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There is no formal definition of sports.

It can be a game, a fitness activity or an
organised competitive sport. Competitive sports are governed by a set of rules often
designed by national or international sports organisations. Sports can also be a
recreational activity. The same sport can be played as a competitive sport or a fitness
activity (for instance, swimming or cycling). Different people treat sports differently.
For some, it is a profession, while for most it is just a means of recreation and staying
fit. Sports can be an indoor activity or an outdoor activity. It can be a team activity (for
example, cricket and hockey) or an individual activity (for example, squash). While
most sports are associated with some form of physical activity, there are some sports,
like chess, which do not need strenuous physical activity. Globally, there are a large
number of sports, and each can be played in multiple formats. For example, volleyball
can be played on court, grass, or beach. Similarly, cricket can be played in the one-day,
test match and twenty-over formats. Some sports have received international
recognition while others can be country specific, regional and even local, played by a
limited number of people. The recognition of sports, its classification and formats may
vary across countries.

Sports retail is a niche segment of retail. It generally refers to retail sale of sports
goods/equipment, apparel, shoes and accessories (such as sunglasses, watches,
headband etc.).1 Sports retailers can be multi-brand retailers or single-brand retailers,
they can sell products for a specific sport or cater to multiple sports. For instance,
Reebok sells products for a number of sports including football, rugby and tennis while
Nordica (Italy) specialise in footwear, equipment and accessories (jackets, gloves, etc.)
for a single sport – skiing. They can cater to niche consumers (like in the case of racing
1 Retail of sports products refers to retail sale of equipment, apparel, shoes and accessories.
cars) or a large number of consumers (as is the case for a tennis racquet). The
consumers of sports products can be bulk consumers like government, federations,
schools, and academies and individual consumers. Sports products can also be used as a
casual wear or a lifestyle product (for instance, a Reebok t-shirt). Sports retailers
generally decide how they would position their products. For instance, the German
company Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport (brand Puma) has positioned itself as a sports
and lifestyle company that specialises in footwear, apparel and equipment for a number
of sports including athletics, football, golf, sailing and motor sports.

management and participation of sportspersons in international events.2 It can have a longlasting positive impact on development of poor countries through various linkages like the growth of the tourism sector. The retail of sports products is closely related to the status and promotion of sports in a particular country. teams. in the United States (US). in India. it is American football. training facilities. are now owned by the private sector. administration. improvement in public health and human capital formation. it is soccer. the country’s topography and climate. their level of participation and their willingness to pay for sports products influences the sports retail market. At the global level. academies. availability of infrastructure.The retail market is also influenced by the level of sports participation. and play a crucial role in selecting sports equipment. It also enables a country to maintain international peace and promotes cordial international relations through international sports events. it is football and water polo. cricket is the most popular sport. It helps to bring different communities together and reduce regional disparities. it is ice hockey. These sports have huge fan followings and this drives the market for sports products and accessories. passion for a specific sport. etc. certain sports dominate. For instance. basketball and baseball. In each country. in Canada. In many countries. training and marketing of sports. They are also responsible for procuring equipment. This is because the development of the sports sector is closely linked to the economic development of the country. For instance. there are international federations for different sports that not only set the standards and rules of the game but also have specific criteria for recognising sports equipment. These federations work closely with the government to develop infrastructure. in Germany. sports clubs. cricket receives high advertisement revenue compared to sports like swimming. in India. government closely monitors the sports sector and play a key role in its development. Federations of different countries work closely with their respective international federations. Peoples’ passion for sports. . They also contribute to the development of sports infrastructure. They play a key role in the promotion. Not all sports receive the same level of viewership or advertisement revenue. and in Italy. With the privatisation and commercialisation of sports.

