NIKE, Inc. was founded in 1964 in Beaverton, Oregon, by William Bowerman and Philip Knight. It is the world’s most valuable sportswear brand, surpassing fierce rival Adidas.
Nike designs and sells a diverse range of athletic footwear, casual sneakers, sports gear, accessories, and equipment.
Additionally, it provides several sports-related services. Today, they dominate footwear sales and rank at or near the top of the worldwide sports apparel industry in the majority of categories.
Nike generated $41.3 billion in revenue in the fiscal year 2020, had $4.3 billion in net income, and employs approximately 76,000 people.
Nike’s equipment sales in the United States have been continuously declining since 2014, down 14% year over year in 2019. North America accounts for approximately 43% of its total revenue.
Additionally, they are the most well-known sports apparel brand on the planet, owing to their astute marketing methods and endorsement partnerships with professional athletes such as Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, and (many) others.
Nike has expanded globally since its inception, and its brand value has climbed year on year since 2010 to around $34.4 billion in 2020.
It fell by 60% in Q4 2020, owing to the crisis and tough competition. Nike also faces competition from various areas, including footwear, sports apparel, athleisure, casual wear, and accessories.
Over the last few years, a spate of new manufacturers utilizing the direct-to-consumer model has joined up with long-standing athletic gear competitors, enhancing competitiveness by providing consumers with an increasing number of options.
We’ve compiled a list of 25 of the world’s biggest Nike competitors in this post, including both new and established companies.
Top Nike Competitors & Alternatives
Here are some alternatives and competitors to Nike:
Adidas, founded in 1949, is a global brand that is Nike’s top competitor. Nike and Adidas compete across multiple industries, including footwear, apparel, sports equipment, and accessories.
Adidas’ brand value has climbed year after year for five consecutive years and is expected to reach $12.07 billion in 2021.
With an advertising budget of $688 million in the United States in 2019, it caught up to Nike by partnering with high-profile celebrities that included Kanye West, Pharell Williams, Run DMC, and Beyonce.
North America saw a 10% growth rate and a record income in 2019 thanks to these initiatives. However, Nike is losing ground to it in emerging markets such as China, where it has grown 11% faster than Nike over the past year.
Additionally, Adidas has Reebok, TaylorMade, and Runtastic in its portfolio, which gives the company an extra advantage.
The company invests heavily in research and development and is committed to sustainability: it works with organic cotton and doesn’t use plastic in its product line.
Puma and Adidas have a long and illustrious history dating back to 1948. Puma, like its estranged sibling, has been pressuring Nike for decades. Puma’s net income increased 40% in 2019, compared to Nike’s gain of 108 percent.
Puma’s revenues declined by 31% in Q2 2020, resulting in a net loss of more than $100 million.
Customers will be concerned about diversity more than anything in 2020. For example, Puma’s board of directors has 16% black members and 33% female members, while Nike’s board has 15% black and 31% female members.
Puma is positioned better than other Nike competitors and alternatives to capture Black Americans and women.
Adidas is ahead of Puma. However, Puma remains one of Nike’s most formidable opponents globally.
It does not have the same degree of sports sponsorship as Adidas and Nike. However, as evidenced by Puma’s earnings, the brand is beloved by many.
The Converse brand has become an icon due to its belief that the creative spirit can transform the world. As a result, it has a large and loyal youth customer base.
Nike now owns Converse, but the brand has maintained its authenticity and competes against its parent corporation.
Shoes, accessories, and tennis shoes are part of its product line. Converse generated approximately $2 billion in revenue in the fiscal year 2020, keeping its position as one of the world’s most popular sports brands.
Everybody adores the way a converse sneaker appears with jeans or casual attire. However, this is a company that has elevated the aesthetics of footwear.
Converse’s sports shoe collection is well-known and casual shoes, particularly tennis shoes and sneakers.
Under Armour, which has a brand value of $4 billion, has only been in business for 25 years but has acquired a leadership position in the footwear industry.
Under Armour and Nike have both experienced year-over-year revenue growth during the past five years.
As its name implies, Under Armour began by producing lightweight, sweat-wicking performance garments that could be worn under other clothing and athletic equipment.
The company eventually expanded into many of the same areas as Nike, including footwear, clothing, and sports equipment.
It has invested more than $130 million in reorganization since 2017. A restructuring at Under Armour increased its net loss to $773 million in the first half of 2020.
