Sport has a massive global impact and 2015 was no exception to that. Over 80 world championships and multisport games took place in 2015, generating millions of spectators and billions of hours of media coverage. Supported by the major annual events, they have a huge impact on the world’s economy.
But what do we really understand about this impact and how do we accurately explain it to governments, ministries and the general public? There are no consistent standards and methodologies to clearly define the annual impact of sport.
This second edition of the Global Sports Impact (GSI) Report explores the impact of sport in 2015 and 2016 and examines some of the key issues and challenges facing sport in the future.
2015 was another huge year for sport with the Rugby World Cup hosted in England and Wales; the Cricket World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand; the Women’s Fifa World Cup in Canada, and world championships in athletics, swimming and many other Olympic and non-Olympic sports. Multisport games included the Universiade in Gwangju, Korea, the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada and the Special Olympics Summer World Games in Los Angeles, USA.
The GSI Report 2016 studies these major events covering 83 world championships and multisport games hosted in 118 cities and 38 countries
These events alone generated over 13 million spectators and created a huge economic impact for their host cities. But how much impact did these events really have? According to some reports the Rugby World Cup generated over $3 billion (£2.4 billion) of economic impact. But how do we compare the impact generated by the Rugby World Cup to the impact generated by the African Games in Brazzaville, Congo?
According to analysis by Sportcal these 83 events alone generated a potential net impact of $400 million before a single ticket was sold and an overseas tourism impact well in excess of $2 billion. Our Sports Tourism section explores how sport is driving one of the fastest-growing sectors of tourism and how cities are using sport to drive economic development and tourism.
But economic impact is not the only effect that the GSI Report 2016 looks at. Sport delivers a range of impacts: media; sporting; social and legacy.
The GSI Project aims to develop ways of expressing these impacts and thus enabling a better understanding of the true impact of sport.
1. Global Sports Impact Project
The Global Sports Impact Project in 2015 focused on the development of the GSI Event Studies Programme.
Sportcal conducted three GSI Event Studies in 2015:
- World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark
- WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix Final in Mexico City, Mexico
- FAI World Air Games in Dubai, UAE
These studies identified the broader impacts major world events have beyond the purely economic, and described how frequently these impacts are underestimated and incorrectly explained.
2. Event Hosting and Bidding
Event hosting in 2015 in some ways mirrored event hosting in 2014, with Europe being the dominant host continent. However, the proportion of events it hosted was significantly reduced, while North America and Oceania significantly increased their proportions.
Thirty eight nations hosted the 83 events studied in 2015 in 119 cities.
The GSI Report analyses which were the top host cities and nations in 2015.
3. Sports Governance
One impact that wasn’t explored in much detail in the first edition of the GSI Report was the area of governance. But it is sport’s off-field activities that grabbed the world’s attention in 2015 and 2016.
Corruption, doping, match-fixing and major governance issues dominated the headlines.
Fifa’s president, Sepp Blatter, stepped down amid a storm of corruption claims against his executive committee members and himself. The IAAF, athletics’ world governing body, became consumed in a major doping scandal involving its former president, Lamine Diack, and ‘state-supported’ doping by Russia’s top athletes. ARAF, the Russian athletics federation, was suspended and Russian athletes had to apply for ‘exceptional eligibility’ to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The GSI Report analyses some of these developments, and a group of leading academics and experts in the area of sports governance comments on what sport needs to do to regain its global credibility, while remaining independent and transparent.
4. Economic Impact
The 83 events studied in 2015 for the GSI Report attracted over 13 million spectators and created a huge economic impact for their host cities. But how much impact did these events really have?
In this section of the report we examine five of the major events of 2015 to see what was reported and how these impacts were calculated, and we apply the GSI methodology to compare them.
The events analysed are:
- Rugby World Cup
- ICC Cricket World Cup
- Fifa Women’s World Cup
- UCI Road World Cycling Championships
- World Archery Championships
5. Sports Tourism
According to analysis by Sportcal the 83 events studied generated a potential net impact of $400 million before a single ticket was sold, plus an overseas tourism impact of well in excess of $2 billion.
