Sporting brands in Canada - additional information
With less than 20 percent of Canadians saying they do not exercise or participate in sports activities, there is a large market for sporting goods in the country. In 2015, the sports apparel market was valued at 2.37 billion Canadian dollars in Canada. Moreover, brands such as Nike and Adidas are able to use their branding power to sell sports apparel for fashion uses as well. Bathing suits and swim trunks are an example of sports clothing that can be used both in and outside of exercise. This may contribute to bathing suits and swim trunks being the largest category of sports apparel in Canada by dollar share, responsible for 10 percent of sports apparel sales.
In Canada the leading brands seen above choose primarily to distribute their goods through sporting goods retailers rather than stand alone outlets for their brand. The largest of such retailers is Sports Chek who as of August 2015 had 189 outlets across Canada. In such a diverse and competitive market, brand image is highly important for the leading brands in Canada. One way of improving brand image is through partnerships or sponsorship deals with professional sports teams and athletes. Nike, who sponsor Canadian basketball player Joel Anthony, held brand loyalty among 7.62 percent of sports fans in Canada according to a May 2015 survey. Not only can sponsorship create loyalty to apparel brands, it can increase a sports brand’s likeability. In the same survey, sports fans gave Nike and Adidas each a likeability score of 6.94 and 6.82 out of 10 respectively. As such the large players such as Nike and Adidas have a considerable advantage in the Canadian sports market as they are able to afford large sponsorship deals to supply gear to Canada’s favorite athletes.