5 Jun /18

Economic Power of Football

Economic Power of Football
Economic Power of Football – EVS Translations

It is not exactly a secret anymore – sport is big business. In fact, with a looming World Cup commencing in little over a week, football (or soccer, if you are American) is about to become an even bigger business. Sure, some of the numbers can be staggering, but, beyond the numbers, there lies an intricate, interwoven network that holds it all together. Still, in order to get a proper understanding of the macro (World Cup) and the micro (individual nations), it’s worth having a look at both individually.

As most fans understand, each nation has a governing body that deals with all football related matters within that specific nation, but this isn’t just for establishing rules – it is also about business. Far from just being an enjoyable pastime, this singular sport has grown to become an economic driver. Looking at the English Premier League, revenue has grown from the equivalent of EUR 685 million in 1996/97 to a staggering EUR 4.98 billion in 2016/17. However, outside of that massive number, if you want to see how deeply economically established football can become, it pays to look at Germany.

In Germany, football is practically a leading industry. All told, consultants estimate that the Bundesliga employs approximately 110,000 people – considering DAX-listed companies, this is enough to rank it as the 4th largest private employer in Germany. A 2010 report estimated that the Bundesliga generates added value of EUR 5 billion to the German economy, and, since then, Bundesliga’s revenue has increased by 47.5%. Steps such as maintaining lower ticket prices, implementing expense caps, and allowing the concept of “member-owners” to take hold have created an inclusive “fan first” atmosphere that pays dividends at the gate: average Bundesliga attendance – at 41,500 – is significantly higher than the average for the English Premier League (35,800) or Italy’s Serie A (22,160).

Yes, this is about more than a singular country. As we stand at the cusp of “the beautiful game’s” crown jewel, let’s not forget that we are dealing with a massive international game played by over 250 million people in more than 200 countries and dependencies. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil generated over EUR 4 billion – including EUR 2 billion in TV rights and over EUR 400 million in ticket sales – in revenue and was seen by more than 3.2 billion people, easily dwarfing the Olympics. Even when it is not on the biggest stage, the numbers are startling: UEFA revenue has more than doubled in the last decade, going from EUR 1.15 billion in 2006/07 to EUR 2.83 billion in 2016/17; moreover, it can be a massive benefit for the host, with France boasting of a EUR 1.2 billion economic injection from EURO 2016.

Needless to say, we are a far cry from 2 groups of playground kids trying to kick a ball in a net. Football has become big business. However, being a global sport requires global cohesion and accessible and professional language services. Not only does this involve business aspects of marketing and merchandise, but it especially involves the more administrative realms of rules, understanding, and even just basic communication.

EVS Translations is a global translation and business services company with more than 25 years of experience in helping teams and associations, sports marketing companies, producers of sporting goods and media outlets to take their game to the next level. Learn more about how we can help you capture new business and reach your fans around the world and contact us today.