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20+ Mind-Blowing Sportswear Industry Statistics: How the Pandemic Affected the Numbers

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As the pandemic continues to change the way we work and live, the sportswear industry is reaping the benefits. With more people choosing athletic apparel to stay fit at home or athleisure wardrobes to stay comfy while working remotely, sportswear industry statistics show growth rates unprecedented to before the first lockdown.

Industry big-names like Nike and Adidas still dominate the global market, but the UK favours Nike by a long shot. Adidas focuses its attention on Europe, but still manages to grab a share of the American market. Lululemon may be sixth in the world, but it saw the biggest increase in sales compared to any other brand during 2020. All we can say is, stretchy pants are in—waistbands are out, no matter who you are.

Sportswear Industry Statistics – Editor’s Picks:

  • The sportswear market will be worth over $379 billion in 2022.
  • £147.5 billion was the total revenue of the global sports apparel market in 2021.
  • 44% of the activewear buyers prefer shopping in-store.
  • Sporting goods earned the UK £554 million in sales in 2020.
  • Europe has a 25% sports apparel market share for footwear.
  • With 5.3 million consumers, Nike is the biggest sports brand in the UK.
  • Adidas’s brand value sits at £16 billion.
  • The athleisure market was valued at £208 billion in 2020.
  • Women’s activewear makes up 35% of the overall market.

Global Sportswear Industry Stats

Sportswear is considered any kind of footwear and clothing that’s specifically designed for physical exercise or some type of sport. Today, many people around the world wear this kind of apparel even when they aren’t working out, making it not only practical but a rising fashion trend.

1. The sportswear market will be worth over $379 billion in 2022.


The global sportswear market size is significant, and experts predict that it will continue to grow in the upcoming years. In 2021, for instance, it’s estimated that the market was worth more than $366 billion, and it’s predicted to reach $455 billion by 2024.

2. The global sports apparel market brought £147.5 billion in revenue in 2021.


The sportswear industry revenue is predicted to increase over the next few years. In 2022, the revenue is estimated to be around £154 billion, and by 2025, researchers predict earnings of almost £180 billion.

3. Training apparel has a 66% market share worldwide.


Clothing and wearables explicitly designed for training are much more popular than footwear of the same kind. Sneakers and other focused performer footwear have a global sportswear market share of 33.3%.

4. Europe holds 25% of the sports apparel market share for the footwear section.


While Europeans may love their track pants, they are not the biggest consumers of the sports footwear market. The Asia-Pacific region has the largest share, accounting for 40% of the market, while North America comes in third with a market share of 35%.

5. The value of the global sports equipment sector was over £92 billion in 2019.


Sports equipment is an essential part of the sporting goods industry. The equipment can be any tool that’s necessary for a sport like nets and balls, as well as protective gear such as helmets. Experts predict that the value of sports equipment will reach £108 billion by the end of 2023.

6. 44% of activewear buyers prefer shopping in-store.


Online shopping is not among the newer sports apparel industry trends, but it did become more popular during the lockdown. As a result, activewear buyers now are more likely to find the product they want online than shop for it in-store.

7. Sustainable activewear for men increased by 65% in 2020.


After an activewear market analysis on year-on-year changes, researchers came to the conclusion that sustainability is among the leading industry trends. While male activewear increased the most, the amount of sustainable women’s sportswear available also grew by 45%.

Sportswear Industry in the UK

At the beginning of the pandemic, British people searched for running apparel and footwear much more than before the lockdown. As their level of activity changed, so did what many wanted to wear.

8. Sporting goods manufactured in the UK accumulated £554 million in sales in 2020.


The UK sportswear market declined through the year of 2020, compared to the year before with £602 million. The sporting goods industry analysis showed that up until 2019, the sales were lower than £400 million, showing that despite some variations over the last few years, the industry is still going up.

9. The UK earned £451 million in sportswear exports in 2019.


The United Kingdom is in eighth place for sportswear apparel exports. Italy, Germany, and France are some of the leading countries, but experts predict that the UK sportswear market size for exports will grow at a CAGR of 4.8% in the next few years.

10. With 5.3 million consumers, Nike is the biggest sports brand in the UK.


According to estimates, 5.3 million Brits purchased something from the Nike shop in 2020. That number was even higher in 2019, with 5.7 million. Despite impressive numbers, Adidas was more popular in 2019, as sportswear industry statistics show 6.4 million Brits opted for an Adidas product that year.

11. Around 6.6 million Adidas trainers were purchased in 2020.


Sports shoes and trainers are the most popular Adidas products in the UK. Sports apparel comes in second with just under 5 million buyers. Recent activewear industry statistics show that body sprays, shower gels, and bath products are also popular in Great Britain.

12. In 2020, 8.6 million Nike sports shoes were bought in the United Kingdom.


Most opt for trainers when they want to purchase a Nike product. Nike clothing is also popular in the UK, as sports apparel industry statistics show that 5.3 million pieces of Nike clothing were bought last year.

Sportswear Industry Statistics - Person Wearing Nike Shoes

Data on the Most Popular Sportswear Brands

The largest sportswear companies in the world are Nike, Adidas, and Puma. With unrivalled brand awareness, and cutting edge trends, these companies accumulate billions of dollars every year, and the pandemic has only increased sales even more.

13. Nike’s sales increased by 5.4% in 2020.


The largest sportswear manufacturer in the world is Nike. The company continues to yield high sales every year, but it’s not the only one. One of Nike’s competitors, Adidas, had even more significant sales growth in 2020, with 12.9%.

14. Puma’s sales growth for 2020 was around 15%.


Puma, which holds a big athletic apparel industry market share, experienced one of the largest sales growths among all sportswear companies in 2020. With over 21%, however, Lululemon Athletica experienced the greatest growth among leading brands. Under Armour’s sales, on the other hand, decreased by more than 5%.

