AAccording to the 2022 Sports Fan Behavior Study compiled by SBRnet*, licensed apparel sales are down coming out of the pandemic for four of the top seven team sports. The study surveyed 6,500 sports fans aged 13 and older. Sales of licensed products is one of the 58 data categories covered.
The NFL increased its licensed apparel sales by nearly 4%, thanks in part to an aggressive approach to getting fans in their place (see chart below).
NBA apparel sales jumped about 1%, while NHL and MLS gear sales fell slightly. Licensed college basketball apparel has been the hardest hit over the past year, and licensed college basketball apparel sales are down 16%. College hoops suffered from the loss of the “March Madness” tournament in 2020 and have not largely recovered from a slow return to campus for many colleges and universities.
Measurements are in US dollars
According to Neil Schwartz, president and chief data officer of SBRnet, “It appears that sales of licensed products are slow to return to where they were before the pandemic. There has been a sea change in this category as Fanatics has become the dominant player in this area. These changes indicate a decline in licensed replicas and higher priced game jerseys and an increase in lower priced t-shirts, hats and sweatshirts.
Data indicates that the continued shift to online sales of licensed apparel is taking hold faster at the expense of apparel purchased in live games, shown in the table belowshowing that the seven team sports significantly increased sales of licensed products online after the pandemic compared to before.
Online sales of MLS apparel increased from 40% to 65%; Online sales of NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB apparel saw similar spikes. “Those numbers make perfect sense,” Schwartz said. “Fans weren’t attending games, and at the start of the pandemic they weren’t buying bricks and mortar. Fanatics has upped its game when it comes to service and marketing, and the numbers back it up. »
*SBRnet is the exclusive provider of a sports market analytics data platform used by leading colleges, universities, agencies, teams and leagues to better understand sports fans and related categories.
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