“The Rise of Women in the Sportswear Market: Empowering Fitness and Fashion”

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Women in Sportswear

In recent years, the sportswear market has witnessed a significant shift with the emergence of women as a powerful driving force. Previously, the market was dominated by “cool” brands that attracted loyal customers, including celebrities, athletes, and sports enthusiasts. However, the increasing participation of women in sports and fitness activities has propelled the sportswear industry to recognize and cater to this growing segment.

According to Allied Market Research, the sportswear category is projected to reach a remarkable market revenue of US $184.6 billion by 2020, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.3%. While men’s sportswear currently contributes the highest revenue at 52%, the women’s segment is expected to grow at a higher CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period.

To capitalize on this trend, sportswear brands have been introducing dedicated lines targeting female consumers. This momentum has even extended to high street retailers like Next, who have established exclusive sportswear sections for women. Nike and JD Sports have taken it a step further by opening all-woman stores, recognizing the significant size and potential of the women’s sportswear market. The industry has also embraced collaborations between sports brands and the fashion industry to create new styles that cater to the needs of young women, driving further growth in recent years.

Leading brands such as Nike and Under Armour have implemented aggressive marketing campaigns aimed at empowering women and capturing their attention. Nike’s #BetterForIt campaign and web-series “Margo vs. Lily” have garnered significant attention and contributed to increased sales. Under Armour, known for its catchphrase “I will what I want,” has enlisted influential figures like Gisele Bundchen and Misty Copeland to inspire and connect with women. The company’s CEO, Kevin Plank, envisions the women’s business surpassing that of men’s, reflecting the brand’s confidence and commitment to this market segment.

PUMA has also capitalized on the women’s business by merging fashion credibility with sports authenticity. The brand’s “DO YOU” campaign, featuring famous female brand ambassadors like Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, resonates with women worldwide, promoting confidence and individuality. Collaborations with the New York City Ballet and runway shows during Fashion Weeks have further amplified PUMA’s presence and engagement on social media. The brand’s women-specific collections have performed exceptionally well, gaining additional space in major retail stores.

Adidas, recognizing the potential of the active woman consumer, has taken strategic steps to attract this demographic. The brand has hired Christine Day, former CEO of Lululemon, a market leader in women’s activewear, as an advisor. Adidas launched a subscription box called Avenue A, curated by fashion-forward trendsetters and trainers, and introduced a women’s boutique store concept. By actively listening to women’s preferences and providing unique, customized experiences, Adidas aims to deliver products designed specifically for them.

The rise of women in the sportswear market has also influenced retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods to expand their offerings. Launching CALIA by Carrie Underwood and testing the women’s boutique store concept Chelsea Collective, Dick’s Sporting Goods acknowledges the increasing demand for fashionable and comfortable sportswear. This trend aligns with the overall shift towards athleisure, highlighting women’s desire for body-positive confidence and empowerment.

With the growing demand for women-specific sportswear, brands are now better equipped to meet the needs of this segment. Smaller women-specific lines like Oiselle are also striving to establish a foothold in this $20 billion market. As the sportswear industry continues to evolve, women’s influence will shape the future of fitness and fashion, empowering women to embrace their active lifestyles while feeling comfortable and confident.