When the reorganization is complete, it can either boost its competitiveness or further erode its profitability.
Asics and Nike have a long history dating back to the 1960s, when Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, distributed shoes made by Onitsuka Tiger, which subsequently became Asics.
It presently sells running shoes in Asia, Australia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and several other nations.
Asics’ popularity among athletes declined from 51% in 2018 to 7% in 2019, as 84 percent of contenders favored Nike’s Vaporfly Next percent sneakers. While the corporation lacks experience in regaining its market share, it has the necessary skills.
The Japanese company Asics, which is publicly traded on the Tokyo stock exchange, is a reasonably close competitor to Nike, offering items in many of the same basic categories as Nike, including footwear, athletic gear, and accessories.
Vans is an urban footwear and apparel brand formed by first-generation Americans to honor their immigrant ancestors.
The Los Angeles-based business is constantly engaging, promoting, and advocating for issues affecting underprivileged communities in the United States.
Vans produced a new collection of shoes, sweatshirts, T-shirts, and hats in October 2020 with the theme “Work a Day in Our Shoes” to honor the hardworking poor and middle classes.
Vans sneakers retail for $100, but a percentage of the proceeds benefit local non-governmental organizations. Vans has an advantage over Nike because of its involvement in the community.
Vans deserves a spot on the list of Nike’s competitors due to its iconic skate shoes, which, like many of Nike’s footwear, transcended the sport for which they were designed.
Vans, therefore, has gained a devoted following among fans of pop-punk and fans of Southern California’s skate and surfing culture.
Brooks is a well-known brand under the Berkshire Hathaway umbrella. The company offers high-end running footwear and clothing. More than 92 percent of Nordstrom’s merchandise is sold in department stores.
The share of running shoes sold between March and June in 2020 shows Brooks overtaking Nike as the leading shoe brand. Additionally, Brooks outperforms Nike in niche running retailers.
Brooks’ revenue was over $750 million in 2019, and the company anticipated a 20% increase in 2020. It is on the verge of becoming a billion-dollar brand.
They shifted their focus in 2001 from broad athletic gear manufacturing to high-performance running shoes.
Brooks’ gamble paid off, with praise from major sports publications such as Runner’s World and Sports Illustrated and a 25% market share in the specialty running shoe category of the sports footwear market.
Columbia Sportswear Co.
Columbia Sportswear Company was founded in 1938 and develops and sells athletic footwear, clothing, equipment, and outerwear accessories.
The company has suffered from low sales in 2020, reporting a 23% reduction in quarterly revenue to $701.1 million in Q3 2020, falling short of Wall Street’s projection of $767.13 million.
The decrease wiped approximately $1.5 billion off the brand’s market capitalization of $6.4 billion. Nevertheless, Columbia Sportswear is still a viable competitor to Nike.
As Columbia transitioned from manufacturing hats to sportswear manufacturer in the 1960s, the company built its reputation on breathable, waterproof jackets with removable shells – a novelty at the time that drove sales and fast expansion.
The Los Angeles-based yoga apparel company Alo Yoga has become a go-to source for fitness apparel. Their e-commerce store ranked first on the list of the fastest-growing athleisure platforms in the United States between March and July 2020.
The number of visitors to Alo Yoga’s online store increased by 131%, from 1.1 million in March 2019 to 2.7 million in July 2019. As a result, the company is gaining ground among Nike’s competitors.
Alo’s apparel is perhaps more directly competitive with Lululemon and other yoga-focused firms, but it competes with Nike due to its versatility.
Alo provides an extensive range of products for men and yoga mats and backpacks, just like other yoga-focused manufacturers.
Xtep International Holdings
Xtep is a manufacturer and retailer of athletic apparel, including footwear, clothes, and accessories.
The Hong Kong-listed company is one of China’s fastest-growing sportswear brands. Its sales climbed 10% to over $700 million in 2019 and are expected to continue growing at a double-digit rate in 2020 and beyond.
A significant competitor of Nike in China, it has an ever-increasing revenue and market share. Xtep is another Chinese sports apparel company with a more substantial international presence than in the United States. It owns several athletic apparel brands, such as Palladium, Saucony, and Merrell, and K-Swiss.
