The Development Trend of the Sports Industry in the United States
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The Development Trend of the Sports Industry in the United States

In 2019, the overall North American sports market revenue is approximately US$73 billion, making it one of the largest sports markets in the world. It is expected to grow to US$83.1 billion by 2023. Nowadays, the sports market is growing rapidly. In the past few decades, it has become a mature industry in the world.
Published: Dec 23, 2021
The Development Trend of the Sports Industry in the United States

The COVID-19 epidemic in the United States is severe, and people are required or willing to stay at home, causing changes in sports and leisure trends. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that exercise alone or with family members at home and reducing participation in outdoor sports can prevent the spread of disease. In addition, Google found through big data analysis that search keywords for exercise during the epidemic were concentrated in Home Gym, Home Fitness, Home workout, etc.

Overview of the changes in the lives of Americans in the post-epidemic era:

  1. The stay-at-home order issued by the U.S. government has increased people's staying time at home and also affected the principle of consumers choosing clothes. A set of clothing that can be used for both home sports and daily wear has become the standard of choice for American consumers. For example, tank tops, rhythmic pants, bright-colored shorts that can make you feel happy, and T-Shit are all recent hot products, with a sales growth rate of 12%. The footwear is mainly jogging shoes to facilitate short-distance movement around the home.
  2. The American people have developed unique sports trends, including home meditation, yoga, fitness equipment that can be placed at home (such as indoor treadmills, indoor bicycles), and sports goods that can be placed in the courtyard (such as small basketball stands, inflatables) swimming pool, trampoline, billiards, badminton, etc.); with online customized courses and instructional videos.
  3. State governments still do not recommend people to travel across states, and national parks still strictly control the number of tourists. Therefore, going to parks, beaches, outdoor trails, and riversides near the residences is the current first choice for picnics and camping by RVs. All kinds of bicycles, electric scooters, picnic mats, sunshade tents, and even RVs are all products that Americans are considering buying.
  4. The three themes of fitness equipment, home or garden sports equipment, picnics, and camping are all sports and leisure styles that people have changed due to the epidemic.
  5. Service strategy and model adjustments have strengthened product network services. NIKE has begun to cooperate with many well-known social platforms and audio-visual platforms, providing sports teaching videos and Nike Training Club that can be done in the home office. Lululemon assists consumers in interacting, providing a platform for consumers to share the exercise process and results, and maintaining good social interaction and a safe distance with consumers. Under Armour is focused on family-based services, providing a combination of products suitable for all age groups of the whole family.

An overview of the impact of the post-epidemic era on the U.S. sporting goods market:

