When we think of the economy, we often think of the big hitters: finance, banking, technology that dominates and shapes entire industries. But in doing so we often neglect the less obviously financial aspects of the economy that actually make a huge contribution. One of those is the sports industry. But how good is the sports industry for the economy – and is it therefore a good investment?
Some suggest that the value proposition offered by sports investment can be exemplified by the waiting lists to make purchases on some sporting businesses. As teams continue to improve and move from local to national levels of skill, they become even better propositions. Some smaller teams just need the investment of cash and the hiring of good management in order to move up the ranks.
One of the biggest signifiers of how substantial the sporting industry is can be seen through how the public engage with it. Social media shows that not only do sports fans have a presence online, but they act as brand ambassadors and amplifiers of individual teams and the industry in general. The rise in apps that help track fitness and give us unique and exciting ways to engage with our own sporting abilities are also emblematic of the social-led approach to sports.
There is an appetite for people to engage with sport on all levels, from major tournaments to smaller games. Indeed, as the soccer odds show, almost all major sporting fixtures can be bet on, from La Liga and Bundesliga to the Premier League and FA Cup. This breadth of activity shows how ingrained the love for soccer is and how the industry’s strongest asset are its supporters. But soccer isn’t alone, many more sports than before are available to be wagered on, showing that this global approach has improved our ability to engage with sports that aren’t as readily available in our countries.
The sports industry doesn’t just encompass major teams and the stadiums they play in. Ancillary businesses – such as athletic wear, equipment, and even public-level ways of engaging with sport i.e. centers for playing sport and even trying out new ones – are also strong investments. With a focus on improving our physical condition and the social nature of sporting hobbies, more people are looking to find something sports-themed to get involved with, even if it is just a local running club. Moreover, partnerships to show sport are also expansive and highly sought after, especially by telecoms providers like AT&T.
The downside of sports investing is that external conditions can have an effect. Inclement weather or incidents involving players can turn a team’s fortunes around. The industry is reliant on many moving parts and should something derail this, the investment could fall flat. Demand for attending sporting fixtures in person is based around their situation (income, time, proximity) as well as the price of tickets and the nature of the venues, which may have a result in the overall profit at the end.
Sports is a worthwhile investment and clearly an industry in which consumers are interested and engaged. As with any investment, issues can occur, but the history of sports shows that unlike newer industries, there is a greater likelihood of it bouncing back.