Sportswear Industry: Market Analysis, Trends & Outlook

Sportswear Industry: Market Analysis, Trends & Outlook


Sportswear, otherwise known as activewear, is used for sporting events and exercise. They include jogger pants, yoga pants, tank tops, hoodies, and sports bras. Sportswear’s global market in approximation was roughly $533.5 billion in 2020. The forecast predicts an increase to USD 479.63 billion by 2025.

The sportswear industry is one of the fastest-growing clothing industries. The industry’s rapid growth is not devoid of the current global clothing trends. Back in the 20th Century, athletes and exercise-inclined individuals were the main customers of the sportswear industry. 

However, current research revealed that the market revenue has doubled over the years. The sudden rise is because the public now uses sportswear as casual wear. 

Sports events and exercise are not the only occasions that incline people to wear sportswear. Hence why the sportswear industry has taken a turn. Sportswear is now considered a fashion item. It is casual and fashionable. Little wonder the industry has recorded massive growth in the past decade. 

This article will discuss the sportswear industry market analysis, trends, and Outlook.

  • Sportswear industry market
  • Trends in the sportswear industry
  • Outlook of the sportswear industry

Sportswear Industry Market

The global sportswear market can be classified based on product, distribution channel, end-use, and location. We have sports apparel (top wear, bottom wear, hats, and others), sports footwear, and other accessories.

We can classify sportswear consumers into men, women, and kids based on end-use in terms of products. The men section accounts for a significant share of the global sportswear market.

An analysis of the sportswear market revealed that the men segment generated the most revenue in 2018. We can attribute this to the increased participation of men in sporting activities. Forecasters expect this trend to continue as more people surge into sports. 

Current research also revealed that the discount store is the most significant sector, accounting for the largest share. The discount market has a hedge over other markets. It presents different options like discounts on every purchase, trials ahead of purchase, and the benefits of instant gratification. 

However, the e-commerce segment has more potential for growth. This forecast is due to the current increase in the use of the Internet. The use of smartphones for online shopping is also a potential booster of the e-commerce sect. Online shopping allows the consumer to compare and contrast products in real-time. 

Regionally, the U.S has the most prominent market in sportswear. We can attribute this to the evolved retail market structure. There is also a higher adoption of sportswear due to aggressive advertising. Another thing that boosts the market in the U.S is celebrity brand endorsement. When a celebrity endorses a product, fans go after it whether they need it or not. 

Research further revealed that the Asia-Pacific region has the highest value of sportswear market growth, reaching up to 6.9%.

Major Brands and their Growth Patterns

The major players in the sportswear industry are brands like:

  • Nike 
  • Adidas AG
  • Puma SE
  • Under Armour
  • Ralph Lauren Corporation
  • Umbro LTD
  • Fila
  • New Balance Athletic Shoe
  • Lululemon
  • Columbia Sportswear Company

There are other players in the Sportswear market, but these are the major ones. 

Merger and acquisition have become a key development strategy in the sportswear market. They increase profit as well as improve the companies’ stance in the market. Additionally, companies use product launches to grow and retain their relevance in the industry. They launch new products to enhance their portfolios. 

Sportswear has been incorporated into daily life. It is not only that the market is growing, but the variety of products is also expanding. Producers create new designs that sustain the interest of the consumers regularly. 

An increase in the sportswear market is synonymous with a rise in quality of life and economic growth. Major sportswear brands are expanding and evolving by the day. Let’s look at the modern sportswear brand, RYU Apparel Inc. In the second half of 2017, their profit was $641,231. This rate is a significant increase of about 113% compared to 2016.

Also, sportswear companies such as Under Armour have recorded significant growth. It is easy and profitable for companies to produce more because the market keeps growing. The market growth has encouraged producers to be more creative with athletic wear production. 

Moreover, the ability of the producers to predict future trends has aided the growth of the industry. Producers must stay at the top of fashion trends to meet consumers’ needs. They explore current trends while giving attention to trend settings.  

Fashion trends are an inclination in a particular direction of fashion. A trend is a fad of fashion style influenced by significant incidents or events. Factors like social conflicts, economic development or depression, climate change, political events, etc., are influencers of fashion trends. 


The word ‘athleisure’ might not be in your dictionary. However, it is a paradigm shifter expression in the athletic wear world. As you may have guessed, the word is a combination of athletic and leisure. 

