The Rise of Athleisure During the Pandemic

Julie Tsai

Demand for health and wellness-related products and services has grown steadily over the years, even before Covid-19. As the majority of the world drastically changes their spending habits and consumer behaviors, the demand has only been amplified as health and wellness were top priorities for consumers. With the shift towards comfort wear and at-home workout items, the activewear segment has proven to be more resilient to the pandemic compared to the rest of the industry.

Launched just before lockdowns, American retailer, Target, reported $1B in sales for their new activewear line, All In Motion. According to the market research company, Allied Market Research, the global activewear industry is expected to reach nearly $547B by 2024. This comes as no surprise as more brands and retailers enter the growing category with their own activewear lines, in hopes of a piece of the pie. To analyze the segment’s year-over-year performance growth since the pandemic, Launchmetrics looked at top 10 players in the industry including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, New Balance, Gymshark, Under Armour, Lululemon, FILA, and Athleta. Dive in below to discover the rise of athleisure!

The top 10 players earned $5.2B Media Impact Value™ in 2020

Unsurprisingly, the year-over-year (YoY) growth of all 10 active brands saw an increase in their overall Media Impact Value™. Of the top 10 players selected for our analysis, activewear giant Nike placed first in the overall performance ranking. Generating over $2.16B MIV® in the year 2020, Nike experienced a +15% MIV® growth in comparison to 2019. While Nike scored the top MIV®, New Balance secured the highest year-over-year growth with an incredible +70% increase in their Media Impact Value™.

Rise of Athleisure

Media was the strongest Voice during The Rise of Athleisure

To understand how much value each Voice is contributing to a brand’s performance, our team analyzed the Voice Mix and overwhelmingly, Media proved to be the strongest Voice for the top 10 players, with only DTC activewear brand, Gymshark, relying more heavily on their Owned Media and Influencers during 2020. With 48% of their total MIV® generated from their Owned Media channels, it’s evident that the young activewear brand has a powerful presence in an industry that is traditionally dominated by activewear giants such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma.

the rise of athleisure

The rise of athleisure is here to stay

As the world strives to reopen, it will be exciting to see how the health and wellness movement continues to accelerate the growth of activewear brands and how brands across different industries will adapt and leverage this opportunity. Whether they choose to create their own activewear lines,  introduce an outdoor wear collection,  or collaborate with notable partners on exclusive campaigns, health and wellness will likely remain a focal point for consumers. It certainly seems like the rise of athleisure is here to stay.

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