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


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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