It would come as no surprise that teenagers rate the Nike and Adidas brands highest in many categories of brand strength, given the brands' global appeal and marketing budgets, but consumers aged 12 to 17 years old were dramatically more likely to be aware of and purchase the Under Arnour, Speedo and Puma brands than the U.S. population as a whole.  That conclusion is based on the latest Brand Strength Report – Teen Edition produced by The SportsOneSource Group. 

In assessing the brand preferences of the U.S. population in the broader 2009 Brand Strength Report, SportsOneSource also specifically assessed the purchasing habits of the teen consumer and built a Brand Strength Index using the same criteria as the overall Index in the broader report.  SportsOneSource developed the formula for assessing brand strength using elements of the broader survey that assessed brand awareness, brand purchases, the intent to purchase a brand again and a consumer’s unwavering commitment to purchase a brand.  A perfect BSI score would be 1,000 points.

Nike and Adidas took the top two spots on the Brand Strength Index for both the teen respondents and for the overall Index, scoring even higher with teens than on the overall, but things shifted quite a bit after those initial listings. Under Armour placed third on the teen Brand Strength Index, more than 80 points higher than the overall Index.  Speedo, Puma and the Jordan brand all saw their BSI ratings jump considerably with teen consumers versus the overall Index.  New Balance and Columbia both saw a drop in ratings in the teen group.

Nike sits atop the BSI rankings for both males and females in the teen report, with teen males rating the brand 61 points higher that their female counterparts.  Likewise, teenage males rated Under Armour almost 100 points higher than teenage females.  Awareness of the Under Armour brand ran thirteen percentage points higher in teen males than teen females. The males also gave significantly higher scores when asked their likelihood to purchase the brand again in the future. Furthermore, 91% of teenaged males, who have purchased the Under Armour brand, said that they would be at least ‘somewhat likely’ to purchase the brand again in the future.  The introduction of cleats and running shoes by Under Armour will most likely continue to pay dividends as teens across the board appear to connect with the Under Armour brand name.

Puma scored higher with teenage females than it did with teenage males.  Puma was able to jump into the top five for the females with 82% percent of the female respondents reporting they would be at least ‘somewhat likely’ to purchase the Puma brand again in the future. This compared to 72% of teen male purchasers who said they would repurchase the brand in the future.   Teenage females also had a higher awareness level of the Puma brand than their male counterparts.  Eighty seven percent of teenage females were aware of the Puma brand, while males had an awareness level of 81%.

Looking at where teens shop for sporting goods, the mall was clearly the place for athletic footwear purchases.  About 51% of teen respondents said they had purchased athletic footwear at a mall specialty store in the last year while only 39% of the overall respondent group did so.  A similar gap occurred for athletic apparel, with 35% of teens making softgoods purchases in the mall versus just 22% of the overall group.  Full-line sporting goods stores were right behind the mall for footwear for teens, with 50% indicating they had made a footwear purchase at a sporting goods store in the last year, compared to 39% of the overall.  Apparel saw a similar delta.

For more information on the 2009 Brand Strength Report – Teen Edition, contact The SportsOneSource Group at or call 704.987.3450 x104.