Organized sports events in India like Cricket World cup. Stella McCartney. third. sports is treated as a luxury commodity. Sports are still not treated as a means of livelihood. the total size of the Indian retail market was $372 billion in 2008. water and sanitation. which shows that the industry has been growing at an average annual rate of around 10-12 per cent in the past five years. instead. and.the consumer base of sports retailers is specialised because they are generally the younger population. where they showcase football matches and retail Manchester United merchandise. The sports industry is also linked to the food and beverages industry. Many foreign retailers have shown interest in entering the Indian market The retail sector in most countries is also a large employer. Although Asian countries like China and India have a large population base. The per capita consumption of sports goods in developing countries is low for three reasons: first. There are other barriers such as the nonavailability . the sports market in Asia is currently less than 25 per cent. However. The size of the domestic market is small because Indian society is education-oriented and sports are treated as a distraction from education. Reebok has a line of shoes designed by the designer Rolland Berry (US) and Adidas has a range of shoes for women designed by the English fashion designer. it is still considered a source of entertainment. its share in organised retail was around 10 per cent.17 Estimates of the sports goods/equipment manufacturing industry is available from SGEPC. of which sports retail was around three per cent. It contributes to over 11 per cent of employment in the US and around six per cent in India. the per capita purchasing power is lower than that in developed countries. Hence. the football club Manchester United has tied up with restaurant chains and opened cafés. The Indian government is exploring the possibilities of allowing FDI (foreign direct investment) in multi-brand retail in sports. colleges. which are likely to boost the retail market. such as infrastructure. sports retailers may have to work with consumers through schools. The sports industry is also linked to the fashion industry. IOC According to one estimate. the government’s priority is to provide basic necessities. This has led to low sports participation levels. India is hosting a series of international sporting events. healthcare and education rather to develop sports. Over the years. second. Many large Indian corporates and foreign brands have entered into this niche segment of retail. FIH. India has developed as a sourcing hub for sports goods and the focus of the manufacturing sector has been on exports. etc.

if India continues with its high growth rate. private team owners of the Indian Premium League (IPL) in cricket have contracted the team apparel to brands like Reebok. of late. Indians are spending more on sports goods. 25 35 32 88 45 29 21 18 31 231 . However. With an increase in incomes. recreational consumption in India is growing. Private participation has increased the retail market for sports.1). and.of infrastructure and the inability to pay for facilities and buy sports products. there has been a decline in the consumption of food and basic necessities. This has increased retail sales. Nike. Adidas and Puma. recreational spending will grow. For instance. It is projected to grow at the rate of 8. Although sports are still treated as a recreational activity.9 per cent per annum from $1 billion in 2005 to $6 billion in 2025 (Figure 2.

academies are some of the large buyers of sports products. Reebok operates through both store and non-store formats. The non-store format is growing in India and so is the importance of internet retailing.39 Brands that do not have a retail presence but are renowned can be purchased through internet retail sites like eBay and rediff. about 48 per cent of the internet users shopped through this Direct marketing and teleshopping is also common for products like fitness equipment. . - Non-store formats are common in sports product retailing. federations. Sports retailers and brands work closely with them because: (a) they constitute a large part of their business (b) once they approve the product. the product becomes popular and retail market for the product expands (c) the consumer can see the products in national and international events and hence consumer knowledge about the products increases.Some Bulk Consumers of Sports products Government. institutions such as schools. For instance. sports clubs. In 2009.

generate niche products and become competitive. For instance.For instance. Since India does not have any strong domestic brands. they are considered to be Indian companies. Dama S. Others.p. source locally and distribute products. foreign brands are doing well and have been able to expand their presence at a rapid pace. Brands such as Reebok. has entered through a distribution agreement. Footwear Design Institute and famous designers like Manish Arora to design their product range. Some have a mixed model of licensing and distribution agreement or franchising and distribution agreement. Nike initially entered the market in 1995 under an exclusive seven-year licensing agreement with Sierra Trading Enterprise. 200 shop outlets and 2. Reebok also associates with designers from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). which gave it the right to manufacture. enter through franchisee agreements. Others.500 dealer outlets. . distribution and retailing. Some retailers are entering through joint ventures – for instance. it established a wholly -owned subsidiary. like Technogym. Puma and Adidas have wholly owned subsidiaries in India. has a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Reliance Brand for their brand Paul & Shark. like Lacoste.A. Reebok set up a wholly owned subsidiary in 1995 and the company is now present across 265 cities with around 500 exclusive stores. in 2003. To cater to the niche market. whereas Lotto entered through a licensing agreement. Since they are incorporated in India. They source products from India both for domestic and foreign markets and have an integrated operation encompassing sourcing.



Fila (Italy/Korea). Many Reebok contractors re-equipped their factories and upgraded the technology to meet Reebok’s requirements. . During interviews. Rawling (US). Dunlop (Australia) and Spalding (US). Puma (Germany). Adidas (Germany). Manufacturers are sometimes sent abroad to learn the requisite technology (for example. Lotto (Italy). The number of foreign brands sourcing from India has increased in recent years. Indian companies are also trying to diversify into new product categories like ski equipment (which has limited demand in the domestic market) and golf balls (largely exported to countries like Germany). Reebok was among the first to enter India and the biggest challenge for the brand at that time was to upgrade factories and provide them with appropriate technology and training. This has increased knowledge about Indian manufacturing and the domestic market among foreign retailers. Nike (US).The survey found that Indian companies manufacture for a large number of foreign brands including Reebok (Germany). Nike). manufacturers and retailers pointed out that technology is percolating down from brands/foreigner retailers to Indian manufacturers.