L2′s inaugural Digital IQ Index: Sportswear report benchmarks the digital competence of 42 global sportswear brands, looking at over 675 data points across four dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Mobile.

L2's Digital IQ Index: sportswear benchmarks the digital competence of 42 sportswear brands. L2 registers 675 data points across 4 dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Mobile. Our aim is to provide a robust tool to diagnose digital strengths, and weaknesses, to help brands achieve greater return on investment.

With traditional brick and mortar retail growth flat or down across the U.S. and Western Europe, sportswear brands are turning to digital channels for sales growth and greater custody of their consumer base. Robust user reviews, product customization, and loyalty programs have garnered some brands yoy e-commerce growth of 30-50 percent.

Nike, who runs away with the #1 spot in our inaugural Digital IQ Index: Sportswear trails only retailer Footlocker in online sales. While still a small percentage of sales, online and other direct to consumer sales will likely be brands' primary growth channel in mature markets. Brands are also marrying digital with TV campaigns and endorsement contracts to amplify ROI.

The sportswear industry is also turning to digital innovation to increase the perceived value of their products. Systems like Nike+ and miCoach from adidas help justify the $149 and $70 price tags on a Nike+ FuelBand and MiCoach Connect Heart Rate Monitor, respectively. The accompanying iPhone apps and online dashboards enhance loyalty and allow brands to collect valuable consumer data.

In this inaugural sportswear study we found brands that are strong on mobile, product customization, emerging platforms, and integrated cross-channel campaigns landed in the Genius or Gifted class. Bigger is mostly better Billion dollar+ brands such as Adidas, Nike and The North Face outperformed smaller brands suggesting that digital does not provide the level playing field many pundits suggest.

UnderArmor landed at number 6, punching above its weight class, coupling strong e-commerce with creative social media campaigns including the "Ultimate Intern" contest and "What's Beautiful" campaigns. LaCoste, at number 10, boasts a Facebook page more than ten million strong. Finally, Burton at number eleven offers consumers one of the strongest sites in the industry and top-notch mobile commerce.

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