• Sun. May 19th, 2024

Research Reveals Insights Into What’s Driving the Future of Sportswear

Launchmetric’s newly released Sportswear Insights report addresses questions around the evolving and expanding global sportswear industry for the first time, since announcing its expansion into the category earlier in 2023. The research looks at several factors driving the growth of the sportswear category, including changes in consumer behavior, convergence with popular culture and leverage of influential voices. The company projects the sportswear market will grow from $185.9 billion in 2022 to $356 billion by 2032.

“Over the past decade, we have witnessed a fundamental transformation in the perception of sportswear,” said Michael Jais, chief executive officer of Launchmetrics. “It has evolved from a niche market catering to athletes and fitness enthusiasts to a global phenomenon embraced by individuals from all walks of life.”

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In Launchmetric’s Media Impact Value (MIV) analysis, the company’s proprietary algorithm used to measure and benchmark the impact of all media placements across fashion, beauty and lifestyle, data for sportswear revealed variations across different regions. In 2021, the Americas represented the highest contributor at $2.5 billion, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa at $2.1 billion. Both regions grew in 2022 with the Americas reaching 2.7 billion (a 7 percent increase) compared to Europe, the Middle East and Africa which reached $2.2 billion (a 4 percent increase).

Notably, China experienced the highest MIV growth from 2021 to 2022, increasing 52 percent to 1.8 billion. The company’s researchers call out the significant contrast between China and the rest of the world with influencers holding great importance in China as a top voice type driving MIV.

Launchmetric’s report points to the intersection of sportswear and pop culture as one of the key factors driving growth. As sneakers have evolved, the “Sneakerhead Phenomenon” has continued to develop a consumer community and drive growth for brands, the company said. In 2022, sneakers accounted for 43.3 percent of the total MIV in sportswear and 30.2 percent of luxury MIV.

A look from the Adidas x Gucci collection.A look from the Adidas x Gucci collection.

The impact of sneaker culture on luxury and sportswear brands has also generated notable and lucrative partnerships. Launchmetric’s report points to the collaboration between Gucci and Adidas as a key example of how brands can create a powerful synergy with sneaker collections. The Gucci and Adidas collaboration generated $956.5 million in MIV in 2022. Launchmetric’s report notes that the successes already seen hold not only the potential for luxury brands to tap into sneaker culture but also for sportswear to continue opening doors to new possibilities.

Beyond footwear, Lanchmetric’s report highlights athleisure’s evolution into fashion and street styles as streetwear has grown from subculture to mainstream. Comfortable and versatile athleisure, and its connection to streetwear, is now integrated into everyday wardrobes, and influences runways, high-end fashion collaborations and has been seen at red-carpet events.

Launchmetrics’ report showed influencers hold more sway in the category than celebrities.

While celebrity endorsements experienced a decline of 20 percent year-over-year in 2021, influencers saw a 15 percent increase in MIV. As an explanation, the authors of the report cite influencers’ and ambassadors’ impact on social media and its influence on consumer behavior. Impressively, micro-influencers, who have been shown to have great connections to their niche audiences, saw a 52 percent increase in MIV for sportswear in 2022.

Launchmetric’s report encourages brands to utilize data to build authentic value messaging to optimize brand performance, and suggests sustainability messaging could be more of a focus.

The most powerful brands in sportswear in 2022, according to the report, include Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Puma, Anta, Converse, Li-Ning, Under Armour, Lululemon, Reebok, The North Face, Skechers, Gymshark, Fila, Asics, Kappa, Alo Yoga, Patagonia, Salomon and Hoka.

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