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The $245 billion dollar sportswear industry is undergoing a fundamental shift. The sector is encountering a rookie on the field that is frighteningly big and fast: technology. Product customization, wearables and direct channels are expediting the shift.

Wearables, projected to be a $50 billion dollar market, were supposed to be the playground of tech firms. However it is sportswear firms who have developed a set of robust, even useful, products.

Brands are racing to establish “sticky” ecosystems that lock in the next generation of consumers. Brands have also found that there is a new venue for where the game is won or lost: online.

On Brand Sites, 35% of Sportswear brands now offer advanced personalization tools—available only to buyers purchasing directly from the brand.

In 1999, visitors to NikeID could only customize a pair of Air Force Ones. Today, the engine supports more than 450 products.

Off-Site, brands are adopting a mix of strategies on major retail portals. 58% of brands searches return a storefront on Amazon, despite brands’ increasing concern regarding the growing influence of the platform.

In an attempt to ensure consistent presentation and pricing, some market leaders have tried to ban partners from listing products on Amazon and eBay.

In Social Media, community growth has dropped below 50% year over year as brands switch from fan acquisition to fan engagement.

70% of brands solicit user-generated content, 47% are leveraging Facebook to gather customer information, and increasingly, fans are becoming an important marketing vehicle, sharing their personal accomplishments.

For wearables, mobile apps increasingly represent the primary adhesive between brand and its expanding digital user base. Half of brands in our Index support mobile apps. Nearly a third of these apps offer gamification of a fitness regiment, a quarter offer personalized training routines, and 1-in-10 now pair with a wearable technology.

In L2’s 2014 report, 7 brands maintain their top-10 ranking—with The North Face and Index newcomer REI joining the “Genius” ranks.

North Face boasts high mobile aptitude, and REI facilitates a robust customer loyalty program—elements that differentiate their digital marketing efforts in the shadow of a larger rivalry.

This study attempts to quantify the digital competence of 57 Sportswear brands.

Our goal is to provide a robust tool to diagnose digital strengths and weaknesses.

Download the report at: http://www.l2inc.com/research/sportswear-2014?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=organic&utm_content=sportswear-2014&utm_campaign=youtube

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