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Why Under Armour is Capitalizing on India’s Leading Sportswear Market

Sneha Santra
Sneha Santra Mar 29 2019 - 3 min read
Why Under Armour is Capitalizing on India’s Leading Sportswear Market
India has emerged as one of the leading markets for sportswear and athleisure brands.

Sports wears are making their way out of the ground and becoming an important part of people’s wardrobe. Athleisure is a recent fashion trend in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities can be worn in other settings.

With many celebrities donning the athleisure look, it has become a hit fashion statement among the millennials. It has been a sensation in the apparel industry, with an estimated market size of $83 billion USD. 

Celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West have transformed the perception of active wears and made it a fashion statement. Celebrity and designer athleisure lines are influencing consumers to subscribe to this ‘new’ active yet stylish lifestyle.

India has emerged as one of the leading markets for sportswear and athleisure brands. The Indian sportswear market grew 22 per cent, outpacing the segment’s global increase of 7 per cent. This is the reason why there is a wave of growing interest among foreign sports retailers to enter the Indian Market.

Recently, one of the leading sportswear brands in the world, Under Armour has marked its foray into India with the launch of its first brick and mortar store in Delhi. The brand will be taking the franchise route to further expand its footprint in India.

Why India

India is the world’s seventh largest economy and is expected to see gross domestic product grow 7.5 per cent in 2019. By 2020, it is expected to grow an additional 12 per cent CAGR with sales expected to reach 8 billion US dollars. There has been a significant increase in the Indian population’s health and fitness and brand awareness. Major players are tapping the Indian consumers for high growth; there are various reasons which make the Indian market favourable. Some of them are listed below,

-Large unsaturated markets

-Positive and high growth of GDP

-The growing middle class and the young population

-Increased the government and private sector focus on this sector

-FDI Policy

Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO, Under Armour, said, “India is the last piece of the puzzle in this part of the world for us, and an incredibly important market. As a nation with a long, rich history in sports and an accelerating focus on health and wellness, we look forward to building a strong foundation for our brand in India and driving our ability to achieve even greater long-term, international growth.”

Franchise Route

Franchising has become the most sought after mode of expansion. Given the many advantages, various brands, both domestic & International, are expanding via franchising. Under Armour also took the franchising route instead of the single-brand retail route.

According to the brand’s expansion plan, they are leveraging on the local knowledge of the franchise partners and tapping into the expertise of Indian entrepreneurs to scale up quickly.

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