NPD Releases Global Sports Estimate Report 2011

Findings Show Strong Recovery in 2010

Port Washington, NY, September 15, 2011– The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, released the results of its fifth annual study on the global sports market, Global Sports Estimate 2011.

According to the Global Sports Estimate Report 2011, the worldwide sports market has returned to growth in 2010.  Globally the sales of sports equipment, active apparel, and athletic footwear are valued at $ 315 billion USD (€ 226 billion) for 2010, which represents a four percent increase from 2009.

NPD’s Global Sports Estimate*



2009 – 2010


2008 - 2009


2008 - 2007


2007 - 2006


2006 - 2005


*Estimate based on sales of athletic footwear, active apparel, sports equipment, and bicycles in USD.

“Sales of running, hiking/walking, and football/soccer products are the primary drivers behind this growth,” said Renaud Vaschalde, global sports industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc., “Overall growth in the sales of footwear and bicycles out-performed apparel and equipment and as expected the 2010 World Cup helped the sport brands associated with it post growth.”

NPD’s Global Sports Estimate Report shows that there are now seven countries in which the sports market size exceeds 10 billion USD in 2010 and another 11 countries with sales estimates between three and 10 billion USD.

Countries with  Sports Market Estimates*

Over 10 Billion








*Sales at retail of Athletic Footwear, Active Apparel, Bicycles, and Equipment
(Countries ranked in dollar sales order)

Additionally, the Global Sports Estimate Report finds that products that are designed for sport use+ are less vulnerable to economic conditions than products that designed with a sport style++ focus.

“Sales of products that are for use in a specific sport (or sport use products) have held up pretty well despite the recession,” said Vaschalde, “It was only in Japan and Spain that there was a slight decline in the sales of sport use products during 2010.”

*Exchange rate calculation: 1€=$1.39
+ Sport Use is product designed for use in pursuit of a specific sport.
++Sport Style is product that incorporates features of sport specific product but has more of a fashion focus.

The survey:
The NPD Group is now able to estimate the market size for almost all countries in the world. For the top 15 countries, NPD measures or estimates market size broken down by sport. For each sport within those countries, NPD estimates footwear, apparel, equipment, sales intended for sport use and sales NOT intended for sport use separately. The estimate covers the years 2010 and 2009.

This study’s estimates of the global sports market’s size are based on The NPD Group, Inc.’s consumer panel tracking data, statistical projections, and the company’s extensive sports industry expertise.  The NPD Group measures the athletic footwear and sports apparel markets in 10 countries, representing 70% of the global sports sales.  For the remaining 30%, NPD estimates are based on assumptions related to Gross Domestic Product development.

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Beth Boyle

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

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