The Sports Tourism section explores how sport is driving one of the fastest-growing sectors of tourism and how cities are using sport to drive economic development and tourism.
6. Media Impact
Billions of people watch billions of hours of sport every year and yet sport still has a problem in expressing its media impact.
Cumulative audience has been a popular measure to express media coverage over the last decade or so but very few people really believe these figures, as apparently ridiculous claims about the number of people who have watched a sporting event are made. In fact, the cumulative figure has become so unreliable that the GSI Project has decided not to use it as a means of showing the media impact of sport. In this year’s report we explore, through our industry experts, some of the alternative ways in which we can express media impact.
7. Social Media Impact
The GSI Report examines the fan bases that have been developed on social media by federations, leagues and events to see which are generating the largest followings.
But the size of the fan base is of limited value. Engagement and tone are of far more value than pure volume. Our industry experts examine various ways in which social media can be measured and offer some far more compelling alternatives for measuring social media value.
8. Sponsorship Impact
The corruption and doping issues that broke around sport similarly affected sponsors. Some sponsors cancelled their association with certain sports while others cut back on their activation programmes around major events. This was very noticeable around the Women’s Fifa World Cup in Canada where very few sponsors activated around the event, either because of the political turmoil that had engulfed Fifa or because they simply didn’t see the fit between women’s football and their brands.
The Sponsorship Impact section explores how sponsors activated around some of the major events in 2015 and which were the most prominent.
9. Sporting Impact
Over 70,000 athletes participated in the 83 major events studied by the GSI Report in 2015. 59.4% were male and 40.6% were female. The Sporting Impact section explores where these athletes were from, what percentage of member nations were represented in these events, which events were the most gender-equal and what sport needs to do to promote gender equality better. Our industry experts look at the growth of women’s sport, the progress it made in 2015 and what steps federations took to try and engage in the IOC’s Agenda 2020 reform programme and make their sports more gender-equal.
10. Social Impact
The social impact of sport is of increasing concern and importance to host cities and governments. In a recent survey of major international sports destinations Sportcal identified that it is also increasingly important to hosts.
But very few sports governing bodies measure the social impact of their events. There is little or no agreement on what the standard measure of social impact should be and while educational programmes support many events or some forms of social engagement very few of these are recorded and measured.
Volunteering is probably the only measure that is reasonably well recorded by event owners, and even then the true figure is often not accurately recorded.
Over 114,000 volunteers supported 77 of the events studied in the GSI Report with the Pan/Parapan American Games using the highest number of volunteers in 2015.
11. Legacy Impact
Legacy, the word used for many years to describe what impact is left after the event has moved on, has been replaced by a new buzzword: sustainability.
But whatever the term, the important question is: Does sport really deliver a positive impact for the host nation, whether that be economically, socially or otherwise?
2016 represents the culmination of another Olympic cycle with the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
But what legacy did the last Olympic cycle provide for London and Sochi, the hosts of the summer and winter Olympic Games in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Our industry experts explore some of the key legacy impacts of these two Olympic Games and what we are likely to see from Rio.
12. Event Analysis Data
Where do each of the 83 world championships and multisport games in 2015 rank, according to GSI’s innovative scoring system?
How many spectators, athletes, officials and media visited each event? And how many bed nights did the event participants create?
The events pages present up to 37 data analysis points on each major event of 2015, analyse the relative impacts that are created by each event, and include tourism impact insight from Sportcal’s exclusive bed nights analysis.
