Top 10 Sports Affiliate Programs – To Take A Swing At In 2020

The global sports industry is expected to reach a worth of at least $614.1 billion by 2022, following a CAGR of 5.9%.

What a number, huh?

It’s a massive industry to tap into – full of lucrative opportunities and driven by a passion that doesn’t show signs of slowing down – no matter how you cut it.

If you’re going to take your swing at such a vast market, you should look beyond your usual big-box retailers.

We put together a round-up of top sports affiliate programs to encourage you to dig deeper and explore the potential niches.

Here’s what we found!

The Top 10 Sports Affiliate Programs

  • Under Armour Affiliate Program
  • Leather Head Sports Affiliate Program
  • Fanatics Affiliate Program
  • Sports Memorabilia Affiliate Program
  • Total Gym Affiliate Program
  • Fitbit Affiliate Program
  • LeftLane Sports Affiliate Program
  • Eastbay Affiliate Program
  • Al’s Sporting Goods Affiliate Program
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods Affiliate Program

1. Under Armour Affiliate Program

under-armour

Under Armour is an apparel brand with a clearly defined mission – to make its customers better. Everything Under Armour makes – whether it’s the shoes, HeatGear and ColdGear collections, other cutting-edge apparel, connected fitness gear, or accessories – is built to perform.

Under Armour pretty much launched the performance-oriented apparel industry and continued to deliver premium, high-quality products across all sectors.

And to think that the story of this globally-recognized, multi-billion-dollar brand started with a single moisture-wicking compression T-shirt!

When it’s not busy delivering performance solutions to athletes of today – and tomorrow – Under Armour runs an outstanding affiliate program.

When we say “outstanding,” we mean it:

Under Armour’s affiliate program has been acknowledged by industry-leading organizations. The brand received recognition as the Exceptional Merchant during the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards.

To pass up an opportunity like this – especially if you’re looking to monetize an active-lifestyle website – would be short-sighted.

On that note, you can sign up for Under Armour’s affiliate program through AWIN.

The program pays rather well – affiliates get a 5% commission for every sale with a 30-day window to convert leads. The high average orders of around $100 make partnering up with Under Armour even more tempting.

Why Should You Promote Under Armour?

Under Armour is the leading name in the performance apparel industry. Joining their award-winning affiliate program is, by and far, a stellar opportunity to monetize a website in the active-living space.

2. Leather Head Sports Affiliate Program

leather-head-sports

Paul Cunningham, the founder of Leather Head Sports, built his company intending to make heirloom-quality sporting goods. It all started with a simple belief:

The love of play is universal.

Today, Leather Head Sports’ goods stand out among the mass-produced knock-offs because they’re custom-made from authentic leather and inspired by the glory days of hand-crafted balls. You know, the ones with actual laces on them!

Leather Head Sports’ affiliate program is managed through Share-A-Sale. You’ll have to get approved by them first before you can apply as an affiliate.

It’s worth the hassle, though:

Specializing in premium-quality, custom-made sporting goods and backing it up with impeccable artistry launched Leather Head Sports beyond just the sports industry:

Even those who aren’t “true lovers of the game” can appreciate the uniqueness, quality, and heirloom value of these American-made, hand-crafted collectibles.

That’s a pretty unique selling proposition to work with from a marketing standpoint.

Furthermore, the program’s metrics are more than decent:

Affiliates get a 10% commission rate on each sale – the average order value is over $150 – and 30-day cookie duration to boot.

Why Should You Promote Leather Head Sports?

Leather Head Sports’ custom-made goods make for a fantastic USP in both the active sports and collectibles market. The 10% commission and 30-day cookie duration is a big plus, too.

3. Fanatics Affiliate Program

fantastics

  • Commission Percentage/Value: Up to 10%
  • Cookie Length: 7 days
  • Link to Program

Let’s dig into the professional sports niche with the world’s largest officially-licensed online retail store for every team, league, and association out there:

NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, and UFC – to name a few.

Being a fan gear site on steroids – yes, we used the “S” word in a sports-related article – Fanatics caters to, well, fanatics. More than your average sports fans, these “fanatics” are loyal, passionate, and willing to support their teams with the utmost dedication:

They’ll buy the jerseys, the official fan gear, the season tickets, and other licensed merchandise – and this is likely the first place they’ll go searching for it!

Fanatics Affiliate Program, managed by Impact Radius, offers a mind-boggling number of opportunities, with the store carrying over 400,000 sports-related items.

But more importantly, the high commission rates – up to 10%, depending on the traffic you typically generate and the level of trust and engagement you get from your audiences – make this such an immense opportunity for affiliates.

Plus, Fanatics has an outstanding in-house affiliate management team.

It does have its restrictions, though. PPC advertising is strictly prohibited, and you only get a 7-day cookie duration.

Why Should You Promote Fanatics?

