Deep dive into the booming French market of football boots.

How mapping everything French people searched online about football boots in 2021 helped reveal the market overall growth, local specificities and ROI of star player sponsoring - like Messi, Neymar or Mbappé.

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Monitoring true consumer expectations with search listening 🔎

Football boots seemed to be a flat market in France. 

But the emergence of alternative fields (futsal, five-a-side football, etc.), the apparition of new features (laceless, collar boots, etc.), and influence new star players in Ligue 1 (Neymar, Mbappé, Messi…) made the competitive landscape much more challenging for historical brands like NikeAdidas or Puma.

Reacting fast to new consumer expectations has become crucial for both marketing & product teams to steer innovation with new products, new packaging, and local marketing campaigns.

To keep up with the competition, a key player in the sports shoe industry called Trajaan for help to get strategic insights and local market information about football boots – with the help of search listening.

How to assess potential opportunities in fast-moving B2C markets? How search listening can help marketing strategists to promote targeted and local campaigns?

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The huge growth potential of the football boots market 📈

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Search volume evolution taking into account the 10 major brands

The football boots market represents an amazing opportunity for sports brands. We registered more than 1,4 million searches in 2021 about football boots.

The number of queries grew from around 50k in January 2021 to 200k in November (+300%), a true turning point on the market – even after the end of lockdown due to Covid-19.

Nike and Adidas took the most advantage of this growing period by following the global trend – while Puma remained rather constant.

Nike went from 43k searches per month in February to 180k in December, in other terms it was more than multiplied per 4.

Adidas also went from around 23k searches per month in February to 93k in December, slightly less than multiplied per 4.

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Nike, player of the year 🏆

The market is not very crowded, due to the overwhelming presence of an unbeatable podium composed of Nike, Adidas, and Puma – with a total search volume representing 97.3% of the overall volume

Besides these three players, the influence of other brands such as New balance or Under Armour is not very significant (< 3%). 

Nike currently dominates the market, it also recorded the best growth. 

  • 🕵️‍♂️ More than 175.000 searches in December (+16,4%).
  • 🏆 Nike monopolizes 58,2% of searches shares.
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The surprising specificities of futsal market 🕵️‍♀️

🔎 Almost 25,000 queries in the last 6 months (+160%)

🔎 Searches going from 2,400 in January to 6,650 in December 🔥

🔎 Nike even more present with 68% of searches related to futsal

🔎 Very strong affinity in the french Eastern regions 

Evolution of searches linked with futsal along 2021

Sponsorships: amazing brand awareness boosters 🤝🚀

The French footballer Mbappé definitely killed the game from November. Good news for Nike, as the brand signed a specific partnership with Mbappé – to promote its products like the Mercurial.

Such an impressive breakthrough in the charts can obviously be explained by the major success of Kylian Mbappé, but also by the growing influence of the Mercurial aura (the major Nike branded product).

Obviously, online searches are dependent on sponsorship deals between brands and players. 

Aside from Nike, we detected a high volume of association between a player and football boots for two players only: CR7 + Nike and Neymar + Puma.

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Football players searches shares in 2021
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Main football players along 2021
Affinity for football shoes in France (volume of search for 100k inhabitants)
Volume of search in France

Detecting unusual search behavior with local affinity 🗺

Besides the significant success in the Parisian region, we noticed a specific consumer behavior in Brittany – in terms of volume and affinity Western French regions have less interest in football boots.

More surprisingly, Corsica shows a strong interest in football boots, almost as much as Parisian interest.

How does search listening provide the right market indicators? 🎯

We scanned major marketplaces and websites selling football boots to collect hundreds of expressions related to football shoes. We extracted 800+ semantic expressions from these major e-commerce platforms.

We only conserved expressions that were searched by consumers, what is referred to as search queries.

All these search queries were grouped into segments representing all subcategories from the football boots market: brands, models, prices, players …

Get your demo! 📈

Trajaan is the best tool to analyze search data, detect ongoing market trends, and tell you how to validate your brand positioning and prioritize your marketing operations.

champagne trends uk / fr

The ball is in your court! ⚽️🏀🎾

If you want to have a closer look at other sports or side markets, just set up another Trajaan project with the same competitors and learn more about football shirts, jerseys or shorts, etc… 

You could also consider monitoring the European market, as it should reveal different trends among countries – depending on the impact of sponsoring.

Or, you could focus your analysis on others sports like basketball, tennis, handball, or rugby. These studies could give you relevant hints to consider your category evolution & how you could benefit from sponsoring players.

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