Golf is steadily shedding its elite status, as a new demographic of consumers is introduced to the sport. Today, golf continues to witness active participation from people across all ages in different parts of the world. The rising popularity of the sport has led to an increase in the number of international sporting events organized across the globe – Golf's Ryder Cup scheduled to be held in France this year is a case in point. The increasing popularity of this sport has not only translated into a bigger TV audience for international sporting events, but has also pushed up sales of merchandising and golf equipment. Of particular significance has been the spurt in sales of golf apparel, with many brands broadening their range of offerings to cater evolving demand.
Advent of 'Footgolf' Likely to Introduce a New Consumer Segment to the Market
As golf is becoming a popular sport in various countries of Europe, playing footgolf has been witnessed as a recent trend among amateur golf enthusiasts. International government organizations such as FIFG (The Federation for International Footgolf) are taking various initiatives to organize global golf tourism and international sport events such as FIFG World Cup. Increasing participation of professional players in these events is likely to influence new players to take up this sport at a professional level – this in turn is likely to translate into increasing spending on apparel and equipment.
Technology Advancements to Underscore Lucrative Growth Opportunities
Emerging technological developments has led to significant transformations in the golf sports. In order to offer apparel that boost performance, the manufacturers are focusing on manufacturing leisure golf clothing that is equipped with features that maximize comfort and flexibility while playing. Besides golf clothing apparel, manufacturers are also focusing on integrating advanced features and designs in golf equipment to enhance the performance of the players. Leading manufacturers are opting for soft plastic casing, with multiply layers covering the golf ball that will allow ideal swing of the ball. The broader developments in terms of incorporation of innovative technology in golf apparel and equipment are likely to augur well for the prospects of the global golf apparel market.
Steadily Growing Popularity of Golf Among Women: A Potential Opportunity for Manufacturers
A recent trend witnessed is the increasing participation of the women golf players in various international golf sports. International sports organizations are taking initiatives in order to encourage women for participating in this sport. In addition, these organizations are also establishing golf sport events at the global level for women, such as One-Day International events. As more women are actively participating in golf sport events, manufacturers are focusing on creating women-centric products. It is highly likely that women golf apparel will become a staple in the product offerings of leading brands in the future.
Production of Golf Apparel to Boost Employment
Increasing production of golf apparel for the local, state-level, and international golf players is creating employment opportunities in both developed and developing countries. The increasing popularity of golf as a sport event is providing an impetus to the golf apparel and equipment manufacturing. In addition, increasing preference for high-quality apparel, equipped with smart technology has further led to growing need for workers in the manufacturing units. Growing demand for golf apparel and equipment is also inducing broader macroeconomic developments concerning employment and job growth.
Seasonality of the Game Continues to Remain a Challenge for Sustaining Interest
As the golf sports can mainly be practiced and played during the summers and winters, golf apparel sales continue to be sluggish during the off-seasons. In addition, due to the seasonality of the game, the golf sport events can only be organized in winters and summers. Demand for golf apparel and equipment has traditionally remained modest during off-seasons, and the status quotient is unlikely to change in the future.
Preference for Low-Priced and Counterfeit Products to Dampen Global Market Growth
Availability of counterfeit products is also expected to inhibit growth of the global golf apparel market. As the counterfeit products are comparatively cheaper, customers prefer spending on apparel that are offered at reasonable and lower prices. Moreover, the event organizers have limited budget for hosting international sports events. In order to stay within their budgets, the event organizers prefer spending on affordable options, which creates challenges for leading golf apparel companies.
Overall, the global market is expected to witness a positive growth attributed to surge in demand for apparel with flexible and comfortable designs. Incorporation of leading technology is also expected to rev up sales of the golf apparel globally. Initiatives taken by the international organizations to encourage participation of women players is also expected to contribute towards growth of the global market. However, seasonality of the game and limited participation rates continues to be a longstanding challenge for widespread sales of golf apparel.