Over the past few years, the sports licensing business has emerged as one of the fastest growing sector in the overall licensing business globally. Licensing of sports items includes logos, symbols, names of sports organizations and team players. These items are owned by sports institutions that act as licensors and lease the rights to use these properties to licensees on profitable terms. The US and Canada represent the single largest market for licensed merchandise worldwide.
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Sports licensing is dominated by MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and NASCAR in the US. Furthermore, over 300 colleges and universities in the US are involved in collegiate licensing, as part of which they market their rights primarily to the apparel market. After declining in 2009 and 2010 due to economic downturn, retail sales of licensed merchandise based on sports leagues and events increased by 5.3% in the US and Canada in 2011.
Proliferation of social media such as Facebook and similar, blogs, YouTube, Twitter online and mobile campaigns, and other interactive technologies have led to the growth of licensed sportswear sales. E-commerce is becoming a popular distribution channel for licensed products. A significant rise has been noticed in the women’s apparel segment due to rising female sports fans. Licensors and licensees continue to look for new opportunities in under-developed licensing markets like BRIC region (Brazil, Russia, India and China). The industry is accompanied by high entry barriers and high risk of counterfeiting. Some of the major retailers for licensed sports merchandise include Dreams Inc., GSI Commerce, VF Imagewear, Reebok and Nike.
The present report offers an analysis of the global licensed merchandise market with focus on the US and Canada. It also discusses key growth drivers, opportunities and major challenges faced by the licensed merchandise industry. Apart from providing competitive landscape, the report also profiles the major players in the market.
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