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Sport Industry: Latest Market Trends and Statistics

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Global Sport Market Research

The global sports industry (which is one of the most lucrative segments of the leisure industry) is expected to generate close to $135 billion by 2013, recording almost 4% yearly growth, estimates PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The sector encompasses sport complexes, events and agencies. Sporting events generate revenue not only from ticket sales, but also from the sale of sports memorabilia and food. These events ripple out to other industries, for example broadcasting of the super bowl, with commentators analyzing the game during and after.

Football represents the most lucrative segment in the industry, with tennis, Formula 1 racing and golf also generating significant revenue. Over the past 15 years, rugby has begun to show strong growth.

Key Segments

Global Industry Analysts estimates the worldwide surfing industry will be worth more than €13 billion by 2017. The availability of public surfing facilities and artificial reefs has made surfing far more accessible to a wider customer base than in previous years. Surfing has also benefitted from fashion trends to become a well-established market. Though traditionally a younger person’s sport, surfing is appealing to more women and older demographics. It continues to become more affordable and accessible. Demand for longboards, which are ideal for learning to surf, is rising in tandem with the growing number of surf schools, both factors fuelling market growth. Professional surfing outfits including the European Surfing Federation and the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association are attracting new surfing enthusiasts through educational and promotional initiatives. Other factors impacting the global surfing industry include consumer demographics, levels of disposable income and the economic climate. The industry is also influenced by seasonal and fashion-led changes. Market maturity and a falling-off in birth rates in established markets will limit market growth, with the US and the EU dominating the global surfing market. Surfing equipment and apparel sales fluctuate depending on demographic trends, with over-30s buying less board shorts and t-shirts than younger surfers. Non-surfers also purchase surfing accessories and apparel as a fashion choice.

Similar to surfing, the global boardsports market is fuelled by professionals and amateurs, but also youngsters purchasing related products to follow fashion trends without necessarily practicing any sport. Koncept Analytics points to Quiksilver’s move to appeal to young, fashion-conscious customers by embedding Bluetooth technology into its clothing.

Koncept Analytics classes the global power sports industry into four categories: motorcycles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and personal watercrafts.  Sales of the latter have declined in recent years due to falling levels of disposable income related to the economic recession. Personal watercrafts are small-sized jet powered craft with individual operators. The leading players in the personal watercraft are Honda, Polaris, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Bombardier Recreational Products. Snowmobiles have made the transition from utility to recreational vehicle; these sleds are used for land travel in snowy winter conditions. Yamaha, Polaris, Arctic Cat and Bombardier Recreational Products are the only four snowmobile manufacturers currently operating in the market. ATVs are used to travel over various types of terrain, on low-pressure tires. The US and Canada combine to account for 75% of the worldwide ATV market. Vehicles are used for recreation and other industrial applications such as fishing, farming and hunting. Honda is the number-one player in the ATV market, with Polaris in second place, followed by Yamaha and Arctic Cat. The leading motorcycle types are sport, dirt bike, dual purpose, standard, cruiser and touring. The US and the EU dominate the global motorcycle industry, with the leading world motorcycle companies being Suzuki, Honda, Harley Davidson and Yamaha.

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