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Global sports market - statistics and facts

The global sports market can be broken down into many subcategories which transcend different markets and, in some cases, directly affect the world economy. Within the professional sports market, there are submarkets such as broadcasting and licensing, sponsorship and many others. Aside from to the professional sports market, there is the market for sporting goods, which is heavily reliant on brand marketing and is often intertwined with professional sports through athlete sponsorship and affiliations. The next two big markets closely associated with the global sports economy are food and nutrition, such as the protein market and the global gambling market, considering how much of it is attributed by sports betting. With recent technology and advances in the video game market and similar economical attributes to professional sports, the eSports market is also worth taking note of.

Leading sporting brands

The global sports equipment market is estimated to stand at a value of approximately 150 billion U.S. dollars by 2023 and the global sports apparel market at around 200 billion U.S. dollars, with both showing a very reliable growth trend. The two most recognizable brands on the market are Nike and Adidas, followed by Reebok and Puma. Nike is valued at close to around 40 billion U.S. dollars and generated a revenue of roughly 35 billion U.S. dollars for financial year 2021, of which the majority came from sportswear. The Adidas Group produced net sales of approximately 20 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and generated the majority of that through footwear.

Professional sports

Professional sports are followed by millions around the world and provide a captive audience for advertisement and marketing opportunities. Most notable in the United States would be the NFL (National Football League), the NBA (National Basketball Association), the NHL (National Hockey League,) and the MLB (Major League Baseball). In fact, the NFL includes the team with the highest franchise value of any sports team worldwide at 5.7 billion U.S. dollars - the Dallas Cowboys.

In Europe, there is but one sport that dominates the professional sports market, which is football, or soccer. The so-called Big Five leagues make up the majority of the professional sports market in Europe. Included within this category are the Premier League in England, La Liga in Spain, the Bundesliga in Germany, Serie A in Italy, and Ligue 1 in France. The Premier League is financially the most successful sports league worldwide, with many foreign sponsors and fans tuning in from across the world. However, it was Real Madrid and FC Barcelona from Spain who had the highest brand value out of European soccer clubs as of 2021. Moving away from team sports, individual sports also have the potential to make millionaires out of the biggest superstars thanks to big payouts and lucrative sponsorship deals. MMA fighters such as Conor McGregor and Formula 1 racecar drivers such as Lewis Hamilton are also among the highest paid athletes worldwide.


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