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Bangladesh proudly contributes in FIFA World Cup with value added sports goods

In 2014 world cup, Bangladesh exported $70 million valued sports goods, which was $100 million in 2018. For 2022, it will reach around $200 million

The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, known as the ‘greatest show on the earth,’ began in Qatar on 20 November 2022 where 32 football nations compete in the battleground. In the eight stadiums of the country, the magnificent matches of football will continue till 18 December. Around this sports carnival, a potential path to a billion-dollar business including clothing has been created. Renowned brands such as Adidas, Nike, Puma, and Hummel, etc. have already written their name on board as tournament and team kit sponsors. Like every season of this tournament, Bangladesh apparel makers are dreaming big to ship jerseys, jackets, and kits in a large scale and many of them already shipped and some are on the way to export.

Fifa world cup-2022
Figure 1: FIFA World Cup has begun in Qatar on November 20. Courtesy: Collected

Global value of sportswear market

The sportswear industry is the second fastest-growing sector in the world. The USA, China, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe are the prime markets for the industry. According to Business Wire, Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global sports apparel market size in 2021 was valued at US$178.73 billion and is forecast to be a readjusted size of US$248.99 billion by 2026.

List of kit sponsor name in 2022 FIFA world cup
Figure 2: List of kit sponsor names in the 2022 FIFA world cup.

Europe is one of the most significant sportswear importers in the world. As per CBI (An agency of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs) study, in 2020, the value of sportswear imports to Europe amounted to €12.1 billion, up from €10.6 billion in 2015. Between 2015 and 2020, the value of the EU’s sportswear imports grew by an average of 2.7% annually.

In this world cup, Giant Nike, Adidas & Puma keep their dominance by sponsoring the top teams. They will provide all types of kits to 13, 7 & 6 qualified football nations respectively. Already brands have unveiled their player home and away jerseys which have been produced in sub-continental, Asian countries.

In the case of sustainability, Adidas maintains its commitment to the environment and manufactures 100% recycled polyester kits from end plastic waste. Argentina, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Spain’s shirts all contain 50% Parley Ocean Plastic, which will be reused and prevented from polluting our oceans.

lionel messi-Bangladesh-contributes-FIFA World Cup-2022
Figure 3: Sports brands source player and fan attires from major Asian apparel-making countries. Courtesy: Lionel Messi’s official Facebook Page

Major driving factors of growth of the sports industry

The pandemic has forced a lifestyle shift that has seen people spending significant amounts of time at home. From the pandemic to “the new normal” people are prioritizing their fitness activities in their daily routine as health awareness, and active lifestyle. Many shoppers have switched to online purchases in the pandemic times emphasizing sustainable products. And that won’t change significantly once the pandemic is over. According to McKinsey, online sales jumped by around 25% after Corona hit.

The ‘Made in Bangladesh’ tag represents this country in FIFA

Although the Bangladesh football team is not playing in the World Cup football she has been connecting herself with this tournament for one decade to produce jerseys and kits. Many of the visitor’s jerseys, mufflers, flags, caps, short pants, winter clothes and other materials are made by Bangladesh apparel factories. In the 2014 world cup, Bangladesh exported $70 million valued products and in 2018, the value raised up to $100 million, According to BKMEA which is 11.43% high. For 2022, industry leaders hope to ship around $200 million in products to different buyers.

Figure 4: Bangladeshi factories contribute to FIFA by exporting large scale products in every world cup tournament.

Almost 100 Factories are engaged in making sports items. Chattogram-based knitwear manufacturer Sonnet Textile is one of them. This company has already delivered six lakh pieces of FIFA T-shirts with the green and red ‘Made in Bangladesh’ label, to be worn by the football fans in the gallery.

Sonnet shipped two lakh pieces of official jackets with the FIFA logo for the 2018 Russia World Cup, and three lakh T-shirts for the 2020 Euro Cup, has made T-shirts this time on behalf of the FIFA -licensed Russian sports chain shop Sportmaster. Sportmaster is working with 17 Bangladeshi factories now.

Gazi Md Shahidullah, Director of Sonnet Textile said to Media, “We went into production in February after receiving the order sheet last year and have already shipped the products. Our Russian buyer will sell these at its outlets. These official T-shirts cannot be sold anywhere else as they are made under a FIFA license. ”

Epyllion Group is making FIFA world cup attires for M&S which has been shipped in October. Around 36 thousand pcs of garments like t-shirts, pullovers, joggers, shorts are being made in this group whose value stands at approximately US $5 lakh. Epyllion is also making 10 thousand pcs attire for PUMA.

Mehedi Hasan Soykot, Merchandiser of Epyllion Group said to Textile Today, “Bangladesh should produce high-value products by existing basic garments to achieve its benchmark. We feel happy to be involved in the tournament by the jersey-making process.”

Debonair Group is making sportswear items like trousers, jackets, shirts, etc. for H&M Move, a brand of Swedish retailer H&M. In last season they exported 35 thousand pcs and in the recent season they’re producing 75 thousand pcs attire for this brand which value is almost $1.3 million.

Narayanganj-based Fatullah Apparels exported 2.5 lakh shirts for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia along with replica kits for supporters of different countries. This time, Fatullah has not sent any kit for the Qatar world cup. Currently, this company sends an official good quantity of jerseys for Real Madrid Basketball in Barcelona as they are officially nominated, suppliers.

