of fake and low-priced products restraint the growth of the market. Sporting goods by renowned brands have a high price range, which is not affordable by the lower income groups.
Hence, the local suppliers design the same style products at comparatively lower costs. It is estimated that the legitimate industry loses about US$ 600 million of revenue due to counterfeit products in the marketplace. Availability of counterfeit goods restricts the sale of branded goods; thus, restricting the growth of the sporting goods market.
Adopting the changing purchasing habits: Changing the purchasing habits of consumers are playing a key role in the sales of sporting goods across Europe. Several sporting goods manufacturers are struggling to find successful growth in retail sales as European consumers are opting for online purchases.
While upsurge in online sales is favoring the expansion of Europe’s sporting goods market, manufacturers are forced to adopt direct-to-customer business models, which leads to abruptly ending their strong rapport with retailers.
Potential lawsuits: Manufacturers of sporting goods must consider the safety of their products to the consumers. Companies can face serious lawsuits from injuries caused by defective products.
This is especially true in Europe, where lawsuits are a common recourse for consumers. Due to potential litigation, many who would aspire to produce and sell sporting goods might withdraw and invest elsewhere.
Seasonal nature of the market: Another factor contributing to the restriction of the sporting goods market is its seasonal nature. There are few sports that are played year round.
Most are played during specific seasons, during which sales of sporting goods are higher than the off-season. Research and Development becomes a priority during times of low sales volume. Other activities that flourish during the off-season include re-evaluating a company’s financial situation.
Top Market Opportunities
Shift from traditional brands to DTC brands: By avoiding the retail markup enables DTC to offer a combination of better design, quality, service, and lower prices.
The growth strategy is working and core brands such as Vans are taping the opportunities. The skateboard footwear brand reported a 21% revenue increase in 2018 driven by digital partners and key strategic accounts .
Increasing demand of trendy fitness goods: One of the latest trends in the market is a combination of trendy and fashionable designs for the development of sporting goods. These trends have led the companies to launch new products to meet the demand of the customers.
For example, with advancements in sensor technologies, consumers are increasingly demanding equipment that can provide them with relevant insights into performance. The increasing demand of trendy fitness goods by the middle-aged individuals segment has increased in the past few years.
Rising Popularity of Athleisure’s wear: The popularity of ‘athleisure’ wear, a moniker combining athletics and leisure, is soaring in Europe. Women are increasingly wearing performance and sports-inspired clothes for everyday casualwear, attracted by the flexibility such items give to busy schedules. Retailer can tap into ‘athleisure’ trend as a rise in demand for women’s sportsapparel sales is expected to rise by 11.6% .
Increasing demand for lightweight materials and advanced technologies: The constant improvements in materials used for manufacturing of sporting goods are helping enhance sporting goods performance, thereby boosting the adoption rate. For instance, Adidas’ recent partnership with Carbon, a 3D printing company, may prove to be the start of a revolution how sports footwear is manufactured.
Increasing awareness regarding sports and fitness: Rising awareness regarding general health and fitness is one of the primary growth stimulants for the market. Majority of the urban population has begun to adopt healthier lifestyles, maintain a healthy body, and lose weight, sports are growing in popularity in order to stay fit.
The increasing health and wellness awareness among all age groups regarding adopting healthy lifestyles that involves optimal physical exercise encourages them to buy and indulge in fitness/strength activities, which is anticipated to contribute to the demand for the sporting goods over the forecast period.
The sharp rise in obesity rate: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults in the European Region is high and on the rise. The European countries have an obesity rate of 23.3 percent on average.
A hectic modern lifestyle and increasing intake of high-calorie processed food are major causes for the increasing prevalence of obesity among the population in Europe. The growing prevalence of obesity is driving the demand for fitness-related sports equipment and encouraging end users to increase their spending on sporting goods .
Hectic modern lifestyle: The working individuals are largely leading sedentary lifestyles that make this segment of the population more susceptible to a multitude of lifestyle diseases.
The hectic combination of professional and family commitments is driving them taking up sports such as swimming, gym and running to remain healthy, and active in daily life which, in turn, is estimated to increase the demand for sporting goods over the forecast period.
Increased women participation in fitness and sports: In the past few years, there has been a considerable increase in the number of females participating in sports and fitness events. Women professionals have become conscious about their health, so they opt for fitness programs such as Yoga, Zumba and visit fitness centers.
