Trends & Features

FSPA publishes UK sports industry study

The FSPA’s 2011 study on the current state and future direction of the UK sporting goods market is complete and was sent to all FSPA full members free of charge in early June.

The comprehensive report was commissioned in late 2010 after the UK sports trade body identified a lack of information in the marketplace and a demand from its member companies for accurate, up-to-date and useful data to assist with market analysis and intelligence.

The 100-page study is a timely and detailed snapshot of the current situation facing companies in the £5.7 billion sporting goods industry. It highlights an overall market getting to grips with the longest recession in the UK for a generation and points to bright spots within certain sports.

Written from the perspective of industry suppliers, readers of the report will find valuable information on the state of the market in a variety of sports, including football, rugby, cricket, golf, hockey, netball, basketball, tennis, badminton, squash, table tennis, swimming, running and triathlon, darts and snooker.

Over 60 interviews were carried out with suppliers in each of the featured sports, as well as leading retailers, wholesalers, buying groups, trade press and school suppliers. This primary research was supplemented by an extensive review of published information from commercial research organisations, sports associations, governing bodies, business and news sources. In addition, exclusive consumer research was commissioned into the buying habits and brand awareness of participants and followers in the majority of the featured sports.

The report sets the sporting goods market in a general economic and demographic context. Its scope ranges from a review of the market sizes of the key segments of sports clothing, footwear and equipment – including a ‘by product’ and ‘by sport’ breakdown for 2009 and 2010, as well as a forecast for 2011 – through to a review of the extensive number of initiatives that exist, in terms of private sponsorship and public sector support, for each of the featured sports.

Each market featured includes information on the values of each of the key segments – and further detail, in some cases – as well as the key trends and drivers within each sport.

Additional chapters look at the changing nature of sports distribution, with a particular emphasis on the growing importance of the internet and the evolving role of specialist sports retailers, and information on sports participation and consumer behaviour for each of the featured sports. This highlights differences in participation between men and women, old and young and indicates how knowledgeable consumers are about the products they buy for their chosen sports.

The important school sport market is reviewed for the first time, incorporating the implications of recent changes to funding for school sports, with estimates made of the markets for school teamwear, outdoor and indoor equipment, as well as a review of the various sport-by-sport initiatives to promote sport in schools.

The report ends by drawing conclusions for the overall market and on a sport-by-sport basis in what is an important time for an industry looking forward to the London Olympic Games in 2012.

The Sporting Goods industry Association (SGIA), the FSPA’s sport trade body, is currently undertaking a membership recruitment drive to attract participants of the study and other leading companies within the industry to become members of the association.

For more information on the study, or becoming a member of the SGIA, contact Milly Durrant at or call 02476 414 999 x207. Alternatively, visit or

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