Xtep is a leading manufacturer and marketer of sports equipment and athletic wear in a wide array of categories. But in 2015, the company made a significant push into running a business and has since become the largest corporate sponsor of marathons in Mainland China.
New Balance was founded in 1906 and has grown to become one of the world’s leading footwear brands. It sold its products in over 120 countries and generated sales of $4 billion in 2019.
Its percentage of the baseball category in Major League Baseball climbed by 1% from 18% in 2018 to 19% in 2019.
Even though New Balance trails Nike (43% market share) and Adidas (22% market share), its recent focus on the sector could help it raise its market share in 2021 and beyond.
New Balance is one of the oldest sporting brands still in existence today, started in 1906 as the New Balance Arch Support Company.
Unlike many of its competitors, New Balance remains a significant producer of athletic apparel and footwear in the United States, which benefits the American economy and allows the company to guarantee the quality of its products.
That is one reason why sneakers such as the popular 990 model are more expensive than shoes from Adidas or another big Nike competitor.
Reebok, owned by Adidas, is a British sports company that dominated the 1990s with stylish sneakers and tracks. Reebok has differentiated itself from competitors such as Nike by providing premium, high-end, and mid-range footwear.
Reebok reported a 42 percent fall in sales in the second quarter of 2020, and its contracts with the NFL and NBA had also expired, potentially impeding its recovery.
Adidas is reportedly looking to sell Reebok for roughly $1 billion in 2021. This is around $2.8 billion less than Adidas paid for the brand in 2005 when it cost $3.8 billion.
Reebok has operated as a subsidiary of the bigger Adidas brand, competing in many of the same areas as Nike and the leading Adidas brand.
The Boston-based organization was once known for its sports footwear but now specializes in fitness and running gear.
Reebok had primarily sponsored the extreme exercise regimen Crossfit developed by Greg Glassman until 2020.
Fila gained popularity in the 1980s among urban teenagers and casual basketball players. Since being acquired by Korean Fila in 2007, the brand has seen a resurgence after the fallout in the late 1990s.
The brand is quickly becoming a favorite of influencers such as Rihanna, and it will be present at Milan Fashion Week in 2019.
Fila began sponsoring well-known athletes with tennis player Björn Borg.
Unlike Nike, Fila has not expanded its roster of athletes beyond tennis (with notable exceptions including Grant Hill and Jerry Stackhouse).
Their most famous signing advocates today are not athletes: in 2019, they signed K-Pop sensation BTS as their new endorsers.
Fila set a new sales record of $2.6 billion in 2018 and boosted revenue by 205 percent from 2016 and 2018. As a result, Fila has returned to the market to compete for market share.
Although Lululemon’s 22-year-old company does not offer footwear, it competes with Nike in yoga-inspired essentials.
Its patented fabrics, such as Nulu and Everlux, give it an advantage against Nike.
Vancouver-based Although Lululemon Athletica does not manufacture shoes, they compete with Nike in the athletic gear, athleisure, and casual wear categories.
The brand began in 1998 with a concentration on yoga trousers and other yoga clothes for women before expanding to include performance wear and athletic clothing for men and women in nearly every category, including shirts, shorts, pants, and accessories.
Lulumelon e-commerce accounted for 54% of revenue in the first quarter of 2020 compared to Nike’s 30%.
Lululemon’s overall sales growth is faster than Nike’s, even though their e-commerce growth rates are comparable. As a result, Lululemon is rapidly catching up.
Anta Sports, founded in 1991 in Fujian, is China’s leading sportswear brand. It has a sizable range of athletic gear, footwear, and accessories.
Anta’s yearly revenue exceeded $5 billion in FY19 and has grown at an 18 percent compound annual growth rate over the last decade.
While Anta Sports, which used to be known as Anta Footwear Manufacturer Ltd., is significantly less well-known in North America. It earned the third-highest total revenue among athletes in 2019.
Anta manufactures and markets athletic clothes and accessories under its brand and logo in virtually every major category.
Additionally, like Nike, they possess a slew of sub-brands that may be more recognized to North Americans, such as the Arc’teryx product line and Louisville Slugger.
ANTA is one of the country’s largest sportswear brands, with a 15% market share by 2020. The company is also a direct competitor of Nike.
Gymshark is a $1.4 billion sports brand started by Ben Francis, a 28-year-old former pizza delivery driver from a small English village.
