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Nov 28, 2016

Is it still a love game for tennis apparel and footwear?

Is it still a love game for tennis apparel and footwear?
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The NPD Group monitors the sales of sports footwear and apparel in many countries around the world. For more information call the NPD Group sports team on 02082 371316

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The NPD Group examines the trends in tennis across Europe.

Tennis is one of the most actively practised sports in Europe, with the modern game tracing back to 19th century England.

The ATP and WTA world tour regularly come to Europe to arrange tournaments.

Two of the four Grand Slam tournaments are located in Europe – the French Open in Paris and the Wimbledon Championships in London.

The importance of tennis
Many of the male and female top tennis players learned their skills during their younger years in Europe.

The current female and male leaders of the World Tour rankings are Angelique Kerber (Germany) and Novak Djokovic (Serbia). Furthermore, Europe have the most influential faces in the Tennis World – Roger Federer (Swiss) and Rafael Nadal (Spain). And the world’s number one sports brand Nike contracted both.

Roger Federer benefits from his high reputation and it arguably becomes less important if he wins a tennis tournament.

‘RF’ has been a premium logo for a long time and stands for fairness, top performance and elegance combined with modesty and a down-to-earth attitude.

Furthermore it is also the logo from the apparel and footwear team up collections with Nike.

Tennis apparel performance drivers
The tennis apparel market was valued at over £180 million in the European big five countries (France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain) during the 12 months to June 2016, having grown by seven per cent in value over the last decade.

By country, France and Great Britain formed the biggest market shares for tennis apparel in Europe and together represent roughly 50 per cent of the big five volume and value. Over the last decade the tennis apparel market grew in volume and value by roughly 60 per cent in Great Britain.

Nonetheless, in the last two years volume significantly decreased within this category in France and Germany by four per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.

While Great Britain achieved growth in volume and value across all age groups over the last five years (especially strong in 35+ years), France struggled among teenagers and young adults (1424), which represents roughly a quarter of the tennis apparel market value in France.

Weaker performance of tennis footwear in the last decade
In contrast to Apparel, the sales performance in the big five countries of tennis footwear declined over 20 per cent to £218 million in the last decade.

Except for France – which represents 40 per cent of the tennis footwear market and recovered from strong losses in tennis footwear by volume and value – other countries within the big five saw negative growth during the 12 months to June 2016, especially Italy by -£15 million.

While adults over 35 years drove volume and value growth in France, Great Britain lost primarily in this age group. The tennis market for apparel and footwear is highly competitive and smaller brands narrowed the gap to Nike and Adidas.

For example, in the last year to June 2016, Decathlon achieved the number one brand position for tennis apparel and footwear in France and Spain.

Picture: The influential Roger Federer at the Australian Open. Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

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