Manufacturing of sporting goods
Data extracted in March 2022.
Planned article update: May 2023.
In 2019, EU enterprises manufacturing sporting goods generated a value added of €2.2 billion.
Germany, Italy, France and Austria contributed to over 70 % of the value added by EU enterprises manufacturing sporting goods in 2019.
In the EU, between 2015 and 2020, the value of production of sporting goods grew by over 5 % per year.
Number of enterprises manufacturing sporting goods, 2019
This article presents data on enterprises active in the NACE sector ’Manufacturing of sports goods’ in the European Union (EU) collected to provide structural business statistics (SBS), while the data on the production of sporting goods are collected under the PRODCOM survey.
Structural business statistics - enterprises producing sporting goods in NACE group 32.3
Of the economic activities covered by structural business statistics, only one NACE group relates exclusively to sport – 32.3 ’Manufacturing of sports goods’. It includes manufacturing of the following articles and equipment for sports and outdoor and indoor games (excluding clothing and footwear):
- hard, soft and inflatable balls
- rackets, bats and clubs
- skis, bindings and poles
- sailboards and surfboards
- requisites for sport fishing, including landing nets
- requisites for hunting, mountain climbing etc.
- leather sports gloves and sports headgear
- basins for swimming and padding pools etc.
- ice skates, roller skates etc.
- bows and crossbows
- gymnasium, fitness centre or athletic equipment.
Not all sporting goods are produced by businesses included in this NACE sector. Data on production, presented in the second part of the article, cover a larger scope of products (e.g. boats, footwear, etc.). Nevertheless, data on businesses are available only for NACE group 32.3.
Over €2 billion of value added generated by businesses that produced sporting goods in 2019
In 2019, in the European Union (EU) overall, the sector that produced sporting goods generated €2.2 billion in value added, while its turnover (the total value of market sales of goods and services) totalled around €7 billion (see Table 1).
Number of enterprises that produced sporting goods
France, Czechia, Germany and Poland accounted for almost half of the total number of enterprises that produce sporting goods in the EU (no data available for Ireland and Malta), exceeding a share of 10 % of the EU total of such enterprises. For three countries (Slovakia, Belgium and Estonia) the percentage was less than 1 %, while two (Cyprus and Luxembourg) did not report any data on enterprises in this sector.
Value added at factor cost is gross income from operating activities after adjusting for operating subsidies and indirect taxes. According to this indicator, in 2019, Germany (€477 million generated) and Italy (€450 million) ranked top with over 20 % of the total EU value added of enterprises that produce sporting goods; together with Austria and France, these countries accounted for over 70 % of the total EU value added. When comparing the value added with the number of enterprises, the most notable values (in countries that generated at least 10 % of the EU value added in production of sporting goods) were observed in Austria (13.2 % of total EU value added with 2.2 % of enterprises), Germany (21.9 % with 11.5 % of enterprises) and Italy (20.6 % with 9.0 % of enterprises).
As for turnover generated by enterprises that manufacture sporting goods, over 20 % of the EU total was recorded in Italy. The other main shares belonged to the same EU Member States as for value added – France (19.2 %), Germany (17.1 %) and Austria (15.7 %).
Growth in number of enterprises and value added in manufacturing of sporting goods between 2014 and 2019
Table 2 shows how the sector for producing sporting goods performed in terms of number of enterprises and value added in 2019 (the last available year) compared with 2014, in relation to the total non-financial economy. The trends are shown through annual average rates of change (AAGR, often referred to as compound rates of change) for both indicators. A rather small sector for manufacturing of sporting goods could have more variations than the total number of enterprises of the non-financial business economy.
In 19 of the 23 EU Member States for which data are available, there was a positive trend recorded between 2014 and 2019 for the number of enterprises that produce sporting goods. The most notable increase with two-digit percentages was recorded in Romania (+11.2 % per year – see Table 2 and Figure 2), while four Member States (Slovakia, Italy, Belgium, and Sweden) had a fall in the number of businesses. The number of enterprises in the sector for manufacturing of sporting goods grew faster than in the total non-financial business economy in 16 EU Member States, with the largest differences observed in Romania (+11.2 % per year for enterprises that produce sporting goods vs +2.5 % per year for total non-financial business economy) and Germany (+8.4 % vs +0.7 %). In contrast, Slovakia (-7.8 % vs +4 %) and Belgium (-7.0 % vs +2.6 %) were the only Member States where there was a decline in the number of enterprises in the sector for manufacturing of sporting goods, despite growth in the total non-financial business economy. France recorded an increase in the number of enterprises in the sector for manufacturing of sporting goods despite a negative trend for the total non-financial business economy, while Italy and Sweden recorded negative values for both indicators.
