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Various - 14 Nov 2012  > <

China is the Global Sports Nation for 2012

China is the Global Sports Nation for 2012, ahead of the United Kingdom and Russia, according to a new report that analyses the success of nations in attracting major sports events.

The Global Sports Impact (GSI) Project is an extensive study by Sportcal, the leading sports market research company, which has analysed nearly 700 major sporting events between 2007 and 2018. Events that have been included in the study are events that are constantly rotated throughout the world and can be hosted in more than one continent.

China scored the highest GSI Index rating in the study, with over 57,000 points putting it well ahead of its nearest rival. China hosted the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games in 2008 but has continued to attract major global events since then, including the Asian Games in 2010 and the Summer Universiade in 2011, while it will host the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 and the World Athletics Championships in 2015. It will also have hosted the highest number of individual world championships between 2007 and 2018.

The UK is boosted into second place by the highly successful Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games held in London in 2012, scoring 39,393 points in the index. It will also hold the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and the World Athletics Championships in 2017.

Russia is close behind the UK in third place with a GSI Index rating of 39,376 points. The country is set for its own ‘Golden’ period of sport with the World Athletics Championships and the Summer Universiade in 2013, the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2014, the FINA World Swimming Championships in 2015 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

The study identifies Russia as the Future Global Sports Nation for 2013 through to 2018.


The GSI project, among the most extensive studies of the sports events industry ever undertaken, has looked at the impact of sport on host nations and cities across a range of indicators including economic, financial, sport, media, social and environmental.

The project aims to create a standard methodology for studying the impact of sport to understand further the benefits that hosting major sports events brings to nations and cities throughout the world. The GSI project will cover both direct and indirect benefits to a host nation while the associated Global Sports Nations Index is based largely on direct benefits associated with the hosting of a major sporting event.

Andrew Ryan, director of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, welcomed the project saying: “Understanding the global impact of sports events is important for everyone involved in the industry and International Federations want to understand more about the benefits that their events bring to a host nation or city, in order to help promote their sports and encourage future bids for their major events.

“On the other hand, public authorities need to understand how a sports event will impact their cities and nations, both economically and socially, and what types of return and benefit they will gain from investment in sport.  The Global Sports Impact Study is therefore an important project that will help key stakeholders understand more about the impact of major sports events.”

Global Sports Nations Index 

In fourth and fifth places in the index are Italy and Canada, respectively, with Italy just pipping Canada to fourth spot thanks in part to hosting a large number of world championships across a range of sports, while Canada’s strength lies in its ability to attract winter sports events, as demonstrated by its hosting of the Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2010.

If Rome had not abandoned its bid to host the 2020 Olympics, the bid would have been able to claim a boost from Italy’s top-four placing in the Global Sports Nations Index 2012, which is well ahead of the other candidates for the 2020 games.

In sixth place, Germany had its ‘Golden era’ in the mid-2000s and has slipped back from its pinnacle as one of the leading nations of sport but has still hosted a large number of world championships including the World Athletics Championships in 2009 and FIFA’s Women’s World Cup in 2011.

France is in seventh place and Brazil is in eighth place with its own ‘Golden era’ era set to start in 2014 as it hosts the FIFA World Cup, followed closely by the Olympics and the Paralympics in 2016.
USA and the Netherlands complete the top 10 ‘Global Sports Nations’ while of the 2020 Olympic bid nations Spain is marginally ahead of Japan and Turkey.

Despite hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010, South Africa has hosted very few world championships and is just pushed out of the top 20 by Denmark, which has hosted a wide variety of world championships across a range of sports.

GSI Project Team 

The GSI Project has been developed through an extensive consultation process with over 200 sports industry experts from all sectors of sport. Government agencies from all over the world have provided input into the project, with UK Sport and Singapore Sports Council acting as lead partners in the project.

Academic input into the project has been provided by the German Sports University (DSK) in Cologne, Germany, the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL) in Victoria, Australia and the European University, CESMATSE, in Cyprus.

Strategic support for the project has been provided by Sagacity, a management consultancy specializing in the sports events sector, and JTA which is acting as Global Communications Partner.

Sportcal will be presenting the GSI Project to a select group of industry experts in Lausanne today, followed by the announcement of the Global Sports City for 2012.

Mike Laflin, CEO of Sportcal, and originator of the Global Sports Impact concept said: “After 12 months of hard and extensive research we are delighted to publish the initial findings of the Global Sports Impact Project and to announce the Global Sports Cities and Nations for 2012.

“I would like to thank all of our experts for their wonderful support and encouragement and to all our partners, in particular our lead partners UK Sport and Singapore Sports Council, who have played a vital role in developing the index. I would also like to say a big thank you to our research and technology teams at Sportcal for making this project happen.”
GSI Report 2012

The GSI Project and the Global Sports Nations Index for 2012 will be summarised in a report due to be published in December and will be available in digital form through

For further information on the Global Sports Impact Project visit
or contact Mike Laflin (

Global Sports Nations Index 2012 - Top 20 Nations

PositionNationGSI Index Total
2United Kingdom39,393

GSI Methodology

The Global Sports Nations Index has been developed through an analysis of over 400 world championships and major multi-sport events taking place between 2007 and 2012. The events have been analysed using a series of indicators, from a range of sectors including economic, financial, sport and media. Average values were then created for future events hosted between 2013 and 2018.

The indicators were identified through a series of questionnaires with over 200 leading sports industry experts and their responses created a weighting for each indicator.The GSI Index rating was then calculated for each event and linked to data on the host nations. From this the Global Sports Nations Index was created.

The Global Sports Nations Index will be a constantly moving index as new events are awarded to different host nations and regular updates will be produced during 2013 and beyond.