The growing number of sports teams in multiple leagues and the vast popularity of these leagues have opened up exciting avenues in the licensed sports merchandise market. Coupled with this, fueled by a soaring fan passion has led to a robust demand for licensed sports apparel carrying the name or logo of their revered teams and players. In recent years in various developed nations, such as the U.S., a number of licensees of major leagues, have begun expanding their merchandise offerings at stadiums, wooing fans across all demographics. This is gradually transforming the arena of sports marketing for players as well as the audiences.
Drive by abundant exciting opportunities, the global licensed sports merchandise is projected to reach a valuation of US$49.6 billion by the end 2025, rising at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2017 to 2025.
Apparels with Logos of Favorite Teams and Players Stoke Popularity among Fan Base
The market is witnessing a vast popularity in the demand for sports apparels. Other major types of products sold by licensees of sports merchandise are sports footwear, sports accessories and toys, videogames, and domestic and housewares. Popular major leagues are witnessing a wide demand for caps, shorts, jerseys, t-shirts, and tracksuits with names and logos of their favorite teams and players. This is expected to fuel the demand for sports apparel in the coming years. According to TMR, the segment of apparel in the licensed sports merchandise market is projected to account for a share of 38.6% in the market by the end of 2025.
Meanwhile, the emergence of several movie franchises is expected to bolster the demand for video games as a popular licensed sports merchandise. Piracy of merchandise is a mounting concern eating a marked slice of the market’s share. Nevertheless, the advent of innovative product launches, such as those in sporting toys, is a prominent development boosting the market.
North America to Account for Major Slice of Licensed Merchandise
The major regional market for licensed sports merchandise market is North America, accounting to more than half of the global share. A number of factors make the regional market dominant. A growing number of renowned professional sports leagues such as NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL in developed nations of North America, particularly the U.S., has accentuated the demand for licensed sports merchandise. However, since the regional market is maturing, it is likely to lose some share in the coming years.
Recent rounds of funding and billion-dollar investment made by companies overseas is accentuating the market for licensed sports merchandise. Sports e-commerce firm dealing with licensed sportswear, Fanatics Inc., has recently closed a $1 billion venture capital round. The funding round was spearheaded by SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision fund, a Japan-based multinational telecom provider. This will help e-commerce firm to consolidate their geographic presence in the coming years. It mainly sells sports jerseys for well-known professional sports leagues in the U.S., including Manchester United and Real Madrid soccer teams in the U.K. and Spain. The massive round of funding will enable the company to leverage the technical expertise of SoftBank and facilitate its global expansion. The company has recently been active in cementing its production and distribution capability. The company is also eyeing global opportunities in soccer and cricket.
Meanwhile, Asia Pacific is projected to rise at a spectacular pace in the coming years and is anticipated to present lucrative growth avenues for market players. The growth will be fueled by rising disposable incomes in several developing nations of the region.