Nowadays, women prefer wearing sports apparel in their daily wear, which results in the growth of the sports apparel market. Numerous companies launch products in vibrant colors, which offer enhanced comfort, thereby increasing their popularity among women.
Increasing Time Spent by younger generation on the Major Media: One of the major challenges for the growth of the sporting goods market in Europe is the increasing time spent on the internet, mobile device games, and other related non-physical activities by the younger generation that has kept many children away from playing sports.
In 2018, the average European spent 10 hours and 18 minutes consuming major media every day. In 2016, 91% of young people in the EU made daily use of the internet, compared with 71% for the whole EU population.
This trend has diminished the demand for sports goods and products in Europe and is one of the main factors hampering the growth of the Europe sporting goods market .
Rising Environmental Concerns: The growing environmental concerns with respect to various materials such as synthetic rubber used in sports footwear is expected to restrain market growth. Hence, various sports footwear companies are focusing on taking initiatives with an objective to reduce the environmental impact of sports footwear.
For example, Nike Inc. launched the MAKING app which aims to facilitate the producers and designers in monitoring and tracking the environmental effect of materials used in these products.
Competing with global brands: Governments in several European countries have introduced sports programs in schools and academic institutions. The biggest challenge for manufacturers of sporting goods is competing with global brands.
As a majority of European consumers stick to global brands like Puma, Adidas, and Nike, it is not easy for new brand names to change those preferences and penetrate the market.
Unfavorable weather conditions: Unfavorable weather conditions can also become a challenge to market success. If people cannot play sports due to bad weather, they are not going to buy as much equipment.
For example, in 2004, companies experienced setbacks in the snowboard market due to the late snow and start of the winter sports season; and in the tennis market, due to the bad weather conditions during the summer months, tennis equipment sales dropped.
Sports brands should have their eyes peeled for new technologies as well. The digital generation has brought in wave after wave of new apps and analytic tools that allow users to monitor, track and share their fitness-related activities.
For instance, with advancements in sensor technologies, consumers are increasingly demanding equipment that can provide them with relevant insights into performance.
The sensor technology has progressed to an extent that it can be incorporated into a multitude of sports equipment such as tennis rackets, golf clubs, fishing rods, and swimming goggles. These sensors are capable of measuring motion and recording detailed biometric data, which can be analyzed to determine problems arising from a swing or stroke performed by the athlete.
Newer technologies such as “Polotech Smartshirt” by Ralph Lauren helps in monitoring a person’s heart rate, breathing depth, stress level and calories consumed. Such products help in increasing the popularity of a brand and improve its customer base. The market for wearable technologies is highly competitive, but it continues to rapidly expand, and it is predicted that the market will double in sales by 2023.
It is anticipated a consistency in the prices of sportswear in Europe’s sporting goods market. While some brands continue to hike the prices on their offerings, local sporting goods manufacturers in the region are capturing the demands for consumers in middle- and low-income groups.
Through 2019-2023, the sporting goods market in Europe will witness a steady expansion, anticipating that its contribution to global sporting goods revenues will incur a considerable uptick.
During 2018, the sports apparel segment accounted for the major shares and dominated online sports retailers. Factors such as the increased comfort and better costs among competitors will make the sporting goods price competitive during the forecast period of 2019-2023.
In 1994, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union issued an important directive for the internal market. This Directive introduced a common labeling system for the main components of products sold in the EU.
It harmonized the diverse laws and regulations that had previously existed in EU countries relating to the labeling of materials. These diverse laws and regulations were creating barriers to trade. The European Union (EU) is now a trading bloc comprising 28 countries in Europe.
All Member States adopt common external trade policy and measures. Meanwhile, the European Union has directed EU countries to align laws relating to the labeling of materials in sporting goods, protecting consumer interests, and reducing the risk of fraud for consumers and industry. EU legislation on chemicals and personal protective equipment may also affect goods.
Animal welfare is one of a growing number of sustainability issues gaining importance in the leather and textiles industries. Likewise, all products marketed in Europe must be safe to use. Among the 28 member states of the European Union (EU), the circulation of goods and people has been free since 1993.
In recent times, government institutions are making recreational activities an obligatory inclusion in the curriculum of schools and colleges. Besides this, they are taking initiatives to popularize the adoption of sports activities in their countries and motivate young athletes.
These initiatives include allocating substantial funds for the development of sports infrastructure, apart from organizing various sports events .
Other Key Market Trends
The European sporting goods market is growing exponentially, due to an increase in the worldwide popularity of the sports leagues and events originated from Europe. Global Brands will continue to dominate the competition in the market because the other brands are small and the market is highly fragmented.
