China’s sports and fitness market is predicted to exceed $725 billion in value by 2025, more than triple the $216 billion it was worth in 2016, according to a report compiled by The Economist and sponsored by the Chinese sportswear giant Anta Sports Products Limited. It is expected that China’s sports-to-GDP ratio will reach 3 percent or higher by 2025, significantly higher than the number recorded in 2015 of 1.9 percent.
Titled “China gets its game on: The emerging power of China’s sports and fitness industry,” the publication marks the first time a sportswear company has come together with an authoritative international economic and financial media outlet, The Economist, and its ECN division to research the scale and potential of the sports and fitness industry in China.
Presenting the report to 80 senior executives from leading companies, the investment community and media outlets, James Zheng, Executive Director at ANTA Sports and Brand President of ANTA, said, “This independent research, along with the report’s discussion with senior management and experts in the industry, will help policymakers, industry players, sports lovers and the public gain more detailed understanding of the latest developments in China’s sports market from a macro perspective, as well as revealing the market’s future landscape and opportunities. It is our hope that the report will generate more interest in China’s sports market and initiate discussions on its development.”
Turning to “New Opportunities” the report says: “ The Chinese government is backing programs which promote sports among the population, with the country’s State Council aiming to increase the size of China’s sports and fitness market to exceed RMB 5 trillion in value by 2025, more than a triple of RMB 1.5 billion 2016… China is supporting the development of soccer by enhancing its performance in the sport. In addition, the hosting of the Winter Olympics in 2022 will further promote winter sports domestically. Traditional wellness practices are being combined with modern popular sports, with people now paying more attention to their health and athletic performance, which in turn substantially increases the demand for sportswear. There is much higher demand for sportswear that can enhance sports performance, which means that sports participants and consumers are tending to choose sportswear based on ‘functionalization’, ‘differentiation’ and ‘premiumization’.”
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.