The Biggest Sports Brands In The World In 2022

The Biggest Sports Brands In The World In 2022

Because sports are such an important part of our lives, many people are obsessed with finding a piece of sportswear that is both comfortable and of high quality. 

As a result, famous sports brands are constantly providing high-quality apparel, sports equipment, and footwear, attracting an increasing number of people to incorporate sports into their lives and, overall, to build a healthier lifestyle.

But, how well do you know the biggest sports brands in the world?

Check out the top 10 sportswear giants dominating the sports market and which of them generate the most income.

Nike

  • Founded: January 1964 by Philip Knight and Bill Bowerman
  • Owner: Philip Knight
  • World Headquarters: Beaverton, Oregon, USA
  • Main sports product: Footwear

Nike, the Beaverton giant, has unquestionably been the world’s largest sports brand for many years. Phil Knight, then a track runner at the University of Oregon, and his coach Bill Bowerman founded the company.

Shoes have remained their primary product throughout the years, and they have generated more than £16 billion in revenue from shoes alone every year since 2017. Nike has a solution for every sporting need, from tennis, golf, and soccer, to everyday working-out gear.

The world’s largest apparel and footwear supplier employs over 73,000 people worldwide and has generated £37.5 billion in revenue. 

This market leader is well-known for endorsements and sponsorship deals with famous athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, and Michael Jordan. It also provides uniforms to three major American sports leagues: the NBA, the NFL, and Major League Baseball.

Adidas

  • Founded: August 1949 by Adolf Dassler
  • Owner: Adidas AG
  • World Headquarters: Herzogenaurach, Germany
  • Main sports product: Footwear

Adidas, Nike’s major rival and the world’s second most popular and richest sportswear brand, has long been a leading brand in international sports, particularly European soccer. It all began with the creation of football-specific footwear but has since expanded to include a good deal of sportswear and equipment. Adolf Dassler, a German cobbler and inventor, established the famous “Brand with Three Stripes” in 1949 and now employs over 61,000 people worldwide.

Adidas is well-known for its collaborations with celebrities, such as Beyonce, Kanye West, Lionel Messi, and Paul Pogba, as well as it’s sponsorship of many sporting events and teams. For many years, their main selling product has been sneakers.

In addition to many partnerships with soccer clubs, Adidas has been an official sponsor and supplier of the FIFA World Cup since 1998. From all the endorsement deals and sponsorships, the company generated up to £18 billion by 2021 in annual revenue, and £20.1 billion as of May 12, 2022.

Puma

  • Founded: January 1948 by Rudolf Dassler
  • Owner: Puma SE
  • World Headquarters: Herzogenaurach, Germany
  • Main sports product: Footwear

You might be surprised to learn that the founders of Adidas and Puma are brothers. Puma was founded one year later, and despite being much smaller than its brother company, it still ranks third in the sportswear market with over 14,000 employees. The first product produced in 1948 was the soccer boots, and by today, Puma still specialises in footwear but also has evolved into a significant clothing brand.

Puma’s collaborations with famous athletes such as Neymar and Usain Bolt have proven successful, but the Fenty x Puma collaboration with Rihanna has increased the company’s sales by around 17 per cent in 2020, reaching £6.2 billion in 2021.

They increased sales by 20% to £1.6 million in the first quarter of 2022. Apart from footwear and activewear, the company is well-known for selling sports accessories such as balls, watches, and glasses.

Under Armour

  • Founded: September 25, 1996
  • Owner: Kevin Plank
  • World Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Main sports product: Performance apparel

Under Armour is one of the most popular sports brands in the US, but also in Europe and Asia. Despite being a relatively newer company, founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, it has grown to become one of the biggest sports brands, still rapidly rising in the sports industry. Originally intended to design only clothing, the company has expanded into accessories and footwear, including football boots, basketball sneakers, and running shoes, over the last two decades. Still, their most profitable product category appears to be apparel, accounting for two-thirds of total sales.

The company employs approximately 12,300 people worldwide and has an annual revenue of approximately £4.6 billion. It has collaborations with athletes and celebrities, including US golfer Jordan Spieth and soccer player Kelley O’Hara, as well as Dwayne Johnson and Tom Brady, but its most successful and profitable collaboration is with NBA star Stephen Curry. Curry has been with Under Armour since 2013, and his annual contract is said to be worth £16 million.

Air Jordan

  • Founded: November 1984 by Nike
  • Owner: Nike
  • World Headquarters: Beaverton, Oregon, USA
  • Main sports product: Footwear

Air Jordan, a well-known brand owned by Nike, was founded in 1984 when NBA legend Michael Jordan collaborated with Nike to create the popular Air Jordan 1. With reported revenue of £3.8 billion, the Jordan Brand has grown into one of the world’s biggest sports brands over the years.

The brand is best known for its Jordan sneakers and basketball shoes, but it also sells casual and athletic sports clothing and accessories, including iconic hats and backpacks.

Air Jordan I High “Black Toe” and “Chicago” remain among the best-selling Jordans worldwide.

