The Fastest Growing Brands in the World of Sport
The global market for sports – both amateur and professional – is one of the biggest on the planet, especially when you consider the facets that comprise the sports market. There are apparel and equipment manufacturers, broadcasters, and sponsors too. One of the biggest subsectors is the betting scene, with sportsbooks attracting worldwide interest with pre-game and in-play betting on events. A quick glance at oddschecker’s list of operators serving the UK market with free bet promotions suggests there are 48 brands in Britain alone. The sports food and nutrition market is also popular. It aims to improve the diet and recovery of elite athletes as well as budding amateurs. In addition, the speed of technological advances has also ushered in a new wave of elite virtual sports, known as Esports.
With so many innovative companies looking to take the global sports industry forward, we’ve taken the time to assess the brands making the biggest splashes in terms of products and services for teams, professionals, and enthusiasts alike.
Fanatics is one of the most impressive growth stories in the sports industry. The company started out in licensed sports apparel, teaming up with some of the biggest sports franchises in North America and beyond. Its omnichannel, mobile-first approach helped the Fanatics brand establish quickly become well-established.
Aside from its e-commerce capabilities, Fanatics has also strategically invested in Candy Digital to develop its own digital collectible platform underpinned by non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Officially licensed NFTs have become the latest craze for Fanatics users. They can be bought, sold, and traded peer-to-peer on the Fanatics blockchain.
Strava has rapidly grown into the world’s leading tracker for physical exercise, most notably cycling and running. Strava relies on Global Positioning System (GPS) data to triangulate your movements, with the ability to share and discuss your latest rides or runs on social media channels. As of 2022, Strava had broken the 100-million user mark and has achieved a company valuation of $1.5 billion.
In fact, Strava’s active user base has more than doubled in the last two years, due in part to the growing importance of individual exercise. Although Strava was originally developed for cyclists, it now covers 31 activities, including rock climbing, canoeing, and even yoga. It’s an app that’s kept community and social engagement at its heart.
FanDuel was established in the Scottish city of Edinburgh way back in July 2009. Today, it has become a global daily fantasy sport (DFS) and sports betting brand. It is majority-owned by Flutter Entertainment, while almost a fifth of the company is owned by the world-renowned media giant Fox Corporation. Fanduel started out focusing on DFS across all NFL games and came within a whisker of merging with DraftKings. This was prevented by the Federal Trade Commission over the likelihood of creating a monopoly in the DFS market.
In July 2018, FanDuel was then acquired by Paddy Power Betfair, now known as Flutter Entertainment. The outlaw of PASPA breathed new life into the US sports betting market and FanDuel has since taken full advantage with the launch of its online sportsbook in licensed US states. In fact, FanDuel now boasts a 42 percent market share in the US, contributing to a 67 percent rise in revenue year-on-year.
American software firm Hudl has changed the game for video analysis in elite-level sports. Coaches worldwide have started to embrace the power of Hudl, which now supplies over 200,000 professional teams with video and data to inform the team and individual player strategies. With the sport becoming increasingly big business, Hudl is helping managers, coaches, and athletes to gain an edge over the competition.
Some of the most impressive and commercially successful content products by Hudl include Wyscout and Instat. Wyscout is the biggest video and stats database for professional football. InStat, meanwhile, was acquired by Hudl back in August 2022 to provide an additional layer of data analysis, specializing in sports like basketball and hockey.
There can be no denying that technology is unpeeling the layers of complexity of sport, making sense of every aspect to improve post-match awareness and in-game decision-making.