  1. In June 2020, the total retail sales of sports goods stores in the United States reached 5.5 billion U.S. dollars, which was higher than the 4 billion U.S. dollars in the same period in 2019. The overall sports market sales showed an increase. During the epidemic, the sporting goods market was more resilient than expected, thanks to strong online growth, a surge in interest in healthy lifestyles, and a faster-than-expected recovery in Western countries.
  2. Store closures and the COVID-19 epidemic have restricted operations, causing consumers to switch to online shopping. Helps increase the profit of online operations, and can control data and brand performance. Although online shopping has been introduced in the past, consumers are still accustomed to physical offline purchases, and the development of online shopping is accelerated due to changes in the epidemic.
  3. Consumers pay more attention to health. This change in consumer behavior will help sports product companies to market, and it will also help the positioning of health-related brands. During the epidemic until after the epidemic, Americans have increased the frequency of cooking at home, their diets are more health-conscious than usual, and the people's interest in sports has surged, which is higher than the level before the lockdown. Although COVID-19 has prevented American consumers from going to the gym, many people still seek ways to exercise away from the crowd, and instead engage in-home sports or outdoor sports.
    • Home sports:
      In 2020, the global sales of home fitness equipment will reach 9.5 billion U.S. dollars, an annual growth rate of 40%. The gym is also undergoing digital transformation, and online courses are being promoted.
    • Outdoor sports:
      U.S. consumers' interest in outdoor activities has surged. June is usually the month of summer outdoor activities and is an important month for the U.S. outdoor products market. The sales of bicycles at many retailers in the United States increased by 63% compared to 2019, the sales of paddle sports equipment such as kayaks and paddleboards increased by 56%, and the sales of golf equipment increased by 51%.
    • Bicycle:
      Many consumers seek family activities to maintain their health. Bicycle sales continued to accelerate in June 2020, and sales increased by 63% over the same period in 2019. Although in the first few months of the COVID-19 crisis, the growth of bicycles mainly came from the sales of household bicycles, the growth in June came from the high-end bicycles that enthusiasts usually buy, including road bicycles and full-suspension mountain bikes. The shift in high-end bicycles can be attributed to the shortage of household bicycles and cyclists who are now more willing to invest in this activity for the long term.
    • Paddle sports:
      The rowing sports category (kayaking, paddleboard, raft, and canoe) faced a decline before the outbreak. Traditional paddle sports goods are bulky and expensive, which is a challenge for retailers from the perspective of inventory management. However, as consumers seek activities that keep them active and distance themselves from society, existing inventory quickly turns into sales. Sales of paddle sports equipment in June 2020 increased by 56% compared to the same period in 2019. Inflatable kayaks and paddles are more popular because consumers find them easier to store and cheaper. In June 2017, inflatable products accounted for 19% of paddleboard unit sales and 9% of leisure kayak unit sales. By June 2020, it will rise to 66% and 26%.
    • Golf:
      In June 2020, the sales of golf equipment increased by 51%. It can be observed that due to new players in golf and the reopening of the golf course, the pent-up demand has been transformed into the growth momentum of golf. If can grasp this opportunity will be an excellent time to interact with new customer groups.
    • Camping:
      As consumers want to set up tents in the yard or to local tourist attractions, the sales of leisure tents in June 2020 increased by 31%, almost twice the growth rate of backpack tents. If camping continues to be popular among the people, the customer base for home entertainment will become a boon for the sports goods market, because while economic development is seeking value for life, more and more consumers are eager for affordable sports.
    • Field sports:
      Because many resorts will restrict operations in the winter of 2020, consumers reduce the cost of buying ski and snowboard passes, and instead purchase dream equipment for field sports. The sales of snowboards, boots, and fasteners for outdoor sports grew by 137%, and the sales of accessories (beacons, shovels, and ski poles) grew by 69%. These are the data before the epidemic. From August 2019 to March 2020, sales of mountain tourism equipment (boots, snowboards, and fixtures) increased by 15%, mainly due to the increase of 34% in mountain tourism boots, of which 6% of sales came from online.
    • Jogging:
      Running is a sport that will continue to increase in participation in 2020. Running is considered a safe activity for long-distance social interaction. As consumers are increasingly interested in seeking a healthy lifestyle, running has attracted more people to participate.
    • Bird watching and natural attractions:
      You can find unique birds even in big cities. Bird watching is helpful to attract consumers of related products. It is discussed that bird watching has become a phenomenon in which consumers connect with nature. The sales of binoculars purchased by many consumers increased by 22% in June 2020.
  4. COVID-19 has caused global factory closures and large-scale blockades. At the same time, the demand for sporting goods has surged. As a result, many sporting goods in the United States are in short supply, and the industry is facing an unprecedented shortage of inventory. Products that face this challenge include dumbbells, kettlebells, bicycles, and kayaks.
  5. In terms of sales, commercial fitness equipment used in military institutions, cruise ships, universities, sports centers, and chain gyms has been hit hard by the epidemic. As a result, the fitness equipment market and the gym market have also set off a wave of mergers and acquisitions, and sales. The gym is also actively carrying out digital transformation and strengthening its influence on social media.

Sports goods popular in the United States in the post-epidemic era:

  1. Bicycle:
    Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States in early 2020, state governments have announced home restrictions. As gyms, sports halls, and large outdoor parks are closed, the government has also called for the use of public transportation to be reduced as much as possible to reduce the infection and spread of the virus. To find safe and suitable outdoor activities for children and a safe way of commuting, cycling has become a priority for many people, which has prompted a surge in bicycle sales in the United States. Sales of bicycles in the United States began to grow in March 2020, and sales continued to climb in April. The overall sales of traditional bicycles, indoor bicycles, parts, helmets, and other accessories increased by 75% over the same period last year (2019), reaching US$1 billion. In April 2020, sales of adult recreational bicycles under $200 increased by 203%, front suspension cross-country bicycles increased by 150%, and children's bicycles also increased by 107%.
  2. Dumbbells:
    Due to the closure of gyms due to the COVID-19 epidemic, athletes and many fitness enthusiasts are seeking new ways to maintain their health and exercise habits, which has driven the sales of fitness equipment to skyrocket. The sales volume of home fitness equipment for the seven weeks from March to May, 2020 increased by 175% compared with the same period last year (2019). Dumbbells, kettlebells, and other weightlifting equipment that can be used at home, whether in Walmart, Target or Amazon, are sold out of stock during the epidemic.
  3. Stationary Bikes or Exercise Bikes:
    The exercise bike is low-impact aerobic exercise equipment, similar to cycling, but it does not require much balance and coordination, so it is easier to use than ordinary bicycles or treadmills, and it can reduce the risk of injury during exercise. lowest. After the epidemic, many people are still not at ease going back to the gym to exercise, and the characteristics of exercise bikes that can complete the aerobic exercise at home are loved by consumers. The sales volume of exercise bikes in April 2020 increased by 270% compared with the same period in 2019, and sales volume in July also increased by 197% compared with the same period in 2019.