Jordan is the Ligue 1 team PSG’s sponsor, with the Jumpman logo appearing on the club’s uniforms. It also sponsors NBA players Luka Doni, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul, as well as national basketball teams from Croatia, Argentina, and France. In 2019, Jayson Tatum became an ambassador of the famous brand.

New Balance

  • Founded: 1906 by William Riley
  • Owner: Jim Davis & family
  • World Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Main sports product: Footwear

Unlike most of the popular sports brands, the initial idea for founding New Balance was to create orthopaedics and foot support for people struggling with foot problems. However, as the demand for running shoes grew in the late 1950s, the company released the “New Balance Trackster” shoes for athletes.

Today, New Balance offers a diverse range of sports products, including sportswear, fitness gear, and various sports accessories. Even so, their main selling product is the shoes, which sales contributed to increasing the company’s revenue reaching £2.6 billions.

New Balance is well-known for its sponsorship agreements with major football clubs such as Liverpool, Porto, Roma, and Lille. It also sponsors famous athletes like Raheem Sterling, Sadio Mané, and Kawhi Leonard.

Columbia Sportswear

  • Founded: 1938 by Paul Lamfrom
  • Owner: Columbia Sportswear Co.
  • World Headquarters: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Main sports product: Outdoor apparel
  • Worldwide sportswear sales: £2.6 billion

Another of the top sports brands in the world is Columbia Sportswear, which is a company that mostly focuses on creating outerwear and hiking equipment. Columbia Sportswear has a few subsidiary brands, such as Sorel, Mountain Hardwear and PrAna.

As the popularity of outdoor sports grows, Columbia Sportswear, in addition to producing authentic outwear and footwear, distributes ski apparel, outwear accessories, headgear, and so on. Furthermore, many consider it to be one of the best sports brands in the world for creating any type of winter sports apparel.

The company numbers over 8,000 employees in 129 outlet retail stores around the globe. It generates approximately £2.6 billion in sales and has sponsorship deals with many sports fishers and golfers.

Champion

  • Founded: 1919 by Feinbloom family
  • Owner: Hanesbrands Inc.
  • World Headquarters: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
  • Main sports product: Sportswear

Founded in 1919 by the Feinbloom family embers, the company began by producing uniforms for the teams of the University of Michigan, knitwear, and sweatshirts. During the 1990s, Champion produced kits for all the NBA teams and the Olympic basketball team when they competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics. 

Champion is mostly known for its clothing lines, activewear, working-out clothes etc, but also manufactures footwear such as sneakers, slides and sandals. The main selling products for years now continue to be their hoodies and sweatshirts. 

As a subsidiary of Hanesbrands, which has approximately 68,000 employees worldwide, Champion’s revenue in 2021 was estimated to be £1.6 billion, and they’re aiming to increase this number by 2024 to £2.4 billion.

Reebok

  • Founded: 1960 by Joe and Jeff Foster Foster
  • Owner: Authentic Brands Group
  • World Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Main sports product: Footwear

The Boston-based company Reebok stands among the world’s top sportswear brands, and the shoes produced by Reebok are one of the most worn globally. Reebok has been a subsidiary of Adidas since 2005, but as of August 2021, the company is acquired by Authentic Brands Group. 

Reebok earns a good amount of money from sponsorship deals with some basketball legends and UFC fighters. One of the biggest names representing this brand is Conor McGregor, the rapper Jay Z, Victoria Beckham, and Ariana Grande.

Reebok produces sports clothing, deodorants, and sports accessories such as bags and fitness equipment, but they are best known for their footwear. In 2020, the company’s net worth was estimated to be around £1.3 billion. The ABG intends to increase Reebok’s revenue from sales to £8 billion within five years.

Patagonia

  • Founded: 1965 by Yvon Chouinard and Tom Frost
  • Owner: Yvon Chouinard
  • World Headquarters: Ventura, California, USA
  • Main sports product: Outdoor gear

Founded by the rock climber Yvon Chouinard and Tom Frost as “Chouinard Equipment”, Patagonia is a business similar to Columbia Sportswear, mostly known for its outdoor adventure clothing. But, unlike the previously mentioned companies, Patagonia started manufacturing climbing pitons. Chouinard invented sturdy pitons that could be reused, instead of being left placed in the rock.

Patagonia is known today for providing eco-friendly, sustainable products for outdoor activities, such as rock climbing and alpine climbing, and also offers skiing equipment and wetsuits. It has sponsorship deals with many athletes, from surfers, climbers, and snowboarders to ultra-marathon runners.

The brand has over 70 stores worldwide, and nearly £641 million in revenue in 2019. Patagonia’s popularity has been maintained over the years as a leading brand with loyal customers, composed of both outdoor adventurers and fashionable consumers.

Bottom Line

Sports have become an important part of people’s daily lives, so having high-quality sports equipment is essential.

Besides having high-quality goods and an excellent reputation, social media and marketing play an important role in a brand’s sales success.

Maybe you found your favourite among these ten biggest sports brands in the world that have been dominating for decades now. And we are absolutely obsessed with them.

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