|Sport GSI Events||Event/Competition|
|Air Sports||FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015|
|Archery||World Archery Championships 2015|
|Athletics||IAAF 41st World Cross Country Championships 2015|
|Athletics||IAAF World Athletics Championships 2015|
|Badminton||TOTAL BWF World Championships 2015|
|Badminton||VIVO BWF Sudirman Cup 2015|
|Baseball||WBSC Premier12 2015|
|Beach soccer||FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2015|
|Beach volleyball||FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships 2015|
|Biathlon||47th World Biathlon Championships 2015|
|Bobsleigh||BMW FIBT Bob & Skeleton World Championships 2015|
|Boxing||AIBA World Boxing Championships 2015|
|Canoeing||ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships 2015|
|Canoeing||ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships 2015|
|Cricket||ICC Cricket World Cup 2015|
|Curling||Ford World Men's Curling Championship 2015|
|Curling||ZEN-NOH World Women's Curling Championship 2015|
|Cycling - BMX||UCI BMX World Championships 2015|
|Cycling - cyclo-cross||UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships 2015|
|Cycling - indoor||UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships 2015|
|Cycling - mountain bike||UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships 2015|
|Cycling - mountain bike||UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships 2015|
|Cycling - road||UCI Road World Championships 2015|
|Cycling - track||UCI Track World Championships 2015|
|Fencing||Fencing World Championships 2015|
|Field hockey||FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2015|
|Figure skating||World Figure Skating Championships 2015|
|Floorball||Floorball Women's World Championships 2015|
|Games||17th Pan American Games 2015|
|Games||2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games|
|Games||African Games 2015|
|Games||European Games 2015|
|Games||Pacific Games 2015|
|Games||Parapan American Games 2015|
|Games||World Winter Masters Games 2015|
|Gymnastics - artistic||Artistic Gymnastics World Championships 2015|
|Gymnastics - rhythmic||Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championship 2015|
|Handball||Men's World Handball Championship 2015|
|Handball||Women's World Handball Championships 2015|
|Ice hockey||IIHF World Championships 2015|
|Ice hockey||IIHF World Women's Championships 2015|
|Judo||World Judo Championships 2015|
|Korfball||IKF World Korfball Championship 2015|
|Luge||Luge World Championships - Artificial Track 2015|
|Modern pentathlon||UIPM Biathle and Triathle World Championships 2015|
|Modern pentathlon||World Modern Pentathlon Championships 2015|
|Netball||Netball World Cup 2015|
|Orienteering||World Orienteering Championships 2015|
|Roller sports||World Roller Speed Skating Championships 2015|
|Rowing||FISA World Rowing Championships 2015|
|Rugby union||Rugby World Cup 2015|
|Sailing||ISAF Team Racing World Championship 2015|
|Sailing||ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship 2015|
|Shooting||ISSF World Championships in Shotgun 2015|
|Short track speed skating||World Short Track Speed Skating Championships 2015|
|Skiing - alpine||FIS Alpine World Ski Championship 2015|
|Skiing - freestyle||FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships 2015|
|Skiing - Nordic combined||FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2015|
|Soccer||FIFA Women's World Cup 2015|
|Softball||WBSC Men's World Championships 2015|
|Speed skating||World Allround Speed Skating Championships 2015|
|Speed skating||World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships 2015|
|Speed skating||World Sprint Speed Skating Championships 2015|
|Squash||PSA Men's World Championship 2015|
|Surfing||ISA World Surfing Games 2015|
|Swimming||16th FINA World Championships 2015|
|Synchronised skating||World Synchronized Skating Championships 2015|
|Table tennis||QOROS World Table Tennis Championships 2015|
|Taekwondo||World Taekwondo Championships 2015|
|Taekwondo||WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships|
