Sports Sector In Mexico

Mexico is a country where sports are one of the primary forms of entertainment. Football is a US$350 billion industry. For the National Basketball Association (NBA), Mexico is the largest market in LATAM and 1 of the 5 best performing in the world.

Market overview

Major sports in Mexico, based on participation of the population, are football, basketball, volleyball, tennis and finally martial arts. Motor sports, billiards, and golf are also played regularly.

Consumer spending in apparel and sports activities in Mexico is a US$4.18 billion market that employs more than 200,000 people. This industry has grown annually on average 3.5% from 2003 to 2010. This sector accounts for 0.9% of the total retail value of the country and distinguishes itself by a strong sporting apparel segment that is worth more than US$350 million. The 3.21% annual growth rate is stronger than any other in Latin America.

The ball sport equipment segment is expected to be the market´s most lucrative in 2011, with total revenue of US$151.2 million. Mexico is very enthusiastic about football, this thriving business is on the top ten most rich football federations; hence professional football in Mexico is a US$350 million industry in terms of federation and team revenues, while it has US$105 million earnings for television and commercial rights, an amount that increased 269% for the 2006-2010 cycle.

Furthermore, Mexico is a leader on the marketing of football teams and its brands, where the Mexican sports goods market is worth more than US$3 billion, increasing by 82% throughout 2000-2011.

Sales for sports goods reached US$319 million in 2011.

Besides sporting apparel and football, the strongest market segments are golf, racquet sports and exercise equipment. The golf/tennis market grows annually on average 7%, although it is limited mainly to the affluent. This does however; mean it offers interesting niche markets for high-end foreign-made equipment. The popularity of both sports is driven partly by extensive television coverage.

The popularity and status of tennis has created spin-off demands for racquetball and squash. 95% of the equipment of these sports is imported according to national data.

The market for exercise equipment is more broadly based. Private gymnasiums, which traditionally focused on weight lifting for men, are now broadening their coverage to aerobic.

Key opportunities

Improvements in the sector are based on supply of equipment and recreational products and infrastructure:

  • There are around 220 golf courses in the country. 60% of them are part of real estate developments and 40% of them are part of tourist developments according to the Mexican Golf Federation.

  • Football stadium infrastructure.

  • Sporting apparel.

  • High-end foreign made equipment for golf, tennis and racquetball.

  • For equipment, the sectors with the biggest growth would be: adventure sports, multifunction equipment, digital cameras, handhelds, and telecomm equipment (voice and data).

  • In the case of infrastructure, there are opportunities for investment, since taking into account the 60 stadiums for professional football that the country has, only 8 hold more than 40,000 people, and those same 8 are more than 40 years old, which means that there is a tangible need for infrastructure improvement, highlighted by Mexican plans to hold international sports events in the near future

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Getting into the market

The Mexican Sports Confederation is in charge of the development of sports at a nationwide level by monitoring the correct implementation of the statutes that regulate each member of the federated sport.

There are around 58 Mexican Federations that regulate each specific sector. Among the most prominent federations we find The Mexican Federation of Football with 85 years of history.

The National Commission of Physical Culture and Sport (CONADE) is in charge of promoting physical culture, recreation and sports in Mexico.

More about doing business in Mexico


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To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

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