At EU level, between 2014 and 2019, the value added generated by enterprises that produce sporting goods grew on average by 7.6 % a year, a performance that exceeded the 5 % annual increase of the total non-financial business economy (see Table 2 and Figure 3). On value added in this sector, 18 out of the 21 Member States with data available saw a positive result. Latvia recorded the fastest growth with a 24.6 % annual increase. Between 2014 and 2019, the value added of enterprises that manufacture sporting goods grew faster than the value added of the non-financial business economy in 14 EU Member States, with the highest differences observed in Latvia, Greece and Romania. Three EU Member States had a negative annual average rate of change for value added generated by enterprises that produce sporting goods despite a positive rate for the total non-financial business economy. These were Sweden (-16 % per year for enterprises that produce sporting goods vs + 2.7 % per year for total non-financial business economy), Belgium (-12.1 % vs +5.0 %) and Portugal (-1.1 % vs +6.4 %).
Prodcom data - production of sporting goods
Prodcom provides statistics on the production of manufactured goods. It uses the product codes specified in the Prodcom list, which contains around 3,900 different manufactured products. There are two concepts of production currently used in Prodcom:
- ’sold production’ (value and volume of the product sold by a company)
- ’total production’ (volume of all production of the product, including that retained by the company to be added to stocks, used in further processing, etc.).
Data included in this article concern sold production.
The Prodcom codes, included in Table 3, are all relevant for sporting goods. They are listed under corresponding NACE groups (at 3-digit level), not only under NACE code 32.3 (‘Manufacturing of sports goods’ – sector analysed above) but also within other manufacturing activities, e.g. building of ships and boats (NACE 30.1) or manufacturing of footwear (NACE 15.2).
In the EU, sales of sporting goods grew on average by over 5 % per year between 2015 and 2020
The Prodcom ’sporting’ codes can be grouped into eight broad headings based on their corresponding NACE groups (see Figure 4). In 2020, in the EU, two NACE groups covered three quarters of the production value for all sporting goods that were sold:
- 32.3 ’Manufacturing of sports goods’ (40.8 % share of total)
- 30.1 ’Building of ships and boats’ (34.9 %).
Two other NACE groups each accounted for more than 5 % of the total:
- 15.2 ’Manufacture of footwear’ (11.6 %)
- 14.1 ’Manufacture of wearing apparel, except fur apparel’ (6.2 %).
In 2020 (the year for which the most recent data are available), in the EU, the value of sporting goods produced and sold (30 Prodcom codes) was €8.3 billion, an average annual change of 5.2 % since 2015 (see Table 4). Sold production for two codes exceeded €1 billion and together accounted for more than 40 % of the total of manufacturing of sporting goods:
- ’Sailboats (except inflatable) for pleasure or sports’ with €2.0 billion
- ’Other articles and equipment for sport and open-air games, n.e.c.’ with €1.5 billion.
At EU level, the average annual rate of change in the production of sporting goods between 2015 and 2020 was positive for 17 products out of 30. The highest increases were recorded for:
- ‘Ski-suits (excluding of knitted or crocheted textiles)’ (+26.0 % per year)
- ‘Other sports footwear, except snow-ski footwear and skating boots’ (+15.9 % per year)
- ‘Inflatable vessels for pleasure or sports’ (+15.3 % per year).
In addition, three more products grew faster than the total sporting goods annual rate (+5.2 %). Among the 13 categories with a negative rate of change between 2015 and 2020, the highest decreases were reported for:
- ‘Ski-suits, of knitted or crocheted textiles’ (-18.9 % per year)
- ‘Golf clubs and other golf equipment (including golf balls)’ (-15.2 % per year)
- ’Sports footwear with rubber or plastic outer soles and textile uppers’ (-11.0 % per year).
Source data for tables and graphs
The identification of the list of sporting goods is based on:
- Vilnius Definition of sport
- the Study on the Contribution of Sport to Economic Growth and Employment in the EU
- the UNESCO Framework for Culture statistics (which considers sport as a domain related to culture).
Eurostat compiles data on sport-related enterprises from two main data sources:
Structural business statistics
Structural business statistics (SBS) cover industry, construction, trade and (market) services, as defined by the statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE). This classification allows for a detailed breakdown of business activities sector by sector: the information is available for a broad range of structural indicators (e.g. the number of enterprises, the number of persons employed, turnover and value added) and may also be analysed according to enterprise size. Since 2008, the version of NACE used in the European statistical system has been NACE Rev. 2.
Within the context of SBS, the following definitions apply:
- An enterprise is defined as an organisational unit producing goods or services which has a certain degree of autonomy in decision-making. It can carry out more than one economic activity and be located in more than one location. If an enterprise carried out more than one economic activity, all of the value added that the enterprise generates (or the people it employs, etc.) is classified according to its principal activity – normally that which generates the highest level of value added.
- The number of persons employed is defined as the total number of people working in the observation unit (including working proprietors, partners working regularly in the unit and unpaid family workers), and people who belong to the unit but work outside it and are paid by it (e.g. sales representatives, delivery personnel, repair and maintenance teams). It excludes manpower supplied by other enterprises, people carrying out repair and maintenance work in the enquiry unit for other enterprises, and those on compulsory military service.
- Turnover comprises the total invoiced by the observation unit during the reference period, corresponding to market sales of goods or services supplied to third parties. It includes all duties and taxes on goods or services invoiced by the unit, except for VAT invoiced by the unit to its customers and other similar deductible taxes directly linked to turnover. It also includes other charges (transport, packaging, etc.) passed on to the customer.
- Value added at factor cost is the gross income from operating activities after adjusting for operating subsidies and indirect taxes. It can be calculated as the total sum of items to be added (+) or subtracted (-):
- turnover (+);
- capitalised production (+);
- other operating income (+);
- increases (+) or decreases (-) of stocks;
- purchases of goods and services (-);
- other taxes on products which are linked to turnover but not deductible (-);
- duties and taxes linked to production (-).
Alternatively, it can be calculated from the gross operating surplus by adding personnel costs.
The PRODCOM survey aims to provide a full picture at EU level of developments in industrial production for a given product or for an industry in a comparable manner across countries. This objective has became more important since the single market was established in 1992. The Prodcom list is updated every year by the Prodcom Expert Group. The list’s headings are linked to those from the Combined nomenclature (CN) used to compile statistics on international trade in goods statistics, therefore enabling direct comparisons between industrial production statistics and trade statistics. Prodcom headings are coded using an eight-digit numerical code, the first six digits of which are identical to those of the Statistical classification of products by activity (CPA) code. Prodcom statistics are broken down to a detail level of almost 3,900 products. The main indicators of the production sold during the calendar year are collected and published in both monetary (€) and physical (kg, size, number of items, etc.) terms.
Sport is a part of the wider EU policy agenda that includes achieving the EU’s social and economic goals. Since 2011, the Commission and EU Member States have worked together on the basis of multiannual work programmes agreed by the Council (EU Work Plan for Sport 2011–2014; EU Work Plan for Sport for 2014–2017; EU Work Plan for Sport for 2017–2020; EU Work Plan for Sport 2021–2024) which set priorities and define the principles underpinning cooperation.
A number of expert groups have been set up to achieve concrete results. Among them, the Expert Group ’Sport and economics’ (XG ECO) and the Expert Group on Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (XG HEPA) play a key role in implementing evidence-based policies in the sports sector. XG ECO has, for example, produced the economic definition of sport (see ’Vilnius definition’ below), and made progress on developing sport satellite accounts in some EU countries. XG HEPA concentrates on implementing the Council recommendations on physical activity adopted in 2013. These include a monitoring framework with indicators both on physical activity level and on policies to promote physical activity throughout the EU.
Eurostat comparable data on employment in sport, international trade in sporting goods, sport enterprises, participation in sporting activities, etc. is an important tool that helps monitor and develop the EU’s sport policies.
Direct access to
- Employment in sport
- International trade in sporting goods
- Statistics on sport participation
- Government expenditure on recreational and sporting services
- Culture (all Statistics Explained articles on culture)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics for industry (NACE Rev. 2, B-E) (sbs_na_ind_r2)
- Sold production, exports and imports by PRODCOM list (NACE Rev. 2) - annual data (DS-066341)
- SBS - main indicators (sbs_na)
- Annual enterprise statistics for special aggregates of activities (NACE Rev. 2) (sbs_na_sca_r2)
- Methodological manual on European Structural Business Statistics
- Enterprises in sport sectors (ESMS metadata file — sprt_ent_esms)
- Structural business statistics (ESMS metadata file — sbs_esms)
- Statistics on the production of manufactured goods (ESMS metadata file — prom_esms)
- Vilnius definition of sport
- Resolution of 21 May 2014 of the Council and the Representatives of the Member State Governments, meeting within the Council, on the EU Work Plan for Sport (2014–2017)
- Summaries of EU Legislation: Sport's role in promoting growth, jobs, social inclusion and health
- EU Work plan for Sport for 2017–2020
- EU Work Plan for Sport 2021–2024