Opportunities and transformation suggestions for Taiwan's sports goods industry in the post-epidemic era:

  • Grasp the consumption trend of sports goods:
    • 2021 sporting goods events (including FIFA and the Olympics) and a wider range of team sporting events are expected to be held, which will help to become the main driving force for the growth of the sporting goods market.
    • The virtual and physical fitness services will be a great success, and home fitness equipment and bicycles are expected to continue to sell well.
    • The demand for outdoor activities increases. In addition to experienced consumers, brand owners should also pay more attention to attracting and serving the needs of beginners; and golf can help maintain social distance and attract beginners and young enthusiasts who love outdoor sports.
    • Convenient storage of home fitness equipment and outdoor activities for small groups have become the main needs in the post-epidemic era.
    • The trend of online sales will grow steadily, prompting many companies to invest more in e-commerce.
  • Suggestions for expanding sales of products:
    • Sportswear:
      According to the analysis of consumers' purchase of sportswear and shoes, to alleviate the depression caused by home restrictions, the products are bright colors, natural patterns, comfortable and can be worn at the same time as sports and home casual clothing, and the public's willingness to buy is as high as 12%. Even if the people can return to the company, they still think that this type of casual wear will not go out of fashion and that it can be in line with the fashion when worn to the office. Taiwanese manufacturers have several patented technologies for the breathability and comfort of clothing, but the design and color are relatively weak. Therefore, by observing that when consumers are buying, they still expect to return to the office in the future, the clothes still retain the feeling of "home office", and they can mix and match the expectations of suit jackets to design and wear. In terms of footwear, the main purchase options are sports and leisure shoes that can be worn for jogging and office at the same time. In addition, outdoor activities are still the first choice for consumers to consider products. Although the options for outdoor sports are greatly reduced compared to before the epidemic, consumers pay more attention to the elasticity and breathability of the fabric to ensure that the clothing can be supplied for multiple purposes in the future. However, it is difficult to display fabric materials in online shopping. Taiwanese manufacturers can include this as an important message to consumers when they expand sales of such products.
      The sports market has already formed a mature industry, creating hundreds of billions of business opportunities in the United States, dominating the market with sports goods and apparel, and it continues to grow. In addition, the women's market and wearables have gradually become new opportunities for the sports industry.
    • Home fitness equipment:
      Taiwan’s yoga and fitness equipment has been booming in recent years, and the United States has done the same. The difference is that Taiwan’s space is limited, and some products have emphasized the characteristics of convenient storage and home use. This kind of product feature can provide relief for American consumers, who are afraid to go to the gym because of their narrow living area. Therefore, home sports and their small, storable sports goods have become the focus. According to questionnaire statistics, 72% of the people want to maintain personal exercise plans at home, such as yoga and personal fitness equipment that can be placed at home, to maintain their exercise plans after 2021. Seeing this trend, distributors are also actively promoting yoga products (yoga mats, pedals, elastic bands), fitness products (horizontal bars, trampolines, dumbbells, skipping fitness ropes, small treadmills, boxing, bicycles), and fun and sports personal products (snooker, basketball hoop, and basketball, badminton, frisbee, ball). Such distributors have been willing to cooperate with small businesses and cross-border to ensure that the products they can put on the Internet are more diversified. Taiwan’s yoga products have diverse designs and are susceptible to consumers' attention. In terms of fitness equipment, Taiwanese manufacturers have also developed compact storage and multi-functional fitness equipment, such as folding treadmills or treadmills that can share exercise information online. Such products, which can not only exercise at home but also maintain social relations, are gradually being valued in American metropolitan areas.
    • Outdoor sports equipment:
      In terms of outdoor sports products, according to the report, 66% of the respondents hope to increase outdoor activities after the epidemic, such as hiking, climbing, fishing, hunting, etc., without having to stay indoors, controlling the number of participants, and maintaining social distance. These products are in line with bicycles and their components manufactured in Taiwan, as well as camping and mountaineering products. The people's leisure place has been changed from the original national park to an outdoor tree-lined trail near their home. Lightweight electric bicycles, foldable bicycles that can be stored at home and in the car, children's bicycles, bicycle racks, and other composite functional bicycles have been very inquired about by the public during the epidemic. One reason is that people can use it for leisure, and the second reason is that people riding bicycles can avoid the use of public transportation and reduce the burden of oil prices caused by driving in small passenger cars.
    • Camping products:
      Outdoor activities and camping products are also recommended by hospitals and sports tourism with a small number of participants and activities that are more exposed to nature. Hiking, golf, tennis, cycling, surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving are all sports that people can try first after the epidemic has slowed down (sports events and indoor team ball games are not recommended). Online sales of these products have also become one of the directions that US distributors will develop in the post-epidemic era.
    • Online courses:
      To create the experience of exercising in the gym, consumers' demand for smart fitness equipment and online exercise teaching apps has also increased significantly. The number of members and sales volume of well-known online sports APPs have shown outstanding results in this home fitness trend. Digital fitness courses, equipment, and related product accessories will be the trend of future development.
Published: Dec 23, 2021 Source :taiwantradeshows

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