Article by: Ryan S.

As Manila continues to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, the thriving metropolis has seen drastic development in recent years. With GDP growth rates constantly breaking the 5% mark, new buildings have blossomed like plants, while the arrival of new stores every week has become the new norm. One of the many positive changes brought on by this economic boom is the growth of the sportswear industry. As popular sports brands such as Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas make their mark in the Philippines, many products that were once unavailable in the country are now available. No stranger to this phenomenon, many ISM students have caught on to this new trend.

With the arrival of many new American sports brands in the Philippines, ISM students have developed their own set of preferences with interesting shopping trends. The results of a survey of over sixty ISM high schoolers indicates that the majority of Bearcats purchase sportswear because of its comfort or out of necessity to participate in sports. Moreover, many people admit they make an effort to visit sportswear stores at least twice a month. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 48% of respondents usually buy footwear, and a near 46% often purchase general sports apparel. In terms of favorite brands, several ISM students claim to prefer Nike. Under Armour, which only established itself in the country last year, is popular as well. Sophomore varsity athlete, Mikheil L., states that he prefers Nike because of “its reputation to be the best and the vast selection of products they offer.” Nike, which has been in the Philippines for over 10 years, recorded 20% share of the market last year, as per Euromonitor International. Having brought in NBA superstar Lebron James to the country in 2015 for a special sports event, the company has particularly  reached out to the large basketball-crazy community in the Philippines. Under Armour and Adidas have also endorsed similar events, bringing Steph Curry and Ricky Rubio, respectively, to the country.

In addition to these major brands, stores such as Recreational Sports Exchange (ROX) and Boot Camp have been praised by many Bearcats as well. ROX is known for its wide variety of adventure-based products. It sells everything from surfboards to winter clothes and even offers rock climbing lessons. Located in the heart of Bonifacio High Street, the store is one of Manila’s action-adventure apparel hubs. Also located in Bonifacio High Street, Boot Camp has become popular among Bearcat rugby and soccer players. Encompassing an array of jerseys, cleats, and other soccer apparel, the store is a “soccer player’s paradise.” Whether you are an adventure enthusiast or aspiring IASAS athlete, Manila has everything you need.

As multi-sport athlete Deion Sanders once said, “If you look good, you feel good; if you feel good, you play good; and if you play good, you pay good.” With the great success of the Bearcat teams over this past school year, it is clear they have taken advantage of the growing sportswear industry in the Philippines.  

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