Global sports merchandise market to hit £36 Billion by 2024

Ever wondered how much money you could make selling licensed sports merchandise? The short answer is…a lot!

What was once a modest industry populated predominantly by passionate amateur collectors is now one of the most phenomenal and fast-growing sectors worldwide. In fact, evidence suggests that the current£21 billion value of the global market will reach a colossal £36 billion within the next five years.

Good news for key players in the global sports merchandise retail market, but what exactly is driving such spectacular growth? How is it that in the digitised 21stcentury world we live in, we’re embracing quality licensed sports merchandise like never before?

Innovation and Development

For one thing, growth is being driven worldwide by continuous innovation and development on the part of major producers. Namely, the design and manufacture of the most gorgeous sporting accessories, sports apparel and general memorabilia ever created. You only have to look at the quality of today’s sports posters, football strips and novelty collectibles to see how far things have come.

Not only this, but some of the world’s most important emerging markets are also playing a role in driving the industry’s growth. Now-thriving economies like those of India and China and contributing enormously to the growth of the industry, as millions of new customers spend vast combined sums of cash on sporting merchandise.

So what you’re left with is a scenario where the quality and availability of sporting merchandise is growing, as is demand from discerning buyers in hundreds of lucrative markets worldwide. Hence, it’s expected that the enormous growth the industry has seen over the past few years will continue indefinitely.

Online Retail

Of course, the advent and expansion of ecommerce has also played a role in driving industry growth. Speaking on behalf of Sport Photo Gallery, a UK-based company selling posters, prints and some memorabilia, a representative commented on the new opportunities online retail has opened up.

“There are thousands of sports merchandise businesses operating online that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the Internet,”he said.

“It’s not just a case of being able to buy sports memorabilia more conveniently, it’s also other sheer volume of the products on offer. We specialise in sports posters, but it’s possible these days to buy literally anything you can think of online,”

“That’s opened things up to a massive audience all over the world and transformed the face of sports merchandise retail forever.”

From branded t-shirts to endorsed sneakers to one-off items signed by iconic legends, it’s all right there for the taking online. First of all, online retail reduces so many overheads that quality sports merchandise can be picked up at far lower prices than would be the case with any traditional retailer.

On the whole, therefore, it’s win-win for buyers and sellers alike.

Mass Marketing

Unsurprisingly, enormous global marketing campaigns have also been credited with contributing to the growth of the industry.

In terms of the major global sporting franchises themselves, US powerhouses like Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) achieve spectacular merchandise sales each year. The same can also be said for the English Premier League (EPL) and countless other major football leagues across Europe.

Then there are the designers and manufacturers themselves, who continue to ink lucrative deals with major franchises, sporting celebrities and individual clubs.  Just a few examples of which include Adidas – Reebok, Nike Inc., VF Corporation, G-III Apparel, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Jarden Corporation, Knight Apparels, New Era Cap, Under Armour and Great American Products.

Through their associations with major sporting franchises and famous faces, they’re likewise experiencing record-demand for their products.

A Bright Future Ahead

As it becomes increasingly easy to watch major sporting events and even local fixtures from anywhere in the world, our collective obsession for sports and sports merchandise is only set to grow. The same also being said for the on-going simplification of online retail, providing quick and easy access to an increasingly affordable archive of incredible memorabilia.

The industry may be tipped for spectacular growth to £36 billion within the next five years, but what happens after that is anyone’s guess. In any case, it’s clear that there’s never been a better time to get into the lucrative world of sports merchandise retail.