The sportswear industry is booming, but Nike is having a hard time riding the wave

Daniel Ackerman Jun 27, 2024
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Newer, trendy brands like Hoka, Lululemon and On Running are trying to chip away at Nike's market share of the sneaker business. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The sportswear industry is booming, but Nike is having a hard time riding the wave

Daniel Ackerman Jun 27, 2024
Heard on:
Newer, trendy brands like Hoka, Lululemon and On Running are trying to chip away at Nike's market share of the sneaker business. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Nike announces its quarterly earnings this afternoon. The sportswear industry is worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year globally and is growing. But Nike and the old guard of the industry aren’t necessarily cashing in.

It’s a pretty good time to be in the sportswear business. Participation in women’s sports is growing and dress codes have loosened, per Jessica Ramírez with Jane Hali and Associates.

“We entered a comfort zone in terms of trend quite some years ago,” she said.

But industry titans like Nike aren’t taking any victory laps. Cool, young upstarts are chasing them down, Ramírez said. Think Hoka, Lululemon and On Running.

“So everyone’s out to get a piece of the sneaker business,” Ramírez said.

And some consumers may see Nike as a dinosaur brand, according to Neil Saunders with GlobalData.

“It’s still the undoubted leader in market share terms,” he said, “but in terms of the growth profile, Nike’s performance can best be described as ‘lackluster.'”

Nike could win some shine back at the Olympics next month. Lebron James and Team USA will be shooting for gold with the Nike Swoosh on their jerseys.

“It will be a very visible part of the Olympics — it always is,” Saunders said.

Problem is, those upstart brands will be marketing at the games too.

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