10
THE SALIENCE OF SPORT
There is yet no authoritative assessment of the size
of the global sports sector; published estimates range
from $114 billion to $750 billion, with most clustering
at the lower end.
i
However, recent studies indicate
the sector significantly exceeds even the most bullish
of these estimates. Indeed, total annual revenues
almost surely surpass $1 trillion and will be far more
if illegal gambling totals are included. This stagger-
ing sum conveys a thumbnail sense of the billions
invested, the millions of jobs, and the thousands of
brands and reputations that may be jeopardised by
integrity breaches.
A ballpark estimate for the total size of the global
sports sector begins with credible research on the
North American and European sports markets, by
far the biggest and most commercial. Starting with
North America, a comprehensive, large-scale, often-
cited study of the “U.S. sports industry” conducted
in 1997 arrived at a figure of $213.5 billion, at the
time about “twice the size of the United States’
auto industry and seven times the size of the movie
industry”.
ii
With this figure as the foundation, and
factoring in reported growth rates in certain sports
and industries, inflation, and other significant events
since 1997 – such as revenues in major sports and
sports media, the expansion of Major League Soccer,
X-Games, and mixed martial arts, and the explosive
growth of betting on sports and sport-related revenue
via the Internet – the total swells to approximately
$400 billion in 2010. This sum tallies with a recent
independent estimate by Plunkett Research of $414.4
billion for the entire U.S. sports industry in 2007
(Figure I).
iii
Sizing the Global Sports Sector
FIGURE I: SIZE AND BREAKDOWN OF THE U.S. SPORTS INDUSTRY, 2007
0
50
100
150
200
27.4
26.2
25.6
$ Billions
Note: The source does not identify the contents of every category but does provide the following information about revenue sources:
1. Advertising: billboards, arena/stadium signage, national network TV, radio, national cable TV, sports magazines, regional TV, and national syndicated TV;
2. Spectator spending: ticket sales, concessions, parking, on-site merchandise sales, and premium seating revenue;
3. Sporting goods: equipment, sportswear, and footwear used in competition;
4. Operating expenses: player payrolls and payments by teams, leagues, and other governing bodies in organized sports;
5. Professional services: facility and event management, financial, legal, and insurance services, marketing and consulting services, and athlete representation;
6. Licensed goods: sales of merchandise officially licensed by leagues, teams, and other sports properties;
7. Sponsorships: money spent on sponsorships of leagues, teams, broadcasts, and events;
8. Facility construction: stadiums, arenas, and motor speedways;
9. Multimedia: magazines, computer and video games, videos and DVDs, and books
10. Endorsements: based on values for the top 75 athletes, coaches, and sports personalities;
11. Internet: ad spending and subscriber fees.
Source: Sports Business Simulations
Advertising
1
Sporting
Goods
3
Spectator
Spending
2
Operating
Expenses
4
Travel
Medical
Spending
Media
Broadcast-
ing Rights
Facility
Construction
8
Endorse-
ments
10
Gambling Professional
Services
5
Licensed
Goods
6
Sponsor-
ships
7
Multimedia
9
Internet
11
14.1% 13.4% 13.2% 11.8% 9.7% 8.3% 7.8% 6.5% 5.4% 3.6% 3.3% 1.3% 1.1% 0.5% 0.1%
Percentage
of Total
23.0
18.9
16.1
15.3
12.6
10.5
7.0 6.4
2.1 0.9
2.5
0.2
© MONITOR QUEST LTD. 2011
GUARDING THE GAME Preserving the Integrity of Sport
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