|Ten-pin bowling||World Tenpin Bowling Championships for Women 2015|
|Trampoline||Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships 2015|
|Triathlon||2015 Hamburg ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships|
|Triathlon||2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago|
|Triathlon||2015 Motala ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships|
|Triathlon||2015 Sardegna ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships|
|University sports||Summer Universiade 2015|
|University sports||Winter Universiade 2015|
|Wakeboard||IWWF World Wakeboard Championship 2015|
|Waterskiing||IWWF World Waterski Championship 2015|
|Weightlifting||World Weightlifting Championships 2015|
|Wrestling||UWW World Championships 2015|
|Wushu||13th World Wushu Championships 2015|
|Major Cups, Leagues, Series and Tours|
|American Football||Canadian Football League (CFL) 2015|
|American Football||National Football League (NFL) 2015|
|American Football||NCAA National College Football (Division I-FBS) 2015|
|American Football||NCAA National College Football (Division I-FCS) 2015|
|American Football||NCAA National College Football (Division II) 2015|
|American Football||NCAA National College Football (Division III) 2015|
|Athletics||World Marathon Majors 2015|
|Australian Football||AFL Premiership 2015|
|Baseball||Major League Baseball (MLB) 2015|
|Baseball||Minor League Baseball (MiLB) 2015|
|Baseball||Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) 2015|
|Basketball||National Basketball Association (NBA) 2014-2015|
|Basketball||NCAA Men's Basketball 2014-2015|
|Basketball||NCAA Men's Basketball (Division I) 2014-2015|
|Basketball||NCAA Men's Basketball (Division II) 2014-2015|
|Basketball||NCAA Men's Basketball (Division III) 2014-2015|
|Cricket||Big Bash Twenty20 Cricket League 2014-2015|
|Cycling||Giro d'Italia 2015|
|Cycling||Tour de France 2015|
|Cycling||Vuelta a España 2015|
|Ice Hockey||National Hockey League (NHL) 2014-2015|
|Motor Racing||MotoGP 2015|
|Rugby League||National Rugby League (NRL) 2015|
|Rugby League||Super League 2015|
|Rugby Union||European Challenge Cup 2014-2015|
|Rugby Union||European Champions Cup 2014-2015|
|Rugby Union||English Premiership 2014-2015|
|Rugby Union||PRO12 2014-2015|
|Rugby Union||Super Rugby 2015|
|Rugby Union||Top 14 2014-2015|
|Rugby Union||Rugby Championship 2015|
|Rugby Union||Six Nations Championship 2015|
|Soccer||Bundesliga 2 2014-2015|
|Soccer||Chinese Super League 2015|
|Soccer||English Championship 2014-2015|
|Soccer||Indian Super League 2015|
|Soccer||La Liga 2014-2015|
|Soccer||Liga MX 2014-2015|
|Soccer||Ligue 1 2014-2015|
|Soccer||Major League Soccer (MLS) 2015|
|Soccer||Premier League 2014-2015|
|Soccer||Serie A 2014-2015|
|Soccer||AFC Champions League 2014-2015|
|Soccer||CONCACAF Champions League 2014-2015|
|Soccer||Copa Libertadores 2014-2015|
|Soccer||UEFA Champions League 2014-2015|
|Soccer||UEFA Europa League 2014-2015|
|Tennis||Australian Open 2015|
|Tennis||French Open 2015|
|Tennis||US Open 2015|
|Tennis||Davis Cup 2015|
|Tennis||Fed Cup 2015|
|Tennis||ATP World Tour 2015|
|Tennis||WTA Tour 2015|
List of Sports
67 sport disciplines covered in analysis
|Cycling - BMX|
|Cycling - cyclo-cross|
|Cycling - indoor|
|Cycling - mountain bike|
|Cycling - road|
|Cycling - track|
|Gymnastics - artistic|
|Gymnastics - rhythmic|
|Short track speed skating|
|Skiing - alpine|
|Skiing - freestyle|
|Skiing - Nordic combined|
List of Nations and Cities
|Africa||Republic of the Congo||Brazzaville|
|Europe||Italy||Selva Val Gardena|
|North America||Canada||Quebec City|
|North America||Mexico||Mexico City|
|North America||USA||Beaver Creek|
|North America||USA||Las Vegas|
|North America||USA||Los Angeles|
|Oceania||Papua New Guinea||Port Moresby|
|SINGLE USER Electronic (PDF)|
|£ 2,000||$ 2,700||€ 2,400|
|SITE LICENSE Electronic (PDF)|
|£ 6,000||$ 8,000||€ 7,200|
|ENTERPRISEWIDE Electronic (PDF)|
|£ 9,000||$ 12,250||€ 10,800|
T: +44 (0) 20 8944 8786
Publish Date: June 2017
Publish Date: September 2015