World Cup fever may be spreading around the U.S., but another sport saw significant growth in the athletic footwear market last year.
According to The NPD Group, basketball footwear sales increased 21 percent in the 12 months ended April, dramatically outpacing a 4 percent decline in the overall athletic footwear industry.
"Just one look at the colors, styles, innovation and launches in basketball footwear this year, and you will see the reason for its higher level of growth," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group.
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Sterne Agee analyst Sam Poser said in a recent research note that much of the segment's strength has been driven by "marquee launches" from brands such as Nike and Jordan.
In its earnings report last week, Nike reported that wholesale basketball revenues increased 19 percent for the year ended May 31 compared to the prior year. It also saw significant growth in its soccer sales, which increased 21 percent when excluding currency changes.
Along with Nike and Jordan, Adidas and Reebok were the top-performing basketball footwear brands, according to The NPD Group.
—By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson