In a world where fitness and sportswear have become an integral part of our daily lives, the choice of sports brand can be as significant as the sport or activity itself. The global sports apparel industry is a powerhouse, with international giants like Nike, Adidas, and Puma dominating the market. However, there’s a growing wave of enthusiasm for Indian sports brands such as Bata, Paragon and Relaxo.
In this comparative review, we aim to provide readers with a detailed analysis of both international and Indian sports brands. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of the strengths and unique offerings of each category, helping you make informed decisions.
Prominent International Sports Brands
Nike, Inc. is a multinational corporation that specializes in the design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories. It is one of the world’s largest and most recognizable sportswear companies.
The company was founded on January 25, 1964, by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight under the name “Blue Ribbon Sports” (BRS). In 1971, BRS officially became Nike.
Nike offers an extensive and diverse range of products in the Indian market, catering to various sports and athletic activities.
- Footwear: The company offers options for running, basketball, football, training and golf.
- Apparel: Nike’s collection includes tops, bottoms, outerwear, and activewear for men, women, and children.
- Accessories & Equipment: Nike also provides a comprehensive line of accessories, including sports bags, backpacks, balls, socks, gloves and mitts, hats, visors and headbands.
- Yoga & Training Gear: This range includes yoga pants, sports bras, training tights, and tops.
As of August 30, 2023, India hosts a total of 125 Nike outlets. Among these, Maharashtra stands out as the state with the highest concentration, boasting 18 stores. This accounts for approximately 14% of the entire Nike store network in the country. In 2021, Nike undertook a significant restructuring of its operations in India, delineating the markets between two distinct franchise operators.
Puma, a globally recognized sportswear brand, was founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler, brother of Adidas’ founder Adi Dassler. The brand’s name is derived from the powerful and agile big cat, symbolizing the company’s emphasis on speed and performance. Puma quickly gained popularity for its innovative athletic footwear and apparel.
Puma has quite a wide range of products in India. The company also has a history of strategic collaborations, often partnering with influential figures and entities to strengthen its brand presence and appeal to a wider audience.
- Footwear: Puma provides a wide selection of athletic shoes tailored for different sports and activities.
- Apparel: The apparel line is a fusion of function and fashion, catering to men, women, and children.
- Accessories & Equipment: Puma’s accessories and equipment category complements the sportswear range. It features an array of sports bags, backpacks, bottles, eyewear, socks, gloves and caps.
- Yoga Gear: Designed for flexibility, support, and breathability, Puma’s yoga gear is tailored for both practice and comfort. This category includes yoga pants, tank tops and t-shirts.
- Motorsport Apparel & Footwear: The company has a strong presence in motorsport, offering apparel and footwear collections inspired by Formula 1 and other racing events.
Puma holds the top position in the sportswear market in India. As of August 09, 2023, India boasts a total of 582 Puma outlets. Among these, Maharashtra stands out as the state with the highest concentration, housing 90 stores. This constitutes approximately 15% of the entire Puma store network in the country. This extensive retail presence underscores Puma’s significant footprint in India’s sportswear market.
Adidas, a global sportswear giant, was founded in 1949 by Adolf Dassler. The brand gained global recognition for its innovative athletic footwear, especially after the German national football team won the 1954 World Cup wearing Adidas boots. Over the years, Adidas solidified its presence in sports culture and fashion, becoming an iconic name in sportswear.
- Footwear: Adidas offers an extensive selection of athletic shoes tailored for various sports and activities. From running and basketball to football and training.
- Apparel: This apparel line embodies the perfect fusion of form and function, serving men, women, and children.
- Accessories & Equipment: In addition to sportswear, Adidas provides a range of accessories and equipment. This category features gym and training bags, backpacks, Headwear, socks, face covers, and balls.
Adidas currently has around 450 retail outlets across India.
The prominent German sportswear brand now anticipates a slight decline in currency-neutral revenues for 2023, albeit at a low-single-digit rate. Additionally, the underlying operating profit, excluding Yeezy sales, is projected to surge to 100 million euros for the year, a significant increase from the previous break-even level.
Indian Sports Brands
Bata’s journey in India began in 1931 when the brand opened its first store in Konnagar, a suburb of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). Over the years, Bata’s commitment to quality and affordable footwear made it a household name in India. The brand focused on providing a wide range of footwear, including sports shoes, that catered to the diverse needs of Indian consumers.
- Footwear: Bata boasts a diverse collection of sports footwear designed to cater to a wide range of athletic needs.
