The global sports equipment market size was valued at USD 341 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 611.27 billion by 2031, growing with a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Sports equipment is used in sports activities to protect athletes from injuries. Various sports equipment are used per the sport; they range from balls and nets to protective gear such as helmets, armguards, and knee guards, among others. Sports equipment has evolved over the years due to the rising emphasis on preventing sports injuries. Improving the standard of living, increasing urbanization, and rising spending power provide impetus to the sports equipment market.Increasing instances of lifestyle-related health problems, such as stress and obesity, are encouraging more individuals to participate in outdoor and fitness activities, boosting demand for various fitness and sports equipment. Also adding to product demand is the expanding availability of well-known international sporting equipment brands.Increasing media coverage of global sports events, such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, and FIFA World Cups, has encouraged the youth to participate in various sports. The sports equipment industry is swiftly embracing new technologies and adapting its products to keep pace with rapidly changing global trends.
The sports industry is growing as one of the largest industries in the world due to the rising participation in sports and recreational activities and growing awareness regarding health and stress management. The working population leads sedentary lifestyles, making them susceptible to many lifestyle diseases. Thus, many pursue sports to stay fit, which bolsters market growth.
The latest sensor technology has progressed and can be utilized in sports equipment such as tennis rackets, golf clubs, fishing rods, and swimming goggles. The sensors incorporated in the equipment are capable of measuring motion and recording detailed biometric data that can be analyzed to determine problems arising from a swing, cast, or stroke performed by sportspersons.Improvements in materials used for manufacturing sports equipment aid in enhancing product performance. With advancements in sensor technologies, people are increasingly demanding equipment that can provide relevant insights into performance. In line with this, numerous R&D programs have been initiated by manufacturers to improve the quality of sports equipment. Nowadays, carbon fiber is extensively used in manufacturing such equipment, which is anticipated to impact market growth positively. Moreover, the combination of casual and athletic designs for the development of sports equipment is one of the latest trends providing impetus to the market.
Smart sports equipment has been gaining momentum in the last few years. It aids in monitoring athlete performance in practice sessions, which is vital for athletes to reach their peak performance goals faster. Sports equipment fitted with sensors facilitates the monitoring of athletes across multiple sporting events. This rising demand has dragooned market players to invest in the development of advanced smart sports equipment.
By sport type, the market is segmented into ball sports, adventure sports, fitness/strength, and athletic training.
The ball sports segment holds the largest market share. Since ball sports are ardently followed all over the world, the revenue generated from this segment is notably higher compared to the other segments. The increasing global popularity of football, cricket, and basketball is a key factor driving the market. Thus, the ball sports segment is projected to dominate the market during the forecast period.
The fitness/strength equipment segment is expected to witness substantial growth by the end of the forecast period. Changing lifestyles of the urban population due to sedentary work cultures, growing health concerns, and rising disposable incomes drive the segment’s growth, compelling customers to invest in fitness/strength equipment, adopt healthier eating habits, and exercise regularly.
By distribution channel, the sports equipment market is segmented into store-based retail and online retail.
The store-based retail segment is further segregated into specialty and sports stores and department and discount stores.The specialty and sports stores segment dominates the sports equipment market, accounting for one-third of the market share. These stores provide required support and information to consumers through expert customer service personnel and have a broad product portfolio. Additionally, the convenience provided by specialty stores and their ability to stock popular brands has been supplementing the growth of the segment.
The online retail segment is anticipated to record the fastest growth during the forecast period. The rising use of smartphones and other electronic devices to surf, browse, and shop online for sports equipment drives the segment. Sports brands are now focusing on consolidating their presence in online retail due to shifting consumer preference towards e-commerce. They are investing in e-commerce in order to facilitate greater convenience for consumers to make online purchases by providing improved and user-friendly websites. Thus, the e-commerce sector is experiencing rapid expansion, especially in terms of equipment sales volume.
North America holds the largest share of about 35% in the sports equipment market, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. The U.S. dominates the regional sports equipment market because of a rising focus on sports, increasing participation in sports, surging expenditure power, and technological advancements. As per the Open Access Journalism of Sports Medicine, about 45 million children participate in organized sports. However, about 18% of youth athletes quit after the age of 15. The increasing popularity of sports like football, basketball, etc., has prompted the regional administration to develop arenas and provide expanded sporting opportunities for its residents. This is anticipated to generate a favorable picture for market growth throughout the forecast period.People have become increasingly concerned about their health and fitness as a result of the rising prevalence of obesity and many health issues induced by a sedentary lifestyle.In an effort to remain healthy and active, there has been a growth in outdoor sports, which will stimulate the sporting goods sector in the region.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing market for sports equipment in comparison with North America and Europe. Countries such as China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Australia are major contributors to the market. In Asia-Pacific, India has the highest contribution in terms of cricket equipment. Cricket bats are grabbing the lion’s share in the sports equipment market in India. On the other hand, football equipment held the second-largest share in the overall sports equipment market in the region.Over the past few years, India has also made major advances in outdoor equipment due to the increasing popularity of games and, consequently, the expanding number of related leagues. Moreover, the increasing emphasis on sports in Australia contributes to the nation's strong demand. In addition, rising disposable income and consumer expenditure in emerging economies like India, China, and the Middle East are anticipated to increase demand for sporting goods. These nations have also been hosting a number of sporting events. They have established infrastructure to attract more individuals to engage in a variety of gaming events, so contributing to the expansion of the industry.
Europe is anticipated to witness substantial growth over the forecast period.A number of major factors are influencing Europe's demand for sporting goods, including a rise in the prevalence of obesity, an increase in health and fitness awareness, a rise in the consumption of processed foods, a rise in disposable income, and a rise in the popularity of sports activities among the general population. On the other hand, increasing Internet penetration and the preference of the younger population for online/digital games are anticipated to constrain the expansion of the European sporting equipment industry. In recent years, the globalization of diverse athletic events has led to a growth in the popularity of various sports, which has substantially raised the demand for sporting goods equipment in Europe.In the region, NBA’s (National Basketball Association) popularity has increased significantly, resulting in a surge in the sport's fan base.For example, Fanatics, in conjunction with NBA, announced the opening of the first NBA store in the United Kingdom in July 2021. This establishment is located in the shopping district of London.Similarly, the fan base for other sports has grown, which is anticipated to propel the European market for athletic equipment throughout the forecast period.
The market for sporting equipment in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa is anticipated to grow over the forecast period due to a rise in recreational sporting among youth and an ever-increasing interest in sports.The Mexican sports market is the largest in Latin America. Football is the most popular sport in the country. Other expanding market areas include golf, racket sports, and fitness equipment. Although these sports are still associated with the upper class, widespread television coverage has made them more accessible and popular. Additionally, the market for workout equipment is expanding. Private gyms, which previously catered exclusively to weightlifting males, are expanding their services to include cardiovascular exercise for young professionals and families.
Key players are undertaking different initiatives and adopting different strategies, such as acquisitions, mergers, partnerships, joint ventures, and new product launches, to sustain the raging competition. Companies are also introducing new technologies to improve the in-store retail experience while offering a seamless shopping experience over multiple channels. For example, in 2016, Under Armour introduced UA shop, the retail mobile app, which offers product recommendations to users based on the fitness tracking data gathered from its connected fitness apps.
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