Global football market will score £10bn this year due to World Cup effect, NPD Group claims


With World Cup mania now clearly building up in Britain, The NPD Group, a global information company, has unveiled figures underlining the size of the lucrative global football market that includes football boots, kit and related equipment such as footballs, gloves and shin pads.

Constant growth since 2006 worldwide 

NPD Group figures show the global football market is in good shape and has grown at a healthy rate of +4% on average per year since 2006.  NPD estimated the value of the global football market in 2013 to be £9.38bn (€11.6 billion). This figure should reach £10.1bn (€12.5bn) in 2014, an 8% increase on 2013. In addition, it’s not just the football market that will benefit from the World Cup; demand for sport brands generally is expected to increase before and during the tournament.

“The growth rate varies from year to year,” said Richard Hunt, director UK Sport, The NPD Group. “The even-numbered years – when the UEFA European Championship or the FIFA World Cup took place – drove market growth, while the uneven years experienced stable market activity.  We expect the growth rate to slow down slightly in the next five years owing to the saturation of the European market, the ageing population worldwide, increasing urbanisation (which makes it more difficult to find a local football pitch) and the rise of individual sports.”

The driving forces 

According to NPD Group data, Britain comes in at number three in the rankings of the countries with the biggest turnover linked to football. In Europe Britain is surprisingly dynamic, with the football segment representing almost 10% of the national sports market. Over the last two years the US, Central America (Mexico) and South America (Brazil) have powered the market.

The “World Cup effect” 

The NPD Group data shows that the football World Cup adds one full percentage point of growth to the global sports market compared to a year without this event. The 2014 World Cup should therefore make a contribution of £2.20bn (€2.73bn) to global sports turnover (£220.7bn/€273bn in 2012).

The NPD Group: The World Cup Effect in 2010 

Product Average turnover increase in 2010 in the top five 

European markets (May – August) 

Total Sport Market +5% 

Football Kit +30% 

Footballs (estimate) +30% 

Football Boots +12% 

The World Cup will have a particularly striking impact on sales of football kit. During the last World Cup in 2010, the NPD Group reported an average +9% growth of football kit sales compared to the previous year in the big five

European markets. Sales of footballs are expected to increase by even more than this and have historically peaked by +30% during the four weeks of the FIFA World Cup.

“Some 40% of the one percentage point growth attributed to the World Cup comes from products directly linked to the sport such as football kit and footballs, but the demand for sports brands in general is stronger during this period and accounts for the other 60% of the growth. So the “World Cup Effect” is about much more than classic football items and this presents a huge business opportunity for sports brands. If they make the most of the event they will see an impact on their entire product portfolio,” said Hunt.