Demand for athletic tapes continues to be driven by their applications in injury prevention and management.
In addition to their use as a preventive measure for injury reduction in collision sports, athletic tapes are also used to manage chronic injuries such as tibial stress syndrome.
Use of athletic tapes for maintaining the posture and balance while playing a sport is another key factor driving the growth of the athletic tapes market globally.
The athletic tapes market remains moderately fragmented, and multinational brands face pricing pressures from local manufacturers. Product penetration is sizeable among hockey and soccer players, but professional tennis players remain the top draw on account of better product visibility and familiarity of support staff with athletic tapes.
Visibility Factor Remains Important for Manufacturers
Key participants in the athletic tapes market are focusing on improving product visibility by aligning with sports and tournaments where they expect hundreds of thousands of eyeballs.
KT Sports, a key market participant, has frequently tied up with local and international teams to increase product visibility.
The type of sport to tie-up with is also of paramount importance, as the visibility of the product varies from sport to sport.
Empirical Evidence on Benefits of Kinesiology Tapes Can Open Up Sizeable Opportunities
Interest in kinesiology tapes piqued as athletes from around the globe have sported it while participating in prestigious international tournaments.
Although the jury is still out on the empirical evidence linking kinesiology tape with improved performance, adoption continues to be driven by positive word-of-mouth.
The kinesiology tape is usually applied to injuries affecting ankles, shoulders, back, and hands.
Although positive word-of-mouth has helped boost sales of athletic tapes, ambiguities about their actual benefits persist.
According to an independent study published in the Sports Medicine, taping can only have a “beneficial role” in the improving the strength and range of motion.
The report also suggested that further independent studies should be used for confirming the findings.
Considering the market scenario, the demand for kinesiology and other athletic tapes can receive an impetus if conclusive and empirical studies demonstrate their benefits for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
Kinesiology Tapes – The Athletic Tape that Enabled the Shift from Niche to Mainstream
Kinesiology athletic tapes outsell elastic adhesive bandages and zinc oxide tapes, as the latter need to be removed periodically to restore movement. End-user preference for kinesiology tapes is positively influenced by their therapeutic benefits. The report finds that demand for kinesiology athletic tapes remained subdued for a long time, as applications were limited to patients undergoing physical recuperation. However, the product received unprecedented surge in popularity after US volleyball player Kerri Walsh sported it at the 2008 Olympics while recovering from a rotator-cuff injury.
The popularity of the product has led to recommendations and prescriptions by physicians and chiropractors, and establishment of a multi-million dollar marketplace. Kinesiology tapes are likely to outsell other conventional athletic tapes available in the market, and consistently hold over 50% revenue share during the assessment period.