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Market Opportunity

The Total Available Market (TAM) for athletic wear (which includes apparel and footwear) is a $97 billion a year industry in the United States. [1]

The gym industry places the number of people who engage in fitness in the U.S. at 66.5 million. [2] Taking the TAM, as defined above, and dividing by the 66.5 million, places the average yearly spend per individual at $1,459.

The Serviceable Available Market (SAM) totals 22.5 million and is comprised of individuals who participate frequently in cross-training and high-intensity interval training. [3] Taking this core market and then multiplying by the average yearly spend per person yields a SAM of $32.8 billion per year.


TAM  or Total Available Market is the total market demand for a product or service. SAM  or Serviceable Available Market is the segment of the TAM  targeted by your products and services which is within your geographical reach.


Why Now? Why Us?

Projected Growth for Digitally Native Vertical Athletic Brands

As termed by Bonobos founder, Andy Dunn, “Digitally native vertical brands are maniacally focused on the customer experience and they interact, transact, and story-tell to consumers primarily on the web. Unlike typical e-commerce companies, digitally native vertical brands control their own distribution.” [4]

The US apparel, footwear, and accessories eCommerce market is projected to represent a $118 billion opportunity by 2020. Digitally native brands are expected to coexist with companies like Amazon while taking the market share from legacy players to create a $25 billion sub-segment of this market. [5]

Clothing and clothing accessories (including footwear) is the largest category for online sales, accounting for 17% of all eCommerce sales, double the size of electronics, and growing at a faster rate than overall online sales. Better than 50% of US retail spending growth in 2017 is being driven by eCommerce, and it is estimated that eCommerce represent more than all of growth in US consumer spending beginning in 2019. Market share shift from brick and mortar to online removes the limitations of shelf space and allows brands a direct connection to consumers. [5]

There are several success factors for digitally native brands. the first is brand and product distinction. The key to success is high quality product and differentiation, with the differentiation not based exclusively price. Second is customer acquisition by getting the word out, and recruiting high value customers while establishing durable consumer connections through efficiency and community building. Next, is digital connection and customer retention. Most strong online brands value connection to their customers as a core competency. This is accomplished by leveraging social media, subscriptions, digital platforms, and a range of consumer data. Finally, the frequency of engagements and breadth of exclusive products is a key success factor. Scalability is essential to making brands investable by the public markets or attractive to publicly traded suitors. [5]

Simply put, those companies that are able to connect the right product with the right price, at the right time, and place; win customer and investor dollars. [5]

Millennials Projected to Fuel Growth of Athletic Gear

Millennials are poised to reshape the economy; their unique experiences will change the way we buy and sell. Millennials have grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations. They now account for almost 80 million of the 319 million people living in the United States. Along with buying habits, wellness is a daily and active pursuit for Millennials. They are exercising more, eating smarter, and purchasing brands they find compelling via the internet. As their consumption in other areas drop, they are willing to pay more for athletic gear, with an annual purchasing power of over $200 billion; year-over-year sales growth of athletic apparel continues to grow. [6]


  1. Morgan Stanley  https://morganstanley.com/ideas/global-athletic-wear-geared-for-growth
  2. IHRSA http://www.ihrsa.org/about-the-industry/
  3. 2017 SFIA – Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Total Participation Report
  4. The Book of DNVB https://medium.com/@dunn/digitally-native-vertical-brands-b26a26f2cf83
  5. Stifel Equity Research: Opportunity through Disruption for Specialized Digitally Competent Brands and Branded Platforms. October 2, 2017.
  6. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/01/14/for-athletic-wear-vendors-how-athleisure-can-continue-to-grow-by-remaining-trendy/#72d149b8541