Sports brands are turning sports gear into fashion attire, with the likes of Nike and Adidas marketing tracksuits and running shoes as casual clothing. The change of fashion trends is making these sportswear brands even more money. But what are the most profitable sportswear brands out there? No doubt you’ve heard most of them, but we will give you a list that backs up why these brands are so big.
With all that said, let’s start.
Historically speaking, Nike has always been a sportswear brand. Even today, Nike markets most of its products to athletes and people with active lifestyles. In 2021, Nike made $37 billion in revenue. It is, by far, the biggest sportswear brand in the world. The way Nike markets its brand is through athlete sponsorships. Nike recruits athletes from all sports and adds them to its growing list of influencers. Some of the most popular Nike athletes are Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Kevin Durant, and more.
Nike’s athlete list keeps growing by the day. The brand makes sure to recruit all the hottest commodities in sports that do an excellent job of promoting the name. In addition to that, Nike is also a shirt manufacturer for sports teams. Since we are talking about a sports brand, Nike makes sure to strike deals with the best teams in football, soccer, basketball, etc. Some of the teams that use Nike as their shirt manufacturer included Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC, Tottenham Hotspurs, all the MLB teams, and thousands of others.
The next big sportswear brand is Adidas. Adidas and Nike are rivals in all aspects of sportswear. Not only do they compete in the sportswear market, but they also compete on a sporting level. Just like Nike, Adidas has a huge list of athletes that wear the Adidas logo. In 2021, Adidas made $17.3 billion in revenue. While this number is somewhat smaller than Nike’s, let’s not forget that Adidas is a huge sportswear brand.
The company manufactures anything from shoes to t-shirts and sports bras. While Nike is a household name, Adidas has a cult following among those who like the brand. In short, you either like Adidas or you don’t. For those that do, Adidas manufactures quality clothing, both casual and sportswear.
Adidas is even more popular in the footwear industry. It is one of the biggest shoe brands in the world. If you’re interested in a different list that outlines that, here is a list of the most popular shoe brands in the world.
Puma and casual are two things that don’t go well together. Unlike Nike or Adidas, Puma is a brand that solely focuses on sportswear. Since the company limits its casualwear capabilities, it makes significantly smaller revenues. In 2021, Puma made $6.2 billion. This number is by no means a small one, but Puma mostly focuses on manufacturing attire for athletes. Just like Nike and Adidas, Puma offers sponsorship deals to professional athletes. It even sponsors some of the biggest teams in football. The likes of AC Milan, BVB, Manchester City, Valencia, Borussia Mönchengladbach, and Olympique Marseille all proudly wear the Puma logo.
Sportswear brands are increasingly getting into the shoe market. That is exactly the case with the latest addition to this list, Under Armour. The US company is relatively younger than its competitors, having been founded in 1996. Since then, Under Armour has gone on to be a global sportswear brand, offering lucrative deals to athletes across many sports.
In addition to shoes, Under Armour manufactures sporting apparel. In recent times, the brand has entered the casual market. But that doesn’t change that Under Armour has had a solid 2021. In the previous year, the company made $1.5 billion in revenue. With a predicted focus on sporting apparel and shoes, Under Armour will likely grow to new heights.
New Balance is anything but a new company. It is likely the oldest company on this list. But New Balance fails to gain the attention of the casual customer the same way as other brands do. The brand is easily recognizable from its footwear products. In addition to selling shoes, the brand also sells sporting attire. In 2021, the brand made $3.3 billion in revenue. Most of the revenue comes from selling shoes and sporting attire.
New Balance also sponsors a number of soccer teams. The likes of AS Roma, FC Porto, Athletic Club, and Lille LOSC all wear the New Balance logo proudly.
The first sportswear brand that isn’t from Europe or the Americas is ASICS. The Japanese sportswear brand makes the list as it dominates the Asian market. With revenue numbers in the billions, $2.6 billion in 2020 to be precise, ASICS is a formidable competitor to the likes of New Balance, Puma, and Under Armour. The brand’s biggest sales come from selling footwear for athletes. But ASICS is probably most known for its gymnastic and fitness apparel.
And the last addition on this list also comes from Asia. Most specifically, from Korea. FILA is a well-known brand that manufactures shoes for sporting activities and lifestyle apparel. While we can categorize FILA as a sportswear brand, the company markets itself as a lifestyle brand in recent years. Their 2021 revenue sheet isn’t as impressive as most think. In the previous year, FILA failed to break the $1 billion revenue mark for the fifth time running.