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The latest lines from the UK's biggest sports buying group
By: Jeff James
Listed Under: Top Story
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
As the Premier League reached its conclusion, there was plenty of drama on the field as clubs battled to keep their place in the richest league in the world, while others attempted to secure their entry to next season’s Champions League - all in the quest for extra cash.
Off the field, clubs are preparing for next season, talking with sponsors, booking summer tours to Asia and North America and organising new kit launches.
Replica kit provides football clubs with a steady and almost guaranteed annual income that is relied upon to fund other activities. The competition among kit manufacturers can be fierce and the rewards are extensive. We have recently seen the announcement of several high profile deals involving Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa and new replica kit manufacturers. Both clubs and brands will be hoping for successful 2012-13 campaigns to ensure a return on their investments.
The NPD Consumer Panel estimates that the annual replica market in the UK is worth over £300 million, and the UK is the biggest market in Europe for replica sales. With Euro 2012 taking place in Ukraine and Poland this summer, many national team kit manufacturers will be hoping their sponsored countries perform well to boost exposure and purchases.
Children make up more than a third of the replica football market, worth over £100 million, and, when compared to 2009, the last year without a major tournament, the segment grew by eight per cent. With prices remaining stable, it was a volume driven increase that led to the growth in this area.
With the majority of replica shirts being bought for someone other than the buyer, it is clearly in retailers’ interests to make the purchasing experience as easy as possible. In 2011 more than 60 per cent of replica shirts bought were not for the buyer. When we analyse female purchasers of replica shirts, we can see that over 90 per cent of the purchases they made were not for themselves. Male purchasers, on the other hand, mainly buy for themselves.
With replica shirts attracting female purchasers who are buying for someone else, this category provides a good opportunity to upsell to this demographic. Given that replica shirts are generally a high priced item, being able to squeeze an additional purchase from the buyer can make a significant difference to revenues.
Socks, shorts, hats and other football accessories can be positioned strategically to increase visibility when searching through replica shirts. Bundling items together could also prove beneficial, as the incremental spend is a relatively small percentage of the main item.
When females shop in sports shops, it is often because of something a child is asking for, so taking advantage of this moment is critical for retailers. By offering a variety of other products with the main item, it allows the retailer to educate the buyer about the other items available and also allows the buyer to go ‘off script’ and perhaps purchase an additional product independently.
The NPD Group monitors the sales of sports footwear and apparel in many countries around the world. For more information contact The NPD Group sports team on 01932 355580.
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