- Apparel: The company mainly specializes in footwear, so men’s and women’s clothing lines are represented by a small assortment, and there is no children’s clothing at all.
- Accessories & Equipment: Bata also offers a selection of accessories to complement their offerings. These accessories cater to various needs and styles. The company offers bags and wallets designed for both men and women, combining practicality with style. In addition, the manufacturer offers men’s belts.
Finding Bata shoes in India is incredibly convenient. With approximately 1800 stores spread across the country, you’re likely to come across a Bata outlet in your vicinity. This extensive network ensures easy accessibility, making it hassle-free to discover and shop for your favorite footwear.
Paragon, an esteemed Indian footwear brand, has a storied history that spans over four decades. Established in 1975, the brand quickly gained recognition for its commitment to quality and comfort in footwear. Paragon’s founder, P. Viswanathan, envisioned a company that would produce high-quality, durable footwear for the Indian market.
Company specializes in crafting a diverse range of shoes that cater to a wide spectrum of tastes and budgets. Paragon’s specialization in footwear extends across various categories, ensuring that they have the perfect pair of shoes for everyone. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast, a style-conscious individual, or someone seeking budget-friendly options.
Paragon presently runs 68 exclusive outlets across India, with key establishments located in states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. The company’s extensive distribution network comprises over 500 distributors spanning the entire nation.
Relaxo Footwear Ltd., an esteemed Indian footwear brand, has a history steeped in dedication and innovation. Established in 1976, the company embarked on its journey in the footwear industry with a commitment to providing comfortable, high-quality footwear at affordable prices.
Much like Paragon, Relaxo India places its primary focus on the production of footwear. The brand has honed its expertise exclusively in this domain, allowing it to become a specialist in crafting a wide variety of high-quality shoes.
Relaxo stands as one of India’s prominent footwear enterprises. Operating under renowned brands such as Sparx, Flite, and Bahamas, the company boasts an extensive presence. It operates 300 exclusive brand outlets and its products are available in over 50,000 multi-brand stores nationwide. Additionally, Relaxo’s footwear offerings are easily accessible through various leading e-commerce platforms.
Product Quality and Pricing
Revolution 6 Running Shoes (Rs. 3695)
Has around 60000 ratings on Flipkart and has a 4.2 rating.
Winflo 8 Running Shoes (Rs. 6239)
Has around 5000 ratings on Flipkart and has a 4.1 rating.
Bridge Comfort Running Shoes (Rs. 2499)
Has around 14000 ratings on Flipkart and has a 4.2 rating.
Hustle V2 Running Shoes (Rs. 3999)
This pair of sneakers has around 37000 ratings on Flipkart and has a 4.2 rating.
Jauntza M Running Shoes (Rs. 1814)
Has around 2000 ratings on Flipkart and has a 4.2 rating.
Fluo M Running Shoes (Rs. 2279)
Has around 46000 ratings on Flipkart and has a 4.2 rating.
Walking Shoes (Rs. 599)
Has around 2000 ratings on Flipkart and has a 4.1 rating.
Sports Shoes (Rs. 1899)
Has around 2000 ratings on Flipkart and has a 4.2 rating.
K1015G Cricket Gym Sports (Rs. 1099)
Has around 400 ratings on Flipkart and has a 3.9 rating.
Blot PUK3502GS Cricket Gym Sports (Rs. 1649)
Has around 600 ratings on Flipkart and has a 4.1 rating.
Sparx Womens Sx0167l Running Shoe (Rs. 1099)
Has around 7000 ratings on Amazon and has a 4.2 rating.
Sparx Womens Sx0164l Running Shoes (Rs. 1099)
Has around 3000 ratings on Amazon and has a 4.3 rating.
What to Choose?
For consumers who prioritize functionality and value over brand labels, opting for domestic sporting goods can be a wise decision. Indian manufacturers have increasingly focused on producing high-quality sports equipment and apparel that align with international standards. Not only does this support local industries and businesses, but it also ensures that consumers have access to competitively priced, top-notch products.
Furthermore, customers looking for a wide range of options, both Indian and international sports brands, can conveniently shop at an online sports retailer. They offer a diverse selection of sporting goods, including products from well-known Indian brands and popular international names. This one-stop shop allows customers to compare and choose from a variety of options, all at competitive prices. By doing so, consumers can make informed decisions based on their specific requirements and budget, ultimately maximizing the value they receive from their sporting goods purchases.