Global Licensed Sports Merchandise Market: Snapshot

In order to bolster their positions in the global licensed sports merchandise market, prominent players have mostly resorted to strategic partnerships, acquisitions, and product innovation. This has not just helped to bring about customer loyalty and engagement but also aided them in expanding their outreach.

The surging popularity of sports leagues is one of the primary factors stoking growth in the global licensed merchandise market. This is nowhere more evident than in North America where MLB, NFL, and NBA account for almost half the licensed sports merchandise market vis-à-vis revenue.

One factor acting as a hindrance to the global licensed merchandise market is the growing threat of piracy. Pirated popular products such as t-shirts, jerseys, and hats are dealing a blow to revenues of major manufacturers of authentic products. However, innovative products being unveiled every now and then to capture the fancy of buyers is helping the market overcome the challenge. Take for example the technological innovation in sporting toys and video games – it has served to up sales in the market substantially.

A report by Transparency Market Research predicts the global licensed sports merchandise market to rise at a 6.2% CAGR during the period between 2017 and 2025 to attain a value of US$49.6 bn by 2025 from US$29.26 bn in 2016.

global licensed sports merchandise market

Craze for Sports Apparels Having Logos of Teams and Players Drives up Sales

Depending upon the type of products, the global licensed sports merchandise market can be segmented into sports apparel, sports footwear, videogames, sports accessories and toys, domestic and housewares, and others such as souvenirs, gifts, novelties, etc. Of them, the sports apparel segment holds maximum share in the market. In 2016, its leading share was about 39.6% and going forward in 2025, it will come down slightly to 38.6%. The segment has been propelled mainly by the massive demand for licensed sports based apparels, such as caps, jerseys, shorts, tracksuits, and t-shirts, with names or logos of favorite teams and players.

In the years ahead, however, the video games or software segment is predicted to surpass all others in terms of growth rate by clocking a 7.5% CAGR from 2017 to 2025. This is primarily on account of popular movie franchises and the shift toward video gaming for entertainment. The increasing spending capacity of people resulting in their splurging on leisure and entertainment goods too is expected boost the segment. Vis-à-vis growth rate, the segment of sports footwear will likely trail that of video games or software.

Growing Number of Sports Leagues in U.S. to Propel North America Market 

From a geographical standpoint, the North America market accounts for about half the share in the market. In the years ahead too the region will maintain its dominant share, powered primarily by U.S. which is home to quite a few sports league and has been seeing an ever-increase in fan base. The licensed sports merchandise market in North America was worth US$14.66 bn in 2016. On account of being saturated, however, the region will marginally pare its share by 2025.

Europe, which trails North America in terms of market share, is also expected to slightly trim its share going forward for the very same reasons. Vis-à-vis growth rate, on the other hand, Asia Pacific is slated to outshine all other regions mainly on account of the increasing disposable incomes in the highly populated countries of China and India.

VF Corporation, Nike Inc., Fanatics, Inc., Adidas AG, Puma S.E., G-III Apparel Group, Ltd., Sports Direct International plc, Hanesbrands Inc., Under Armour, Inc., and DICK’S Sporting Goods Inc. are to name a few companies operating in the global licensed sports merchandise market.

Global Licensed Sports Merchandise Market: Overview

Demand for licensed sports merchandise is expected to be driven by rising demand for sporting goods, increasing popularity of sports leagues, accelerating sports markets in North America, and economic development. Consumer trends for licensed sports products vary from region to region. Sports apparel is the leading segment in North America and Europe. In the past few years, the U.S. licensed sports merchandise market witnessed a moderate growth that is majorly driven by increasing popularity of leagues such as Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), and the National Basketball Association (NBA). The non apparel segment such as videogames or software is expected to witness great growth potential among sports lovers in the coming years. Moreover, licensed sports merchandise is driven by the popularity of university and college level sports teams.

Global Licensed Sports Merchandise Market: Segmentation

In this report, the global licensed sports merchandise market is divided into three segments: (i) category (ii) distribution channel and (iii) geography. Based on category type, the licensed sports merchandise market is bifurcated into sports apparel, sports footwear (outdoor), sports accessories and toys and videogames or software, domestic and house wares among others. Others licensed sports merchandise type includes souvenirs, gifts or novelties, consumer electronics, food and beverage etc. Increasing popularity of sporting leagues and their increasing fan base is creating a positive impact on the demand for licensed sports products across all age groups.

The market is primarily dominated by strong demand for licensed sports apparel among sports fans. Video games or software are expected to grow at a faster rate as compared to sporting toys and accessories. On the basis of distribution channel type, the licensed sports merchandise market is segmented into e-commerce or online stores and offline stores. Offline stores are further segmented into departmental stores, specialty stores and others. Others offline stores segment includes mass stores, supermarket and discount stores among others. Among all these distribution channel type for licensed sports goods, the offline stores sector is ideal choice for sports lovers who are looking for licensed sports goods.

Global Licensed Sports Merchandise Market: Regional Analysis

Based on geography, the global licensed sports merchandise market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Latin America. In 2016, North America held the largest share of the licensed sports merchandise market followed by Europe, Asia pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa (MEA). Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market at present and is expected to be the fastest growing region during the next eight years as well.

However, North America is expected to maintain its leading position during the forecast period. The increase in growth rate of the licensed sports merchandise market is a result of increased in adoration of leagues, their teams, and favorite players across various age groups. The market is dominated by strong demand for licensed sports apparel due to deals between major licensors and licensees. Moreover, innovative new products with sophisticated designs and digital technology are expected to stimulate interest and demand for sports goods and gadgets in North America during the forecast period.

Apart from this, changing consumer lifestyle coupled with extensive marketing strategies adopted by licensed sports products manufacturing companies is slated to fuel the market for licensed sports products in this region over the forecast period. Latin America is expected to witness the second fastest growth in the licensed sports merchandise market, driven by the booming retail sector, increasing disposable income, and growing expenditure pattern on licensed sports goods in the region. Brazil accounted the largest market share for licensed sports merchandise market in the Latin America.

Global Licensed Sports Merchandise Market: Competitive Analysis

The report also provides the company market share analysis of key players operating in the licensed sports merchandise industry. Some of the key players in this market include VF Corporation (Greensboro, U.S.), Nike Inc. (Beaverton, U.S.), Fanatics, Inc. (Jacksonville, U.S.), and Adidas A.G. (Herzogenaurach, Germany) among others. These companies are engaged in aggressive marketing and promotional activities in order to attain a better market share over their rival competitors. Other notable strategies adopted by these major companies include product innovations, joint ventures and partnerships, strategic acquisitions, and geographical expansions among others.

The scope of the study presents a comprehensive evaluation of the stakeholder strategies and winning imperatives for them by segmenting the global licensed sports merchandise market as below:

Global Licensed Sports Merchandise Market, Product Analysis

  • Sports Apparel
  • Sports Footwear
  • Sports Accessories and toys
  • Video games or software
  • Domestic and Housewares
  • Others

Global Licensed Sports Merchandise Market, Distribution Channel Analysis

  • E-Commerce or online stores
  • Offline Stores
    • Department Stores
    • Specialty Stores
    • Others

In addition the report provides cross-sectional analysis of all the above segments with respect to the following geographical markets:

Global Licensed Sports Merchandise Market, by geography

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Rest of North America
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Italy
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East and Africa
    • UAE
    • South Africa
    • Rest of MEA
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Rest of Latin America