While athleisure wear has been thriving for some time now, the explosion of collegiate branded apparel is giving it a run for its money. When you look at the collegiate apparel industry, it's certainly a booming market right now and looks on track to stay that way. Why is the collegiate apparel industry growing in popularity? Let’s look at some facts.
Higher Education on the Rise
The most important factor driving this trend is that more and more people are attending colleges and universities across the country. The National Center for Education Statistics reports two interesting figures on this matter.
- Enrollment in colleges increased by 23% from 1995 to 2005 and then an additional 17% in the following decade.
- More students are starting college under the age of 25 than previous decades.
These two facts are driving the popularity of the collegiate apparel industry because when more people go to college that leads to more people invested in the school. The fact that younger people are enrolling is also a good sign because not only will the student have an affinity for the school but also the loved ones of that student such as their parents, siblings or grandparents.
Easier Access Than Ever Before
When you look at the matter of securing your favorite school apparel and gear, it used to be that you had to go the actual campus to pick up some merchandise. With people being able to buy from anywhere in the world with their laptop, tablet, and phone, the access to merchandise is more widespread and accessible than ever before and the sales prove it. According to Forbes, “the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), which among its other entities, currently represents about 200 colleges, universities, bowl games, and the NCAA, estimates that the retail market for collegiate licensed merchandise is a whopping $4.6 billion.”
Growing Popularity of Sports
Along with the ease of access to purchase merchandise, the way we engage with sports has changed with the times. While it used to be a matter of hoping your television channels carried the game or actually going to the stadium when possible, now you can watch games from just about any live streaming device. Watch parties for favorite teams have become a normal routine for the major sports of football and basketball. Even individuals not associated with the school itself are getting interested in teams simply because there is more access than ever before.
The bottom line is that the industry is thriving because all of these factors are working together to bring fans and students what they really want which is great gear and apparel for their favorite schools and teams!