The global sports market is booming. This, according to a new report from SIGNA Sports United (SSU), a leading sports e-commerce and tech platform, and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report predicts global sports participation will reach 3.5 billion people by 2025 and says international sports is a $1.1 trillion market today.

The report, which also surveyed 19,000 consumers in the U.S., UK, France, and Germany this year, reveals:

  • Sports is the second most common global leisure activity (traveling is #1), with 35% of the world’s population participating in sports at least once a month.
  • Digitization is growing—last year, over 830 million people used wearables or fitness apps. And 56% of all sports enthusiasts expect to adopt wearables in the future, mainly to measure their performance, educate themselves about a healthy lifestyle, or participate in online training sessions.
  • Sports retail is the largest part of the sports market, accounting for $475 billion in spending. It’s likely to grow 7% annually, hitting $670 billion in 2025—that’s 1.4x the rate of GDP growth.
  • Sports e-commerce is expected to experience double-digit compound growth rates over the next five years, growing 3x as fast as sports offline retail, making up 30% of all online sales globally.

The report says small businesses that want to reach sports consumers should focus on selling online and “specialize in verticals. Specialized online sports retailers are 2 to 3 times more likely to be the preferred shopping destination for equipment-intense sports such as biking, tennis, golf, horseback riding, or winter sports. Additionally, consumers spend more with online vertical sports specialists.”

You can find more information here.

Online sporting goods stock photo by carballo/Shutterstock