Over the past few years, an upsurge in the awareness about fitness & health among the global population is being witnessed, driven by the desire for better and healthy lifestyle. This has further spurred the interest of individuals in various sports, and softball is no exception. Growing interest in softball among the general public has created significant demand for softball equipment. Individuals currently seek tailored softball products that meet their expectations and needs, which in turn has led manufacturers of softball equipment to offer customized equipment. In addition to its association with health benefits, softball is now being viewed as a medium of social engagement, and outlet for personal accomplishment. In addition, several softball tournaments have been introduced, which in turn have proliferated the participation in the sport. Innovations in softball equipment including gloves and bats are further boosting their sales. However, a notable rise in adoption of counterfeit products is expected to be a major threat for companies in the softball equipment market, as sports equipment are highly vulnerable to persisting economic conditions worldwide. Counterfeit softball equipment have adverse effects on brand names and revenues generated in the market.
Fact.MR’s recently published report envisages an average expansion for the global softball equipment market over the period 2017 to 2026. Worldwide sales of softball equipment are forecast to exceed US$ 550 Mn in revenues by 2026-end.
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High disposable incomes of the population in North American countries is expected to remain a major factor driving growth of the softball equipment market in the region. In addition, people in North America are increasingly becoming health-conscious and adopting measures to keep themselves fit as well as engaged in social activities, and softball is one of the popular means in catering to both these requirements. The female population in the region is also taking high interest in the sport. Driven by aforementioned factors, North America will continue to be the largest market for softball equipment.
Based on product type, softball bats are likely to lead the market in terms of revenues, with demand mainly driven by huge adoption of wooden softball bats by professional as well as amateur players. In addition, rising retail costs of softball bats are further complementing revenue generation through this product segment.
Third party online channel are projected to remain the fastest expanding as well as dominant sales channel for softball equipment during 2017 to 2026. Based on buyer type, individual buyers will account for the largest revenue share of the market over the forecast period.
The global market for softball equipment will continue to be dominated by few leading vendors competing in terms of market reach and product offerings. Competition in the market is expected to intensify in the upcoming years, with growing product extensions and shares of the vendors. These vendors are introducing innovative equipment for enhancing their product portfolio and increasing their market share through products such as softball bats with enhanced swing speed, lightweight gloves, and tracking technologies. Key players driving growth of the softball equipment market globally include Nike, Newell Brands Inc., Mizuno Corporation, Under Armour Inc., Phoenix Bat Company, Adidas, Amer Sports, Zett Corporation, Schutt Sports Inc., and Peak Achievement Athletics.
4 Key Future Prospects of Softball Equipment Market for Forecast Period 2017-2026
North America will spearhead the global softball equipment market, in terms of revenues. Europe and Asia-Pacific excluding Japan are also expected to remain major markets for softball equipment, with sales collectively projected to account for nearly 30% market share by 2026-end.
On the basis of product type, bats will continue to be sought-after in the market, with sales poised to surpass US$ 350 Mn in revenues by 2026-end. Revenues from sales of softball bats are estimated to remain significantly larger than those from all the other product segments combined. Gloves are also expected to prevail as a lucrative product in the market.
Third party online channels and modern trade are expected to remain the leading revenue contributors to the global softball equipment market, based on sales channel. Third party online channel will also persist as the fastest expanding sales channel for softball equipment, trailed by direct to customer online channel.
Based on buyer type, individual segment will continue to lead the market, with an estimated revenue share of over 66% during 2017 to 2026. Institutional buyers will also latch onto a major chunk of the market’s revenue share during the forecast period.
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