Sports eyewear offers wide range of benefits which includes focus, clarity, robustness, maximum vision and focus. Construction on frames and lightweight designs can aid in increasing comfort coupled with dynamic designs which synthesize style with performance. Sports eyewear is specifically designed in order to fit comfortably and securely while being engaged in physical activities, and proper eye protection among others. In most of the sports activities, vision is key driving factor. People with 20/20 vision, proper sports eyewear will reduce glare and enhance contrast.
Many sporting activities require high level of visual skills which in turn process and transmit information at high speeds through a process which is known as parallel pathways. This implies that sports performance is high enhanced by the application of sports vision. In order to achieve this, optimum eye protection is highly required. Consumers will be more comfortable when the glare is eliminated. Further, they be better shielded from eye injuries with appropriate standards approved eyewear and will perform better of acuity is enhanced. These imperative requirements are obtained from sports eyewear, exclusively prescribed and dispensed by eye care practitioners. The market for sports vision is served by an approximate of 14,000 optical practitioners, out of which 60% are optometrists 40% are dispensing opticians.
The sports eyewear market is primarily driven by the increasing customer base for the same. Consumer acceptance towards various types of eyewear which is inclusive of sports eyewear is fuelling the growth of the market. In addition, consumer awareness about the added benefits offered from wearing sports eyewear while being engaged in physical activities compared to standard eyewear products is another key factor fuelling the demand for the sports eyewear market at the global level.
However, low penetration rate for various types of sports eyewear in several developing and underdeveloped countries is most likely to hinder the growth of the market at present. However, the impact of this restraint is likely to subside by the end of the forecast period.
Different types of sports eyewear are required for different types of sports such as badminton requires goggles made with trivex or polycarbonate lenses. Basketball requires wraparound sports goggles. Baseball requires helmets attached with polycarbonate face shield and sports goggles with shatterproof lenses. Field hockey requires sports goggles with secured head straps and full helmets and face masks for goalies. Golf requires polycarbonate shield attached to the helmet while tennis requires sports sunglasses with lightweight wraparound sport frame and polycarbonate lenses.
The global sports eyewear market has been classified on the basis of product types into scuba masks, face shield, sunglasses and goggles.
The market has also been classified on the basis of regions into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa and Latin America. Europe and North America are the major markets for sports eyewear. However, during the forecast period, Asia Pacific is expected to show a significant growth trajectory for sports eyewear products. This is due to the increasing number of sports activities and increasing consumer awareness about the benefits offered from sports eyewear. Latin America and Middle East and Africa are expected to maintain a slow but steady growth during the forecast period.
The global sports eyewear market is marked by some intense competition from the major players operating in this industry. Frequent mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, product innovation through extensive research and development activities are some of the key strategies adopted by these players operating in this industry. Luxottica SpA is a major player in this market with key brands being Oakley and Rayban among others. Other prominent players include Nike Inc., and Adidas A.G. among others.