You’d be silly not to partner up with the biggest officially-licensed retailer in the sports industry – especially given the more-than-satisfactory 10% commission potential!

4. Sports Memorabilia Affiliate Program

sports-memorabilia

  • Commission Percentage/Value: Up to 12%
  • Cookie Length: 30 days
  • Link to Program

You can probably tell what Sports Memorabilia is about – but did you know that it’s the leading online source of authentic sports memorabilia?

Yes, everything’s 100% certified as authentic. Each product – and there’s over 500,000 in the inventory – comes with Sports Memorabilia’s authenticity guarantee.

Similarly to Leather Head Sports, you have a unique angle to work with:

You’re offering genuine sports collectibles and game-used products – a piece of history signed or used by their favorite athletes – rather than regular sports gear.

It’s not much to base a business on unless your website is already heavily focused on sports memorabilia

If you know that you have avid collectors in your audience, this is the affiliate program for you. Collectors are willing to spend money on such items – and they’re more than likely to do so online.

You can apply for the Sports Memorabilia affiliate program – which is run by Share-A-Sale – through invitations only. Contacting the company directly via their contacts page is probably your best bet.

You can expect commission rates of up to 12% – coupon and deal websites get a 3% commission – and cookie life of 30 days.

Why Should You Promote Sports Memorabilia?

Sports Memorabilia items have a certificate of authenticity, which could further boost conversion rates – and you’ll be earning up to 12% on every sale you make within a 30-day window!

5. Total Gym Affiliate Program

total-gym

  • Commission Percentage/Value: 3-7.5%
  • Cookie Length: 45 days
  • Link to Program

Total Gym incorporates an entire gym’s worth of equipment into a single exercise machine – and one that’s found its way into more than four million home gyms worldwide, too.

If you want to focus on home gym equipment, Total Gym is the way to go:

The program is free and managed by Commission Junction, with a dedicated affiliate management team there to help you set everything up.

Total Gym’s line-up includes four different models – Supreme, best-selling XLS, FIT, and the top-of-the-line GTS. Each one features Total Gym’s signature all-in-one design but has different users, fitness goals, and budgets in mind.

Other than the four Total Gym units, their product line-up includes other workout tools, attachments, and workout DVDs.

You have the opportunity to target audiences of all fitness levels, with the commission rates varying depending on the product:

Affiliates earn 3% on DVD sales, 5% on core trainer sales, and 7.5% on any of the full home gym units.

The 45-day cookie duration is more than appealing, too.

Considering that the lowest-priced Supreme retails for $599.70 – with the Total Gym GTS model going for $3795.00 – the earning potential is there.

Why Should You Promote Total Gym?

Consumer benefits, like interest-free payments, 30-day trials, and free shipping on orders over $175, may contribute to higher conversion rates – and more commission for the affiliates.

6. Fitbit Affiliate Program

fitbit

Fitness trackers are one of the most fast-changing and competitive markets in terms of wearable consumer tech. However, Fitbit still stands out as the leading name in the connected activity tracker market – and a health and fitness brand with global recognition.

Part of Fitbit’s broad, mainstream appeal stems from advanced tech packed in user-friendly products and services:

The six wearable fitness trackers, the core of the brand’s platform, meet the market’s essential needs – improved sleep quality, activity levels, and weight management.

It doesn’t stop there. There’s a Fitbit for every health goal, budget, fitness level – and every target audience you have in mind.

The brand uses Commission Junction to manage its affiliate program, which is currently only open for the US- and Canada-based websites.

Fitbit’s program grants affiliate a 3% commission on sales made exclusively on Fitbit’s official website, with a more-than-generous 45-day cookie life. Plus, you’ll have a responsive affiliate management team in your corner.

The terms are less than stellar, and you’ll likely have to go against large online retailers that carry Fitbit products. But if you’re in the fitness niche, your audience – especially the ladies – will expect to see this familiar name.

Why Should You Promote Fitbit?

A globally-recognized brand like Fitbit could mean more conversions. You get a 3% commission rate and 45 days to convert leads; high-volume affiliates eligible for higher commissions.

7. LeftLane Sports Affiliate Program

leftlane

  • Commission Percentage/Value: Up to 10%
  • Cookie Length: 60 days
  • Link to Program

LeftLane, for those still unfamiliar with the brand, is a members-only e-commerce community with a focus on sporting goods and a flash sales model that will make your wallet smile.

They gather products from over 1600 leading sports brands and offer them to members through limited-time sales, with discounts often shaving up to 50-70% off the retail price!

Besides exclusive deals, members get a 90-day return period, the lowest price guarantee, and a 14-day price drop window.

Considering that the costs of sports equipment can get mind-bogglingly high – as parents of kids participating in youth sports know – an offer like that is hard to ignore.

That right there is your affiliate marketing opportunity – and a pretty tempting one, at that.

You can sign up for LeftLane Sports’ affiliate program through both AvantLink and Commission Junction, or you can shoot them an email – whatever works for you.

