By Barry Janoff
October 20, 2016: Citing a "growing consumer base and huge market potential," the global licensed sports merchandise market is expected to witness “considerable growth” in the next few years.
Led by such companies as adidas, Nike, Under Armour, VF Corp., G-III Apparel, Dick's Sporting Goods, Jarden, Knight Apparels, New Era Cap and Great American Products, the market will grow from $27.6 billion in 2015 to $48.2 billion by 2024, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research, Albany NY.
However, the report warns that sales of counterfeit sports merchandise is a much larger market, topping $960 billion last year.
From a geographical perspective, North America "dominated the global licensed sports merchandise market" in 2015, accounting for a nearly 54% of the global licensed sports merchandise market's revenues. The demand for licensed sports merchandise is "chiefly driven by the rising popularity of sporting leagues and their increasing fan bases."
The NFL and MLB together account for nearly 50% of the North America licensed sports merchandise market in terms of revenue, followed by the NBA.
The region is also expected to "retain dominance over the forecast period in terms of revenue contribution to the global market, but is likely to lose prominence to Asia Pacific in terms of growth rate," according to Licensed Sports Merchandise Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2016-2024 from Transparency Market Research.
However, in what the firm calls the highly competitive global market for licensed sports merchandise, "the introduction of innovative and technologically advanced products is key to growth and increased consumer adoption rate."
Such product categories as smart clothing — which include workout gear capable of monitoring vital workout signs, reactive materials or fabrics, and wearable devices have "changed the consumer perception about sports merchandise by leaps and bounds," per Transparency Market Research.
North America is expected to retain dominance over the forecast period in terms of revenue contribution to the global market. However, the study indicates that the region is likely to lose prominence to Asia Pacific in terms of growth rate.
According to Transparency Market Research, "The rapid expansion of the Internet and the growing acceptance of e-commerce as a safe and viable alternative to traditional bricks-and-mortar retailing have supported growth of the licensed sports merchandise market in countries such as India and China."
Unfortunately for companies that product officially licensed products, counterfeit products such as T-shirts, jerseys and hats "has increased at a significant rate in the global market in the past few years."
The worldwide sales of counterfeit products reached upward of $960 billion worldwide in 2015.
"The rising problem of piracy of sports products is likely to pose a serious threat to the licensed sports merchandise market, which in turn is projected to restrain the global licensed sports merchandise market in the next few years," according to Transparency Market Research.
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