Description

“US spending on sports merchandise accounts for nearly a quarter of the entire global market. Sports fandom is pervasive and the US hosts a majority of the world’s top sports leagues, making it ripe for merchandising. Purchasing appears poised to remain strong going forward while the industry struggles to meet the demand due to lingering supply chain issues.”

– Colin O’Brien, Sports Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas

  • Who buys sports merchandise and what motivates consumers to purchase
  • The types of sports merchandise consumers purchase and want as well as the how and where they shop for the products
  • New opportunities within sports merchandise and industry challenges
  • Consumer attitudes toward sports merchandise and trends impacting the market

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Parents buy more of every type of sports merchandise
    • Amazon is the leading retailer for sports merchandise
    • Sports merchandise builds connections with fans
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Sports merchandise outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Economic factors limit sports merchandise market
    • Sports merchandise offers integration opportunities for brands
    • Top athletes command interest and credibility to launch own lines
    • Key consumer insights
    • Three quarters of consumers are interested in future sports merchandise purchases
      • Figure 2: Sports merchandise purchased in past 12 months and future purchase interest, 2021
  3. The Sports Merchandise Consumer Market

    • Overview of sports fans
      • Figure 3: Overall sports fandom, by gender, generation and race/Hispanic origin, 2021
      • Figure 4: Sports fandom passion, 2021
    • Strong fandom supports strong merchandise purchasing
      • Figure 5: Any sports merchandise purchased in past 12 months and future purchase interest, by fandom, 2021
  4. Market Factors

    • Inflation causes concern, consumer confidence in steep decline
      • Figure 6: US annual inflation rate, December 2020-February 2022
    • Supply chain issues continue to limit sports merchandise market
    • Sports merchandisers look to expand reach
  5. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Fanatics isn’t stopping at just being a leader in sports merchandising
    • With investment, women’s sports merchandise is poised for significant growth
    • The metaverse and NFTs present a new digital world of sports merchandise
      • Figure 7: PORTL hologram technology, 2021
      • Figure 8: Interest in buying new types of sports merchandise, by sports fans and fandom, 2021
    • College NIL rules create new revenue opportunities
      • Figure 9: College sports NIL jerseys, 2022
    • Brands should look to integrations with sports merch
      • Figure 10: Toronto Maple Leafs Justin Bieber collaboration, 2021
      • Figure 11: Michelob ULTRA NBA Jam collaboration, 2022
    • Stars sell sports merchandise
    • Signature shoes highlight the importance of star power
      • Figure 12: Adidas Candace Parker Collection, 2021
    • Top athletes bring credibility to own lines
      • Figure 13: Shaun White snowboarding company, 2022
  6. The Sports Merchandise Consumer – Fast Facts

    • 64% of adults purchased at least one piece of sports merchandise in the past 12 months
    • Parents are a key target consumer for every type of sports merchandise
    • Consumers say they prefer to shop in person for sports merchandise
    • Despite a preference for in person, more shoppers buy from Amazon than anywhere else
    • 60% of fans feel a connection with someone when they have sports merchandise of their favorite team or player
    • Consumers are split 50-50 on whether officially licensed merchandise is too expensive or if it is worth paying more for
  7. Items Purchased

    • Majority of consumers purchase sports merchandise, apparel leads the way
      • Figure 14: Sports merchandise purchased in past 12 months and future purchase interest, 2021
    • Parents are more likely to buy sports merchandise
      • Figure 15: Sports merchandise purchased in past 12 months, by parental status, 2021
      • Figure 16: Sports merchandise purchase interest, by parental status, 2021
    • Sports merchandise interests vary across generations
      • Figure 17: Sports merchandise purchased in past 12 months, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 18: Sports merchandise purchase interest, by generation, 2021
  8. Channels and Retailers Shopped

    • In person remains the preferred method of shopping for sports merchandise
      • Figure 19: Sports merchandise shopping method, by generation, 2021
    • Amazon and mass merchandisers lead the way, but more consumers may shop at Fanatics than they realize
      • Figure 20: Retailers shopped for sports merchandise past 12 months, 2021
    • Browsing and social media most help consumers discover sports merchandise
      • Figure 21: Sports merchandise discoverability, by generation, 2021
  9. Attitudes toward Sports Merchandise Apparel

    • Apparel represents sports merchandise
      • Figure 22: Sports merchandise paired viewpoints, 2021
    • Apparel highlights the shared community of fandom
    • Sports apparel brings people together
      • Figure 23: Connection to sports merchandise, by sports fans and fandom, 2021
    • Sports merchandise enhances connections through nostalgia
      • Figure 24: NHL retro merchandise store signage, 2022
      • Figure 25: Future purchase interest in collectibles or memorabilia, by sports fans and fandom, 2021
      • Figure 26: 2022 US Open merchandise, 2021
    • Sports apparel need not only be worn to games
  10. The Value of Sports Merchandise

    • Merch can be expensive, so make it worth it
      • Figure 27: Sports merchandise paired viewpoints, by fandom, 2021
    • Protect the investment
      • Figure 28: American Express jersey trade assurance, 2022
      • Figure 29: Added value for sports merchandise, by sports fans and fandom, 2021
    • Partner with charitable causes
      • Figure 30: Lids They Gave Us Game initiative, 2022
    • Highlight gift giving
      • Figure 31: Sports merchandise gift giving, by sports fan and fandom, 2021
  11. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  12. Appendix – The Consumer

      • Figure 32: Sports fandom, by sport, 2021
      • Figure 33: Repertoire of sports merchandise purchased in the past 12 months, 2021
      • Figure 34: Sports merchandise purchased in past 12 months, by gender, 2021
      • Figure 35: Sports merchandise purchase interest, by gender, 2021
      • Figure 36: Sports merchandise purchased in past 12 months, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
      • Figure 37: Sports merchandise purchase interest, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
      • Figure 38: Sports merchandise purchased in past 12 months, by household income, 2021
      • Figure 39: Sports merchandise purchase interest, by household income, 2021
      • Figure 40: Retailers shopped for sports merchandise past 12 months, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 41: Sports merchandise attitudes, 2021

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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