A new study by research network Access Marketing Management has analyzed the sportswear market in Germany by collecting statements in 1,510 face to face interviews amongst 14- to 30-year-olds. The investigation was aimed sports fashion and shoe branches and examined the positioning of 25 leading sportswear brands.

As a first result, it was clearly proven how both sportswear as such and the brand names behind play a very important role for the young target group. Nearly 70% stated that they value sports and exercise and two thirds of all respondents claimed to regard branded goods as “important” or even “very important”. The examined target group spends an average amount of €433 per year on sportswear and 31.4% spend more than €500 per year.

Top Brands Score High Awareness
The knowledge of brand names was accordingly high. The average participant recognized 18 of the 25 presented labels with males recorded as being even more well-informed (74.5% average awareness of the presented labels) than girls (68.3% average awareness of the brands). The segment's top brands scored even higher awareness levels; Adidas, Nike and Puma were familiar to nearly 100% of the informants and were the most popular ones (in that order). Moreover, they occupy the same high ranks in terms of image and buying frequency. The comparison of these three parameters sheds light on how well brands manage to utilize their sales potential through distribution and communication. Interestingly, a few lesser-known labels such as Mizuno performed well in this comparison, whilst others failed to fully unlock their potential (e.g. Reebok).

Five Dimensions of Brand Evaluation
To find out about the reasons of such shortcomings, Access Marketing Management examined 25 important aspects of brand evaluation that can be condensed into the following five dimensions: (1) Image and Fashion, (2) Quality and Wearing Comfort, (3) Functionality, (4) Sustainability and Social Standards and (5) Price and Availability. The study asked its participants to evaluate each of the 25 brands in all aspects on a scale from 1 (very good) to 6 (very poor). While the brands’ functionality ranged from very good 1.4 points (Adidas) to rather critical 3.7 points (Ecko), the variance in other categories was much smaller. Sustainability and social standards were, for example, evaluated with rather average grades, ranging between 2.7 and 3.2.

Based on these findings, the study categorized the different brands into seven different segments. These ranged from “Established Sports Brands with High Quality Demand” (e.g. Adidas, Nike and Puma) to “Premium Fashion” (e.g. Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste).

The full study can be purchased as a printed (€300) or PDF version (€290) directly from Access Marketing Management e.V.