Athleisure came into being with the evolution of fashionable and casual sportswear. This expansion could not go without affecting significant sportswear companies in the industry. For instance, it caused a decrease in the shares of companies like Nike. On the other hand, the claims of Adidas doubled radically. 

Sportswear no longer has limitations. Sportswear is now fashion. This fact is why they coined the name athleisure. 

Yoga Culture

In 2020, demands for Yoga clothing increased. Therefore, an increase in demand brought about a significant increase in supply. The sales of Yoga products rose by 42 percent. Consumers opted for pastel colors like baby pink, light blue, etc., instead of the conventional gray color. 

Beyond Yoga, athletic apparel’s traditional colors, black and white, are no longer relevant to the sportswear market. 

The Influence of Consumers Choice

Also, customers are getting environmentally conscious. They essentially prescribe the trend of production. Some websites allow users to pick suitable products using sustainability credentials. 

Most sportswear companies use products like non-toxic dyes, recycled polyester, etc. Companies like Reebok highlight their sustainable products. They make some of their sportswear products from organic cotton.  

Still, on the trend, the sportswear industry is one industry where technology has been a driving factor. Analysis of the global sector revealed that advancement in technology had created more comfortable and diversified types of sportswear.

People’s involvement in sporting events like tennis, soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, and yoga has increased the demand for sportswear. The current increase in the need for sportswear globally has become a significant driver for the industry.

Factors that Boost the Global Sportswear Industry

Below are some significant factors that have powered the global sportswear industry:

  • Increased interest in sports
  • Increase in Outlay income
  • Consumer’s high spending power
  • Consumer’s desire for comfort
  • A shift in fashion trends etc.

People are becoming fitness and health-conscious by the day. This is mainly due to daily life pressures and stress. For instance, a lovely time in the water would be a great idea for a stress reliever. Therefore, since swimming requires a swimsuit, you won’t have a choice but to purchase one, two, or more pairs. Yeah? You get the gist now.

There’s one major factor that has boosted the industry in recent years. Everyone, especially the youth, has their dream body shape and stature. Ladies and even guys are willing to go to any lengths as far as fitness is concerned. This drive has also catapulted the sportswear industry into massive growth in sales and revenues.

The increase in demand for fashionable sportswear has encouraged producers to innovate products that satisfy the needs of the consumers. 

In the sportswear market, various technologies have been introduced. Technologies like insulators, microfibers, nano-technology, etc., are gaining fame in the sportswear market. 

In several countries, governments are introducing sporting programs and events in schools. This is also a booster for the sportswear industry.  

However, there’s another side to this coin. Some factors have been a challenge to the growth of the sportswear industry over the years. Fake, counterfeit, and low-priced products constitute a significant impediment. When a new product is released, local producers will duplicate it. The faux design price will be incredulously low. Hence, branded designs will experience price competition in the market. 

Outlook of the Sportswear Industry

The sector has been growing at a rapid pace over the years. As of 2017, the size of the United States industry was about $348 million. To compare, it was $200 million in 2009. This fact indicates an increase of about 75%. 

Also, if you’ve been a fan of the Korean fashion trend, you will notice the turn that the sportswear industry is taking in the country. Since 2015, Korea has been experiencing a steady increase in the sportswear industry. 

The Institution for Industrial Economics and Trade in China spoke about the industry. They submit that the sportswear industry has recorded 1.9billion Yuan with an estimated increase to 3.4billion Yuan by 2022.

Obesity, prominent in countries like Chile, has not stopped the industry’s growth in the country. It has aided the growth. These countries have a significant interest in sportswear. By 2020, the annual sales value of sportswear in Chile was approximately about $540 million. 

According to a report in America, market surveyors anticipate the sportswear industry to grow significantly to billions of dollars by 2024. I don’t see this as an impossible fleet since the trend has shown excellent prospects. 


There is an excellent level of competition in the global sportswear market. The market is highly competitive because of many regional and international manufacturers. Major players have been able to stay at the top because of their constant innovations. 

Consumers want something out of the ordinary. And only brands that are willing to offer that will maintain their spot. Brands that deliver unique features and advanced technological innovations lead the industry. 

The Sportswear industry is one whose height of growth we cannot predict. As we have seen, the market is sure to grow and accumulate billions of dollars in the coming years.

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Sportswear Industry: Market Analysis, Trends & Outlook This article explores the global sportswear industry. It gives insight into the industry’s market structure, trends, and outlook.
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