NPD: “The Olympic Effect” on Footwear Sales?

In Industry Experts, Industry News, What's New by Accessories StaffLeave a Comment

Shoe envy? Team USA women’s soccer player celebrate their win Monday against Canada

Port Washington, NY—As Americans rush home from work to see their latest favorites—like Aly Raisman who won a gold medal in floor exercise today—their enthusiasm for the Olympics and other major sports events may actually help sales of athletic footwear.

According to The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, studies show that the sales of sports footwear have always peaked during the months of high-profile sporting events.

Over the past four years, basketball footwear sales increased in February, the month of the NBA Basketball All-Star game, and they also grew in August (back-to-school) and December (holiday).

“Sport events like the NBA All Star Game, the World Cup, and the Olympics offer brands the opportunity to get some of the big-time presence,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group. “But using these platforms to give a brand the ‘lift factor’ is never a guarantee due to the oversaturation of brand sponsorships.”

Even though a national sporting event will help drive consumers to purchase products, in sports there is a local layer to also consider. Looking at the geo-targeted data in the top three cities where basketball shoes are sold (New York,Chicago, andHouston), all had success in February, the month of the NBA All Star Game.



ranked on $ volume

Importance of basketball to total Athletic Footwear

Importance of basketball to total Athletic Footwear













“Event marketing is an art. Companies must select the right venue, team and/or athlete to complement their brands and relate to their target audience,” said Cohen. “The ultimate prize is the emotional association award– the needle will move when consumers connect your brand with an event, team, and athlete they are very passionate about.”

And those sales aren’t necessarily to sports participants. NPD has reported that the majority of athletic shoes are bought for casual wear.

“Many historical moments were made in the Olympics so far this summer giving brands like Nike and Speedo high-visibility,” added Cohen. “Will the iconic images of the Fab Five Gymnastics team victory or of the Michael Phelps final career swim give the brands that ‘lift factor’? Only time will tell.”

*Includes performance, sports lifestyle, and classic basketball footwear, all wearer genders.

About The NPD Group, Inc.

The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. More than 2,000 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless.