Young People Addicted To Sports Brands

The young target group is strategic for sports brands. To determine their marketing positioning, manufacturers are seeking to define this moving population, which is defined as tribes, more and more finely.

Teenagers “weigh” more than 1 billion euros per year, which they spend primarily on clothes. A juicy market for brands. And since young people are prescribers and influence their parents’ purchasing decisions, they are fighting a real battle to capture this financial windfall. But to seduce them, you have to understand them. To this end, TNS Media Intelligence and TNS WorldPanel developed the Djeun’s Wear study based on two field surveys conducted in 2005. They presented it at the end of April during the “Des marques et vous” day, organized by the French Federation of Sports Industries (Fifas). Its target: 8 to 19 year olds against sports brands. That is 9 million people – 49% girls and 51% boys.

Basic observation: sport is at the heart of young people’s lives. For 65% of boys, it is the main focus of interest, compared to 43% of girls. And 68% of the young people studied practice a sport outside school. A score that rises to 73% for young people from affluent backgrounds. And when they do not practice it themselves, nearly two thirds follow the sport through the media. Boys are, not surprisingly, the most assiduous. They are particularly passionate about recurring events: football, tennis, F1…

Move, to the beat!

“Without music, life would be a mistake,” Nietzsche said. Well, the “lunches”, to use the terminology of the study, are mostly in agreement with him, since 75% of them say they like listening to music.

Sport and music are clearly their two main interests, with the computer as a big challenger, which never stops taking up space in their room and in their lives. In conclusion, no brand, let alone a sports brand, can today ignore these three vectors of communication.

In an attempt to determine the most accurate profile of this target, the study tried to draw a composite picture of it using three main criteria. Rap is the favourite music of the boys studied, Zidane their icon, and Adidas their favourite brand. The girls prefer to listen to French variety, they identify with the singer Lorie (yes!) and dress mostly at Jennyfer’s. Interesting results, especially as regards the values conveyed by the star with whom they identify and whom they respect, and which the brand must therefore not transgress.

One thing is certain: whatever the sex, the social environment, the sport practiced… they want brands! 79% of the textile claws they are asking for are sports brands. A score that goes up to 90% for boys! Of the entire panel, Adidas is the most widely acclaimed. However, Jennyfer and Pimkie overtake it in girls.

Our young people are largely involved in the purchase, since 57% of them wear sports brands and choose their clothes alone. And for 39% of them, parents buy with their opinion. In short, they are completely “addicted” to brands, and are mostly autonomous in their choices. The brand criterion is extremely discriminating for them, it is synonymous with belonging to a group, to a tribe. The brand determines the young person: in his eyes, and in those of his classmates. Moreover, 3 out of 4 purchases are not intended for sporting use. This shows that brands are chosen above all for the image they convey. And when they have made up their minds, young people know how to be persuasive. 25% of them often ask for brands, for an overall conversion rate of 60%. A score to make any salesman pale!

Fans of the Net

For their shopping, it appears that the girls’ flagship circuit, with 42% of textile spending, is the ready-to-wear chains: Jennyfer, Pimkie, La Halle aux Vêtements…

While for boys, sports stores lead the way at 28%. It should be noted that the first textile brand among young people is Décathlon. The study also points to the emergence of the Internet circuit. Sport thus accounts for 49% of boys’ textile expenditure, compared to 40% for girls. The turnaround will have to be taken very quickly by the brands that are still missing from the Web. This phenomenon is confirmed by David Zmirov, director of the public relations and influence methods consulting agency, Zmirov Communication. He manages, among others, the brands Oxbow, Converse, Eastpack…

On the other hand, this specialist has a downside to the present study: “It seems impossible to me to make a study on 8-19 year olds. There are too big differences in this age group on the desire of brands, in terms of sports practice.