Companies are focusing on expanding their market presence through mergers and acquisitions. Furthermore, various research and development programs have been initiated by manufacturers to improve the quality of sports equipment.
Nowadays, carbon fiber is increasingly used in manufacturing the equipment, which is expected to positively influence the growth of the market during the forecast period.
Market Size and Forecast
The European sporting goods market size was valued at US$ 54.08 billion in 2018. It is anticipated to register a CAGR of 4.6% over the forecast period to reach US$ 66.6 billion by 2023.
The growth of the sporting goods market is driven by the increased in sports participation of the people, rising health awareness and continual innovations to meet the demand of consumer preferences. Moreover, this trend is expected to hold for the years 2019 to 2023.
Looking at the European international trade in sporting goods from 2007 to 2018, the lowest export and import figures expressed in billion EUR were observed in 2009. This is probably due to the global financial and economic crisis that began a year earlier.
It is in 2010 that the figures for exports and imports showed the signs of recovery both in absolute and in relative terms. China is the major supplier of sports clothing in Europe with 38% of the total sporting goods import from the developing nations in the region in 2017.
The United States was the most common destination for goods exported from Europe (17 %), followed by the Cayman Islands (14 %) .
The sports goods market can be segmented on the basis of product and country.
Sporting goods market segmentation based on products:
The Europe sporting goods market is segmented on the basis of product type into Apparel, Equipment, and Footwear.
Apparel: The apparel segment is the most rapidly growing segment. It commanded the largest share of 34.72 % share of the total sporting goods sales in the region in 2018.
The market accounted for US$ 18.78 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach US$ 26.03 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 6.4% over the forecast period of 2019-2023. Rapid technological advancements and continual innovations to meet consumer preferences are working in favor of the market.
Since consumers are demanding more versatile wear with different functionality, retailers need to continue producing new styles of sports apparel.
Equipment: The equipment segment is the second-largest segment which is expected to grow from US$ 18.05 billion in 2018 to US$ 19.65 billion in 2023. In 2018, boats and water sports equipment accounted for more than half of the value of sporting goods in exports (65%).
Gymnastic, athletic and swimming equipment was the only other category with a two-digit share (11%). The major contribution of boats and water sports equipment stems from the high cost of boats. The sporting equipment has evolved over time because sports have started to require more protective gear to prevent injuries .
Footwear: The Footwear segment is a rapidly growing segment. The market accounted for US$ 17.25 billion in 2018 and is expected to be the second largest segment in terms of value at US$ 20.98 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 4% over the forecast period of 2019-2023.
There have been constant innovations and technological advancements in the field of footwear market to provide the customers’ performance driven and advanced sportswear .
Sporting goods market segmentation based on countries:
The sporting goods market is segmented on the basis of the country into Germany, France, Italy, UK, Netherlands, and Rest of Europe. In 2018, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy were the EU’s largest exporters of sporting goods in terms of value (almost US$ 5 billion) followed by France (almost US$ 3.5 billion) and the United Kingdom (almost US$ 3 billion).
The same Member States were among the largest importers: Germany (US$ 6.5 billion); France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (more than US$ 3.5 billion); and Italy (almost EUR 3 billion).
Germany: Germany is the largest sporting goods market in Europe. Germany’s sporting goods market reached US$ 11.5 Billion in 2018 growing at a strong CAGR of 8%. The growth in the sporting goods market is driven by winter sports enthusiasts.
And by 2023, the market is targeted to reach US$ 17 Billion. After the previous winter seasons, the sales of winter sports equipment rose by about 10.9% in 2017 .
Netherland: In Netherland, the market for sporting goods has witnessed a steady rise. The growth in the sporting goods market is driven by the attention paid to physical wellbeing. These parties include the state, the media, employers and educational institutions. In 2018, the market was US$ 8.05 billion and it is expected to grow at CAGR of 9 % to US$ 12.34 billion in 2023.
France: The performance and sporting apparel and footwear are gaining popularity in France and they performed well in 2018. The sporting goods market in France accounted for US$ 7.03 billion in 2018, is expected to reach US$ 7.61 billion by 2023. The market is growing at CAGR of 1.65% due to the emerging trend of athleisure as a new lifestyle.
Italy: The sporting goods market size was valued at USD 6.93 billion in 2018 in Italy. It is anticipated to register a CAGR of 0.35% over the forecast period. Italy posted the largest trade surplus among European countries of US$ 2.1 billion with export values almost twice as high as imports.