The 10% commission rate is more than generous, and so is the 60-day cookie life – but we expected nothing less from an online store that based its business of discounts and bargains.

Why Should You Promote LeftLane Sports?

Daily discounts with up to 70% off, 14-day price drop and lowest price guarantee, and 90-day return window are bound to attract visitors – and there’s a 10% commission rate for you!

8. Eastbay Affiliate Program

eastbay

The brand did a lot of growth since the 1980s and joined the Foot Locker, Inc. family in the meantime, but Eastbay’s primary goal has remained unchanged:

They’re dedicated to fulfilling the needs and wants of high school and college athletes aged 7 to 24 – the athletes of the future. And much like its target audience, Eastbay doesn’t plan to stop growing any time soon.

Buried in Eastbay’s sports section are 16 different product categories waiting to be explored by affiliate marketers.

That brings us to our next point:

You’re free to create a separate online “sports store” – on an Eastbay-approved website, of course – by adding affiliate links and building sales incentives around it.

As an affiliate, you’ll earn a flat 8% commission rate on all sales, although the 7-day cookie duration isn’t that impressive.

Now, here’s the tricky part:

You’ll be actively promoting products – athletic attire, footwear, and equipment – to high school and college students, which means that minors will potentially come across your website.

COPPA – the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – isn’t something to take lightly. Approach your affiliate marketing efforts with extra caution.

Why Should You Promote Eastbay?

Eastbay’s extensive selection of sports apparel and gear for junior athletes and 8% commission may be worth it. However, take note of COPPA and do advanced affiliate training, first.

9. Al’s Sporting Goods Affiliate Program

avantlink

Most people would consider Al’s Sporting Goods to be a massive sporting gear vendor that caters to those who are into outdoor activities and adventures – and we can’t argue with that.

However, it’s time to look at the bigger picture and go beyond the typical court-and-ball sports. There’s a world of possibilities to explore here.

So, why not inspire your audiences to go out and give other outdoor activities – such as hunting and fishing – a try?

Al’s offers a massive enough selection of gear, apparel, accessories, and footwear to meet the more “general” sporting needs, while also allowing you to tap into this outdoors-focused niche.

This vendor carries all the leading sports apparel brands – Nike and Adidas, The North Face, Patagonia, Under Armour, and many more – which typically bring in customers and score conversions.

You can apply for the program through AvantLink. If you need a bit more convincing, their starting commission rate for affiliates is 9% – with the average order value being $120.

Plus, with a 45-day cookie duration, you can earn your commission over a month and a half after the initial click-through.

Why Should You Promote Al’s Sporting Goods?

Al’s Sporting Goods’ massive selection of globally-recognized brands ensures high conversion rates. With a 9% commission and long cookie duration, you can count on high commissions!

10. Dick’s Sporting Goods Affiliate Program

dicks-sporting

  • Commission Percentage/Value: Starting at 3%
  • Cookie Length: 10 days
  • Link to Program

We started by advising you to shy away from the big-box retailers – and while we still stand by what we said, this one might be too big to ignore.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is pretty much Walmart – but for, well, sporting goods:

It’s the go-to place for high-school basketball players looking for new shoes or your local Little League baseball team’s coach to get new gloves for the team; you get the idea.

You can find everything from apparel to patio furniture if you dig deep enough, which paints a somewhat generic picture. Then again, Dick’s Sporting Goods had a gross income of $2.44 billion, so they’re doing something right.

The affiliate program’s managed through Impact Radius, but you get to work with their in-house affiliate team directly, which is a nice touch.

The 3% commission rate isn’t all that impressive – and neither is the 10-day cookie duration. In that sense, Dick’s Sporting Goods’ program isn’t much different than that of Amazon or eBay.

But despite these little hang-ups, Dick’s affiliate program might be a good one to throw into the mix to buffer out your offers – their extensive inventory could work to your advantage!

Why Should You Promote Dick’s Sporting Goods?

With access to hot-ticket brands, official leagues merchandise, and thousands of other sports goods, you can cover more topics – and build organic traffic more efficiently.

Sports Affiliate Programs: Products You Could Promote

Here’s the thing:

Without a specific niche in mind, our round-up of sports affiliate programs will be of little use.

If you’re still at that “I have no idea what my next move should be” stage, here are a few suggestions:

Sports gear and apparel – whether it’s for weekend warriors or marathon runners – is a safe and universal approach. You can partner up with the likes of Under Armour for a 5% commission rate.

Target the booming at-home fitness niche with Total Gym or Fitbit programs; the 3% commission rates aren’t mind-blowing, but order values might be.

If you know your niche and target audience well enough, partner up with Leather Head Sports, Fanatics, or Sports Memorabilia:

Fanatics and collectors appreciate custom-made goods, authentic memorabilia, and officially-licensed merchandise, no matter the cost – and there’s a 10-12% commission in it for you!