We are just over 6 months from when the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro began. For most, the 17 days of the Olympiad provided nightly entertainment. For some, like myself, it was around the clock viewing. This meant I watched sports I was never aware of before like handball and badminton. I, like many others, had to take to the Internet to learn more about the sports and their rules.
With 3.5 billion people worldwide watching, countless sports gained awareness that don’t typically get the attention. Some sports have become Olympic staples that only have the attention every four years. Most notably, these include gymnastics, swimming and both indoor and outdoor volleyball.
By analyzing data from Google Trends, we are able to see the variable changes of the searches in these sports. As you can see in the chart above, the three sports follow a similar pattern, whose spikes coincide with the Summer Olympics in 2012 and 2016. Volleyball can be seen in as the blue, gymnastics as the red and swimming as the yellow.
As expected, these sports fluctuate on their own throughout their year. But as someone who devoted a majority of their life to one of these sports (volleyball), I am thrilled to see the interest grow in the sport, even if it is just once every four years.
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).
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.
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.