According to Transparency Market Research, a market intelligence company that provides global information reports and services, the global licensed sports merchandise market, which was valued at $27.63 billion in 2015, will reach $48.17 billion by 2024.
Factors for growth, according to the company, include a growing consumer base and huge market potential. Of the key product categories in the market, the segment of sports apparel dominated in 2015, accounting for 39.8% share of the market’s total revenues.
From a geographical perspective, North America dominated the global licensed sports merchandise market in 2015, accounting for almost 54% of the market’s overall revenues. The region is expected to retain dominance in terms of revenue contribution to the global market, but is likely to lose prominence to Asia Pacific in terms of growth rate.
In developed regions, the demand for licensed sports products is mostly driven by the rising popularity of sports leagues and their fan bases, as prominent sports leagues such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) enjoy huge popularity in league-licensed merchandise sales. The NFL and MLB together account for nearly 50% of the North America licensed sports merchandise market in terms of revenue. In 2014, retail sales of NFL merchandise witnessed a rise of nearly 5.2% compared to 2013, according to the Transparency Market Research report.
The E-Commerce Boom
In other developed and developing regions, rising e-commerce sales have had a notable impact on the market’s growth. The rapid expansion of the Internet and the growing acceptance of e-commerce as a safe alternative to traditional bricks-and-mortar retailing have supported growth of the market in countries such as India and China. In the near future, a potential rise in the number of e-commerce and fashion websites is set to create lucrative growth opportunities for the market, according to the report.
Counterfeit Goods Level Sales
Piracy of licensed sports products such as T-shirts, jerseys and hats has increased at a significant rate in the global market in the past few years. According to TheStreet.com, a financial news and services website, worldwide sales of counterfeit sports products are growing, with these types of goods being valued at up to $960 billion in 2015 alone.
Technology and Innovation
In this highly competitive global market, according to the report, the introduction of innovative and technologically advanced products is key to growth and improved consumer retention rates. Emergence and increased consumer adoption of product categories such as smart clothing, which include workout gear capable of monitoring vital workout signs, reactive materials or fabrics, and wearable devices have significantly changed consumer perception about sports merchandise. — J.L.