Islam Group, one of the pioneers in the RMG sector exported knit and woven items since 1985. In the last world cup, they exported 20 thousand pcs polo shirts for HermesOTTO International buyers for German football lovers.

Tahsin Ahmed Sina, CEO of Islam Group said to Textile Today, “We have a strong cotton-based market but in the case of synthetic yarn production we’re lagging behind in cost while China dominates. And recent day’s gas and power crisis disrupts our business to touch the goal. I think, if we can overcome these main two challenges we’ll roar in the sports sector undoubtedly. ”

MB Knit Fashions sent 12 lakh shirts to eight countries like Brazil, and Argentina for the world cup football in Russia in 2018, and sent 8 lakh jerseys in the 2014 world cup although they didn’t send any jerseys for the Qatar world cup so far.

Besides, Fakir Apparels sent 50,000 pieces of fan jerseys to a German buyer in the last world cup. Apart from the World Cup, they export jerseys all year round for different football clubs in Europe like Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Figure 5: Youngone Corporation makes sports outerwear for Adidas, Lululemon, and Under Armour, etc for more than a decade. Adidas sources $100 million in garments from the Chattogram unit.

Fortis Group regularly makes activewear, and sportswear for its European & USA customers like S. Oliver, C&A, M&S, Fila, Columbia Sportswear, Lidl, etc. but doesn’t work for FIFA attires.

Viyellatex exported world cup garments for its PUMA customer in the last football world cup.

Kenpark doesn’t produce world cup garments but they’re working for the Columbia Sportswear brand. Last year they shipped around $70 million valued sports attire for this brand & set a target to ship $100 million this year. Recently they shipped 7 thousand pcs jackets, joggers, and t-shirts for Columbia Sportswear brand which will be used for professional car racer ‘Bubba Wallace’ and his brand.

Shamim Hossen Ridoy, Merchandiser of Kenpark Bangladesh Apparel (Pvt) Ltd told, “Bangladesh has a great future to export more in sports garments but due to lack of skilled workers, R&D, backward linkage expectation may come lately whereas our competitor China, Vietnam, Cambodia are doing a tremendous performance in this segment.”

LIDA Textile & Dyeing Ltd, a concern of LDC Group has shipped around 1.5 lakh pcs France, Belgium Portugal, Brazil, and Qatar fan jerseys for Kipsta, a brand of Decathlon in August.

Arkay Knit Dyeing Mills of Palmal Group exported 25 thousand pcs t-shirts for PVH in the last world cup. Unimas Sportswear Ltd shipped around 5 thousand pcs Brazil, Argentina, and Qatar, etc fan caps for Walmart buyers at the end of July.

Although Nassa Group doesn’t make sports items normally but in this world cup they’re going to export 2 thousand pcs of fan jerseys through a trading house. Fashion Asia Ltd, a concern of Northern Tosrifa Group exported 2200 pcs jerseys in the 2014 Brazil world cup.

Masco Group a renowned knit-based supplier in Bangladesh, has worked for the Qatar World cup. Md. Shohel Rana, Manager of Merchandising Department of Masco Group said, “We’re not regular sportswear maker, shipped only 16 thousand pcs fan t-shirt for France’s Celio shoppers for the upcoming world cup and also sent 15 thousand pcs jersey in 2014 Brazil world cup.”

Decathlon, one of the largest sportswear retailers in the world, is sourcing sportswear apparel from Bangladesh and expanding its activities and business quite aggressively.

Md. Tanvir Ahmed, Operational Process Manager (Supply Chain) of Decathlon Bangladesh said to Textile Today, “If Bangladesh invests more in synthetic yarn and fabric sector, the sportswear industry will grow simultaneously as 60-70% raw materials have been imported from abroad. Besides, factories should come forward to create highly skilled technical personnel to make Bangladesh more desirable and attractive to customers. ”

Korean-based Youngone Corporation makes sports outerwear for Adidas, Lululemon, and Under Armour, etc for more than a decade. Adidas sources $100 million in garments from the Chattogram unit.

Shanta didn’t get an order for this world cup but they shipped it in the previous tournament and regularly make sports items for Ambro, Puma, PVH and European-based various football clubs, etc.

Md. Mahmudul Hasan, Sr. Merchandiser of Shanta Industries Ltd said, “We’re continuously giving support to renowned sports buyers and doing $10 Million business per season, quantity is 20 lakh pcs. Although Bangladesh has been performing as a strong basic product maker due to skilled manpower, raw materials and logistics, it can’t light up itself in case of critical sports attires. Government and owners should focus on it more.”

The target to catch $100 billion by 2030

The current global market volume is around $560 Billion, where Bangladesh’s export share was $43.34 Billion in FY 2021-22, up by 36% year-on-year. The global apparel market size will be around $1135 Billion by 2030. During this period, Bangladeshi apparel exporters and BGMEA expect to get at least 10% or $100 Billion of the global market share.

To catch this market, factories need to boost innovative technologies, products, services and business models. Logistic facility, port handling capacity, power, skilled labor, environment and labor right will also be burning issues.

Chinese apparel export share is declining in the western market due to rising tension between the West and China, Bangladeshi exporters can take advantage of the situation to gear up their products.

Sector leaders think that if Bangladesh focuses highly to produce high-value product baskets like sports, lingerie, activewear, suit-blazer, and critically oriented attires along with emphasizing its own design by reducing dependence on basic items, then it would be easier to touch $100 Billion landmark.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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