This is mainly due to the value stemming from the export of boats and water sports equipment. Rising awareness regarding healthy lifestyle and fitness are the primary growth stimulants for the market. According to the ISTAT, 20 million Italians (about 34% of the total population) practice sport, while 24% practice regularly.
UK: The revenue in sporting goods amounts to US$ 6.3 Billion in 2018 in the UK. It is likely to retain its dominance until 2023, expanding at a CAGR of just over 3.05% to reach US$ 7.31 by the forecast period. In 2018, the UK recorded the largest exports to imports ratio deficit (US$ 2 Billion) due to large imports of boats and water sports equipment and sports footwear. Many popular brands in British sports culture developed their cult followings through social media.
The European sporting goods market is forecast to register a growth of CAGR 4.6% reaching US$ 66.6 Billion in value terms by 2023. The sports apparel and footwear segments will dominate the market share during the forecast period.
This is primarily attributed to the increased number of health-conscious consumers, who are incorporating playing sports as a part of their daily routine. These goods have a high sale potential for market growth during the 2019-2023 period.
The increasing sports participation and shifting trend of sportswear to casual wear have led companies to produce the apparel and footwear meeting the needs of the customers.
Following the apparel and footwear segments, the fitness/strength equipment segment is also anticipated to witness substantial growth by 2023. Growing health concerns coupled with rising disposable incomes of consumers are further boosting their inclination towards sports and fitness.
In 2018, boats and water sports equipment was the main category of sporting goods exported by the European countries.The major contribution of boats and water sports equipment stems from the high cost of boats which is expected to contribute dominantly though slightly lower by 2023.
Among all the categories in the Europe sporting goods market, the Football category is expected to be the fastest growing segment in the overall market throughout the forecast period (2018-2023), registering a CAGR of 8.3% in terms of revenue. The Teamsports product type segment is estimated to be the second largest segment and accounts for 17.4% value share of the Europe sporting goods market by the end of 2023.
The popularity of the online retail platform is rapidly increasing, due to its advantages such as the ability to read customer’s feedbacks and ability to compare the price of sporting goods, brand, increased comfort, and product variety. Thus, the distribution of sporting goods via the online retail platform is anticipated to boost the growth of the sporting goods market.
There is a rising trend for purchasing consumer electronics online and this is mainly due to the increasing emphasis m-commerce and e-commerce platforms. Due to the increasing popularity of shopping through mobile devices, it is estimated that the online sports retailing market will grow to 4% by 2021.
Likewise, the increased security features for online payments, free delivery, improved online customer services, and the customer-friendly designs of shopping websites, also contribute to the growth of the m-commerce market. This increasing focus on mobile commerce will be a major trend that will gain attraction in the online sports retailing market during the forecast period of 2019-2023.
Distribution Chain Analysis
On the basis of the distribution channel, the market can be classified into store-based retail and online/ internet. The specialty & sports shops segment dominated the sports equipment market in 2018, accounting for a share of a little over 45.0%.
These stores have a broad portfolio of products and provide required support and information to consumers through expert customer service personnel. Moreover, the convenience provided by this distribution channel and its ability to stock popular brands has been supplementing the growth of this segment.
However, the online segment is poised to record the fastest growth over the forecast period, rising at a CAGR of over 4.0%. Usage of mobile phones and other electronic devices by consumers to browse and shop online for products (including sports equipment) is increasing significantly. In response to this transition in the nature of consumers’ buying patterns, sports brands are now focusing on consolidating their presence in online retail .
The European sporting goods market is highly competitive. The industry has seen many mergers and acquisitions over recent years. The presence of online players operating across the globe makes this market appears highly competitive. Due to factors such as price wars, and seasonal sales, the level of competition among the companies in this market will further intensify during the forecast period of 2019-2023.
Online sports retailing market consists of different objects and gears used in any sporting activities. These includes sports apparel, sports protective equipment, sports equipment, and sports footwear.
The major share of the revenue is generated from the sale of various sports apparel, sports footwear, sports protective equipment, sports equipment, such as ball sports, adventure sports, golf, and fitness equipment, and others.
The global sports and apparel industry is highly fragmented, with many brands competing, from basic discount brands to high-end fashion names. Even well-established brands have to work hard to maintain their share of the market .
The companies are increasingly following strategical alliances such as acquisitions and product expansions in new locations to improve their market positions. Additionally, the major players are also focusing on strengthening their product portfolio by acquiring small and local brands.
