As a result of increased consumer demand for sportswear due to the pandemic, brands in the sector achieved significant value growth over the last year, according to the just-released Brand Finance Apparel 50 Report

Nike retained the top spot as the most valuable brand in the ranking since the rankings were instituted. Its brand value was up 9 percent to U.S.$33.2 billion. Adidas’ brand value grew 2 percent to $14.6 billion, Puma’s brand value climbed 13 percent to $4.5 billion and Lululemon’s was up 28 percent to $4.2 billion.

Smaller sportswear brands are among the fastest-growing brands in the ranking, with Skechers’ brand value up 68 percent to $3.2 billion and Li Ning’s brand value also up 68 percent to $2.0 billion.

During the pandemic, sportswear and athleisure brands saw steady growth in brand value as consumers spent more time at home and opted for brands that offer comfort over style, according to the report.

Among other apparel sectors, the report found that post-COVID consumer sentiment increased the brand value of high-end luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Armani and Bottega Veneta. Fast fashion brands declined in value.

The report also found that among the Top 50 apparel brands, the aggregate brand value of luxury apparel brands grew 21 percent this year (from $103 billion to $125 billion), sportswear brands grew 10 percent this year (from $68 billion to $74 billion) while fast fashion brands dropped 7 percent (from $44 billion to $41 billion).

Every year, brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test and publishes approximately 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. 

The apparel industry’s Top 50 most valuable brands worldwide are included in the annual Brand Finance Apparel 50 ranking.

Richard Haigh, managing director, Brand Finance, said, “Since the onset of the pandemic, market dynamics in the apparel industry have changed monumentally. With convenience at the center of marketing strategy, luxury and sports brands have mastered online delivery fulfillment. Focusing on social-first marketing campaigns has enabled brands to remain successful through the pandemic and supply chain issues.”