15. Nike’s sales reached £27 billion in 2020.


While the sales growth of one of the top sports brands wasn’t huge, Nike still has the largest sales worldwide, with Adidas coming in second with £17 billion in sales.

16. Adidas’s brand value is £16 billion.

(Qualtrics, Statista)

The value of a company doesn’t only reflect in revenues and sales. The brand’s recognition is what sets a business apart and can determine its monetary worth based on how many people are willing to purchase it. Adidas brand value is worth billions, but Nike’s value is almost four times more, at £61 billion.

17. Nike has a market share of around 60%.


Nike dominates the athleticwear market in both brand awareness and revenue, accumulating the largest market share in the sportswear industry. Besides Nike, the company has other affiliate brands such as Converse, Exeter, Hurley, and Cole Haan.

18. Adidas has a 6% market share in the U.S.


One of the main reasons the Adidas market share is not that big in the U.S. is that the brand is mainly focused on Europe. It started as a soccer brand and worked its way into everyday sportswear. Still, Adidas is in third place when it comes to athletic apparel and footwear, which means it’s not entirely irrelevant in America.

Athleisure Market Analysis

Fashionable sportswear presents the newest trend in the activewear industry. As the lockdown changed what we wear on a daily basis, the potential for a different type of popular clothing became a reality. The athleisure market is now worth billions of dollars, the majority of which is bought online.

19. The athleisure market was valued at £208 billion in 2020.

(Grand View Research)

The athleisure market growth during the pandemic was unprecedented. As people stayed at home and looked for something more comfortable to wear, athleisure got its chance. It’s predicted that the market will grow at a CAGR of 8% from 2021 to 2028. Experts predict that the largest increase will happen in the Asia Pacific region, reaching a CAGR of 8.8%.

20. 55% of athleisure revenue was from online shopping.

(Grand View Research)

More people turned to online shopping as a result of the pandemic, and the fitness apparel industry met a new kind of customer: people who don’t work out but need comfortable clothes for spending time at home. Many brands increased their online presence to reach more customers. Adidas and Nike, for instance, expanded influencer marketing by 198% last year.

21. 46% of the top online apparel retailers sell athleisure.

(Digital Commerce 360)

Athleisure is more popular than anyone might think. The latest athleisure statistics tell us that almost 10% of the most popular retailers in the U.S primarily sell athleisure apparel, and this type of clothing accounts for nearly 20% of all apparel sales online.

Sportswear Industry Statistics - Man Stretching

Sportswear Industry Analysis: Consumers

The demographics of the average sportswear consumer has changed over the last decade. While companies used to target mostly men for activewear, women are beginning to take a prominent share of the market, and marketers are taking notice.

22. Women’s activewear makes up 35% of the overall market.


Women’s sport apparel accounts for over one-third of sportswear market share. Studies show that women have been the primary target of the activewear market in the last few years, shifting from a history of focusing primarily on men. Notably, today, women’s activewear GMV is five times the size of what it’s been in the past.

23. Gen X spends 50% more on sportswear than Millennials.


Gen X includes adults from 35 to 44 years old, while Millennials cover the 25 to 34 age group. According to sportswear industry stats, a typical activewear buyer earns over $100,000 and is a bonafide Gen Xer.

24. Researchers expected an 84% increase in individual outdoor activities in 2021.


Experts predict that the pandemic will have a positive effect on the athletic apparel industry growth. Around 40% of people who didn’t work out before started doing so during the lockdown.

Final Thoughts on the Sportswear Industry Statistics for 2022

High fashion is out, and sportswear is in, or so it seems. With more people than ever working from home and finding new ways to stay in shape than the local commute, sports apparel and athleisure wear is more popular than ever. 

The latest athletic apparel industry statistics show the industry is on the rise, with billions of people choosing more comfortable clothes in their everyday lives since the pandemic. Nike and Adidas still generate the most revenue worldwide, but smaller companies like Lululemon Athletica are on the rise as women become a target consumer group.


How big is the sportswear industry?

According to the latest research, the sportswear market will be worth over $379 billion in 2022, an increase of $13 billion from the previous year. Experts predict an even more significant increase in the next few years, with the industry’s value reaching $455 billion by the end of 2027.

How big is the sportswear industry in the UK?

Last year, the sporting industry in the United Kingdom reached £596.9 million. Experts predict that the annual growth rate in the near future will be lower than in the previous years, primarily due to the pandemic. Over the preceding five years, the yearly growth rate was at 3.1% in the UK, but it is predicted that the whole sportswear market should reach £6.7 billion by 2023.

What are the main segments in the sportswear industry?

The main segments of the sports industry by product type are apparel, wearables, and footwear. Clothing and wearables make up two-thirds of the market, being more popular than footwear designed solely for sports.

How large is the sporting goods industry?

The global sports apparel market generated £132 billion in revenue in 2019, but the sum is expected to reach £152 billion by 2025. The sports equipment sector was valued at £92 billion in 2019 and is predicted that by 2023, the market should reach £108 billion in value.

How competitive is the sportswear industry?

The competition in the sportswear industry is more than fierce. There are many large international manufacturers of sportswear that rule the entire global market, such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma, along with smaller and more niche sportswear players.

Who is the market leader in the sportswear industry?

Nike holds the largest share in the sportswear industry. Depending on the specific market, its share goes from 45% to 65%. Other large companies in the industry are Puma, Adidas, and Columbia Sportswear Company. Additionally, Under Armour, Anta Sports Products Limited, Lululemon Athletica, and Fila Holdings account for a sizable share in sportswear, as the latest sportswear industry statistics show.