Gymshark dubbed the “Nike of Gen Z,” rose to prominence by delivering high-quality $25 athletic shorts and employing TikTok influencer marketing.
Ben Francis co-founded the company in 2013, creating made-to-order garments on a sewing machine in his parents’ garage before the brand’s luxurious tracksuits became a hit at a British sports expo and immediately went viral.
The company then evolved into fitness clothes and accessories and is now worth about a billion pounds in the United Kingdom.
Gymshark’s income climbed by 40% to $330 million in 2020. Additionally, the corporation benefited from a $300 million investment by General Atlantic in August 2020 for a 21% stake in the brand.
It pays between $6,000 and $100,000 a year to 80 ripped fitness influencers to live and sell the Gymshark lifestyle on TikTok and Instagram.
Champion was the most influential brand in sportswear long before Nike and Adidas.
The company sponsored big sporting events such as the NBA from 1919 to 1955 and was 50 years ahead of Nike as the most popular casual sportswear brand.
Champion created the hoodie and pioneered the manufacturing technique known as “reverse weave.” While the brand has waned in popularity since its heyday, its signature styles from the early years are making a comeback.
Champion has produced official soccer jerseys for major sports organizations for decades, including the NFL, NBA, and US Olympic teams.
Today, they are less well-known for their performance apparel but have had a renaissance as customers love classic sports attire like tees, hoodies, and sweatshirts.
Their narrow-cut jersey sweatpants, as well as the lightweight pair they collaborated on with designer Todd Snyder, made my list of the finest men’s joggers.
Skechers was founded in 1992 and is known for its affordable lifestyle and performance shoes.
Sketchers’ global net sales reached approximately $5.2 billion in 2019 and grew by more than $3 billion from 2014 to 2020.
Skechers’ footwear brands had an average price of $21.67 in 2019, significantly less than Nike.
Sports footwear manufacturer Li Ning was founded by China’s most famous gymnast of the same name. It will be surpassed by newcomers such as Anta Sports and Xtep in 2020 but will still retain a 6.1 percent market share in China, well behind Nike’s 23 percent.
Li Ning’s revenue increased 32% to 13.9 billion Yuan in 2019, and its net income more than doubled to 1.5 billion Yuan. It projected a profit margin of 10.5 percent for 2020.
K-Swiss is a footwear brand based in the United States specializing in tennis shoes, sneakers, and tennis-related accessories.
A collaboration with Venus Williams, scheduled to debut in 2020, gave the brand a boost. The tennis legend was instrumental in reimagining the K-Swiss Classic.
The agreement can increase the brand’s exposure to tennis players and their fans in 2021 and beyond.
Though Public Rec is a fraction of the size of Nike, it has made a stir in the athletic and athleisure categories by selling trendy, comfortable clothing directly to consumers through the direct-to-consumer strategy.
They sell clothes directly to consumers rather than through department stores or other intermediaries who mark up the price before passing it on to you and me.
They began focusing on activewear for men but recently expanded into womenswear and continue to increase the number of items they offer every year.
Vanity Fair Mills, founded in 1899 as Vanity Fair Mills, built a brand portfolio that today includes well-known brands such as Timberland, North Face, and JanSport.
Nike and VF compete in the activewear segment, but VF has a more diverse portfolio of products, whereas Nike has minimal presence in the work and outdoor components.
Rothy’s has also grown from a women’s shoe brand to include purses (and, more recently, masks) by 2020.
Rothy distinguishes itself from Nike competitors and other shoemakers by emphasizing sustainability; its shoes are made entirely of recyclable materials. In addition, the company aims to achieve fully closed-loop manufacturing by 2023.
When Blake Mycoskie, a former contestant on The Amazing Race, launched Toms in 2006 as a shoe company, it immediately distinguished itself with its “one for one” concept. It pledged to donate one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold.
Today, both the firm’s services and mission have extended significantly beyond shoes: the company also sells eyewear, clothes, and accessories such as purses in addition to shoes and claims to devote one-third of its profits to “grassroots good.”
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Allbirds running shoes are made entirely of high-quality local New Zealand merino wool. Allbirds is one of the most successful direct-to-consumer shoe companies, and its philosophy and mission are all focused on sustainability.
The brand has expanded beyond footwear to include sustainable sporting apparel for men and women, including tees, sweaters, jackets, and accessories such as socks and undergarments.