In The Fitness Wear Market, Two Legends Are Still King

For many years, Nike and Adidas battled for the top spot for the fitness wear category. It wasn’t until the mid 1990s when a new strong competitor, Under Armour, entered the market and quickly gained popularity. It was even predicted by many that Under Armour would have the possibility to dethrone the two that sit at the top of the category. However, just over 20 years later, that is just not the case.

The two major indicators that show popularity and strength of business in this market can be seen in Goggle Trends data as well as stock price history. First, the graph below shows Google Trends from the past 5 years between the three brands. As you can see, Nike (red) and Adidas (yellow) are searched significantly more than Under Armour (blue).

Google Trends data taken on Feb. 12th, 2017.

Although Under Armour has gained notable endorsements of Tom Brady, Steph Curry and Jordan Spieth, an explanation for their lack of search popularity could be their lack of a global presence. Nike and especially Adidas are known for their strength in global markets, something Under Armour has not achieved yet.

Another example that shows the disparity in the market is the stock prices from the past 5 years. As seen in the images below, Under Armour is significantly behind the two front runners. Somewhat surprisingly, Adidas sits at the top of the pack, being much higher than both Nike and Under Armour.

Data taken from Google on Feb. 12th, 2017.
Data taken from Google on Feb. 12th, 2017.
Data taken from Google on Feb. 12th, 2017.

As always, no one knows what the future holds and it will be interesting to see what the fitness wear market looks like 20 years from now.