The increasing sports participation, shifting trend of sportswear to casual wear, rising health consciousness among people, has led companies to produce advanced sporting goods meeting the needs of the customers.
Moreover, companies focus on introducing new technologies in order to improve in-store retail experience whilst offering a seamless shopping experience over multiple channels.
For instance, in 2016, Under Armour introduced UA shop, the retail mobile app, which offers product recommendations to users generated on the basis of fitness tracking data gathered from its connected fitness apps.
There have been constant innovations and technological advancements in the field of sports apparel and footwear market in order to provide comfortable and advanced sportswear. These players undertake various initiatives and adopt different strategies, such as partnerships, and launching new products and services to sustain in the competition.
Key Market Players
The key players in the Europe sporting goods market are Adidas AG, Nike Inc., Under Armour Inc., PUMA SE, Amer Sports, Odlo, Hammer Sports, Polar Electro and others. The domestic manufacturers will continue to collaborate with global players to develop high-end products for local consumers.
Adidas AG: Adidas AG is one of the leading manufacturers operating in the Europe sporting goods market, engaged in the design, development, production, and distribution of athletic and sports lifestyle products.
It offers footwear; apparel; and hardware, such as bags and balls under the Adidas, Reebok, and Adidas Golf brands. The company is also involved in Y-3 label business activities; and the operation of Runtastic, a digital health and fitness space. adidas AG sells its products through approximately 2,500 own-retail stores; 13,000 mono-branded franchise stores; and 150,000 wholesale doors, as well as its e-commerce Website .
Nike, Inc.: Nike, Inc. designs, develops and distributes athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, sports accessories, and services. The company offers NIKE brand products in six categories: running, NIKE basketball, the Jordan brand, football, training, and sportswear.
It also markets products designed for kids, as well as for other athletic and recreational uses, such as football, baseball, cricket, lacrosse, skateboarding, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, walking, and outdoor activities; and apparel with licensed college and professional team and league logos, as well as sells sports apparel .
Under Armour, Inc.: It designs, develops, markets, and distributes a range of apparel and accessories using synthetic microfiber fabrications in Europe and internationally. Its products for men, women, and youth extend across the sporting goods, outdoor, and active lifestyle markets and come in three fit types: compression, fitted, and loose for use by professional football, baseball, hockey, and soccer players, as well as athletes .
PUMA SE: It is one of the leading companies in sports and sports lifestyle products such as footwear, apparel, and accessories. The company offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories, such as football, cricket, running, training and fitness, golf, and motorsports.
It also issues licenses to independent partners to design, develop, manufacture, and sell fragrances, eyewear, and watches. The company sells its products through PUMA stores and factory outlets, as well as online in approximately 120 countries .
Amer Sports: It designs, manufactures, distributes, sells, and markets sports equipment, apparel, and footwear primarily in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. It operates through three segments: Outdoor, Ball Sports, and Fitness. The company offers footwear, apparel and accessories, winter sports equipment, cycling components, sports instruments, racquet, and team sports equipment, golf equipment, and fitness equipment .
Odlo: It is engaged in the apparel, footwear, and acc design. Odlo Sports Holding AG operates as a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides athletic clothing system for women, men, and kids such as jackets and vests, and shirts, underwear, pants and tights, and accessories. Odlo Sports serves customers worldwide .
Polar Electro, Inc.: It develops heart rate monitoring and fitness assessment solutions to enable individuals to improve their fitness level and sports performance. It offers Polar equine heart rate monitors that measure horse’s exertion levels during exercise, and monitor resting and recovery heart rates as well; accessories; training software for heart rate monitor users; and training computers for physical education solutions to students and teachers .
European sporting goods market is forecasted to grow at a healthy rate during the projected period (2019-2023). The market is supported by growth drivers such as increasing awareness of the general public regarding health and fitness, hectic work life persuading people to include sports in their daily routines and rising prevalence of obesity in the region.
However, the availability of counterfeit products along with high prices of few products and increasing time spent by the youth on the internet might restrict market growth.
There is little doubt that the dynamic sporting goods market will continue to gain pace across Europe. Considering the diversity in sports being played across different countries in Europe, sporting goods manufacturers are developing their strategies for business growth accordingly.
Though it is a field dominated by few trademark owners, the market is full of opportunities for rights holders of all sizes and should continue to drive demand for legal services across Europe.
- EU: European Union
- CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
- US$: United States Dollar