When thinking about the best sports brands, an old soccer expression comes to mind: form is temporary, but class is permanent. Popularity ebbs and flows, but quality and legacy endure.

The hype that drives the high end of the market and sends collectors and media outlets such as ourselves into a frenzy is a means for sports brands to elevate their general releases and everyday wear and keep profits ticking upwards. And it’s working. Market research firm Statista estimates the global sports apparel market generated revenue of $174 billion in 2018, up from $167 billion in 2017, and it’s set to keep growing. According to Allied Market Research, revenue is expected to hit $184.6 billion by 2020.

But hype isn’t the be-all and end-all. Heritage, product quality, strong endorsement deals, and innovation are other spokes in the wheel of what makes a sports company great. Its something those in charge know all too well, and a big reason as to why a lot of brands have transitioned from the sports to lifestyle arena with ease in recent times. Scroll on to see, the sports brands across the world.


The Beaverton giant remains the biggest sportswear brand in the world, taking more than $36 billion in revenue in 2019. Nike dominates nearly every sport, holding sponsorships with everyone from amateurs to Olympians, AAU teams to NBA squads, and everything in between. The Swoosh is one of the world’s most ubiquitous logos, as it has been for decades.

The brand continuously innovates through technologies such as React, Adapt, and, of course, Air, and continues to work with new design collaborators and athletes both in their prime and post-career, from John Elliott to Colin Kaepernick, Tom Sachs to Serena Williams. Whether making lifestyle or performance products, Nike is the global leader.

Quite simply, Nike is in a league of its own, a winner that just does it.


The German sportswear icon’s first quarter of 2019 was “the best quarter PUMA has ever seen,” according to CEO Bjorn Gulden, with the brand growing faster than Nike and adidas in North America, albeit as a smaller company with more room to grow.

PUMA owes its recent success to killer collaborations and the revival of retro sneakers from various eras. On the collaboration front, PUMA has worked with the likes of ADER Error, Upscale Vandal, and Nipsey Hussle, and is continuing that work with the late rapper’s estate.

Through modern iterations of its Palace Guard and Ralph Sampson sneakers, PUMA is bringing the best of ’80s basketball into the 21st century, while 1998’s hefty Cell Venom also made a successful return, with Overkill and ADER Error adding their collaborative touches to the model to great effect. Likewise, the relaunched Inhale draws from the ’00s vault, giving PUMA three decades worth of footwear making waves in the modern era.


Oakley sunglasses have become a serious flex in high fashion in recent times. With sunglasses trends moving toward thinner, more colorful frames, and bigger, more outlandish lenses, Oakley, with its decades-deep archive of cycling shades, was ready for a comeback. Collaborations with Vetements, Palace, and A-COLD-WALL*’s Samuel Ross have put everyone on notice, making Oakley, which also makes goggles and apparel, one of the most desirable sunglasses companies in the world.


A sportswear giant long before athleisure was even a word, the Brand With the Three Stripes made massive bets on high-profile collaborations through its Originals lifestyle brand, and how that’s paid off. Rick Owens, Alexander Wang, Raf Simons, Pharrell Williams, and Kanye West have been in the fold for years, and in 2019, adidas added Beyoncé, Kid Cudi, and Donald Glover, as well as re-upping its deal with Pusha-T.

These collabs have elevated adidas as it slowly cuts into eternal rival Nike’s market share, and with West’s YEEZY, taken from under the Swoosh’s nose in 2016, the German brand hit the jackpot.

Lyst named YEEZY among itshottest brands and products of 2019’s first quarter, above adidas itself. And with the rate of YEEZY releases going up, and adidas continuing to tap into the retro sneaker trend with silhouettes such as the Yung-1, Yung-96, and LXCON, expect the Three Stripes to remain one of the most omnipresent and valuable sportswear brands in the world for years to come.

Addidas was  started by two brothers from Germany named Adolf dassler  & Rudolf. As days turned on Adolf left the company & started a new sports brand named PUMA which turned out to be the biggest rival for addidas back in the days.

Jordan brand

Like how many sportswear brands have pivoted to reviving and reimagining chunky runners from their ’90s heyday, Jordan Brand keeps churning out remarkable retros by in-house designers and collaborators, particularly retros of the iconic Air Jordan 1, aka “The One That Started It All.”

Nike being the former owner of the Jordan brand, It was created for a former NBA player & 5 time NBA (MVP) Michael jordan. Back in 1984 the original air Jordan sneakers were produced exclusively for Michael Jordan.

OFF-WHITE’s Virgil Abloh, fragment design’s Hiroshi Fujiwara, and Travis Scott have all made their mark on the Jordan retro line, with Abloh and Scott’s designs among the most valuable in the sneaker world. Away from reissues of Michael Jordan’s classic basketball sneakers, Jordan Brand supplies contemporary basketball and even football gear, and in 2018 expanded into soccer, supplying Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League jerseys in an unprecedented move.

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