Global Sports Impact Report 2015
The GSI Report 2015 is the first in a series of annual reports studying the impact of sport. World championships and multisport games events from 2014 are analysed and assessed via the methodologies, analytical tools and ratings developed by Sportcal through its Global Sports Impact (GSI) Project which was established in 2011.

The year 2014 was a big one for sport. The Fifa World Cup in Brazil, the Sochi winter Olympics, four other major multi-sport games and over 70 major world championships took place, covering a wide variety of sports.
Over 13 million people bought tickets for these events and almost 330 million people attended 25 of the leading sporting events of 2014 which included the NBA, NFL, MLB, English Premier League, German Bundesliga and Formula 1.
Sport is big business. But how much do we know about the people that attend these events and how much do we understand about the true impact of these sports?
For the first time in a unique publication, The Global Sports Impact (GSI) Report 2015 analyses the impacts that these events had on their host cities and nations in 2014.
The GSI Report 2015 is the first in a series of annual reports that studies the previous year’s events and assesses them using the methodologies, analytical tools and ratings being developed by Sportcal through its Global Sports Impact (GSI) Project which was established in 2011.
The GSI Project aims to create a standard way in which the various impacts of sports events can be identified, measured and analysed, so providing to sport and all its stakeholders a new and comprehensive way of measuring the real impact of sport. 
It aims to challenge the current wisdom and the way in which sports events are measured and communicated today.
Sport is under-valued. The true impact of sport is not really understood. It is currently measured by economic and media impacts, not all of which convey the true picture.
There are no standard methodologies for measuring the impact of sport. Every country, every sport, every consultancy varies in its respective methodologies. It is almost impossible to compare one event with another, as there is little consistency in the way data is gathered and analysed.
The GSI Project is developing a methodology to allow sports federations, event organisers, host cities and nations to use a common methodology to gather and measure information about their events, and to present this in a standard way.
The GSI Report 2015 considers 77 major world events held in 2014 over a series of economic, sporting, media and social indicators, and is packed with data, analysis and case studies on some of the most compelling events of 2014.
If you read one sports industry report this year make sure it is the GSI Report 2015. It is a must-have report for anyone involved in sport.
1. ‘Why Sport Matters’

The GSI Report starts with an essay on ‘Why Sport Matters’ written by John Siner, formerly of the International Olympic Committee, and the founder of ‘Why Sport Matters’. The essay discusses why sport plays a unique role in society, why it creates a common ground of understanding and why it has such a deep influence on our lives. Sport is used as an instrument to deliver various political outcomes, and major sports events have become a huge global industry with billions of dollars spent every year in delivering major sporting events. But it remains a fact that we don’t honestly realize the true meaning and specific impact of sport.

2. Events and Cities

More world championships and multi-sport games are being added to the sporting calendar each year. The Youth Olympic Games and the FIBA 3x3 World Championships are among the events that have been added to the sporting calendar in the last five years alone. Added to this are events that have increased their frequency of delivery, like the European Athletics Championships which moved from a four-year to a two-year cycle in 2012. But why this increase in sporting events, and why do cities want to host these events?

3. The Global Sports Impact Project

The GSI Project was started in 2011 to create some standard ways in which the impact of sport can be identified, measured and analysed, so providing to sport, and all its stakeholders, a new, comprehensive and objective picture of the full potential of sport. It also aims to build a community to exchange knowledge and insights and to create a unique forum to promote discussion around the positive and negative impacts of sport. GSI is a collaborative initiative, driven and led by Sportcal, which unites a worldwide network of partners, experts and stakeholders.

4. Event Bidding Analysis 

Which was the most successful nation in bidding to host major sporting events in 2014? Russia, Canada and the United Kingdom are the highest ranked Global Sports Nations in 2014 but were they the most successful at attracting major sporting events. Sportcal combines the data from its Bidding service with the GSI Events Rating system and produces analysis on which nations were the most successful at bidding for major sports events in 2014.

5. Economic Impact

The key theme of this section is: what is the economic impact of sport and how do we measure it? Economic impact is one of the key measures used to justify the hosting of major sporting events. It has become the main tool used by governments and cities to show a return on their investment in sport. In many cases it is the only justification given for hosting an event. But there is no standard measurement of sport’s economic impact. Every country, every government, every consultancy has a different methodology that is used to measure economic impact which means that no event can really be compared with another event when it is hosted in a different country.

6. Media Impact

The impact of media has always been challenging to measure, but with the growth of digital platforms, the internet and now social media it has become even more complicated. This chapter explores what are the standard measurements used to measure media impact and poses the question: do these work for all stakeholders? Cumulative audiences and Advertising Value Equivalency are considered as standard measures within the media world, but do they give us a true reflection of media impact? Online and social media are starting to gain traction as key drivers of event exposure but who is engaging with these media and how do we measure their impacts? The GSI Sports Social Media Index and GSI IF Social Media Index provide an indication of who is driving this area of sport.

7. Sponsorship Impact

Sponsorship activation is an area of impact that is frequently ignored by host cities, governments and rights owners. Sponsors spend millions of dollars every year on rights activation, reaching millions of sports fans globally but very rarely are their activities included in impact studies. Twelve of the top 20 Best Global Brands, according to Interbrand, are involved in sponsoring at least one of the major events studied in the GSI Report. The identities of these brands and of the events in which they are involved are explored in this chapter, together with analysis on sponsorship deals by brand and by sector.

8. Sporting Impact

Do 10,000 Olympic athletes have more impact than 736 national footballers at the Fifa World Cup? What is sporting impact and how can we measure it? Are the number of competitors and nations significant or should the focus be on the quality of the athletes? How global are sports events and what is their ‘Continental Reach’? How many regions in the world are hosting events and how many athletes from these regions participate in these events? Sports participation comes in many different forms and more and more federations are attaching mass participation events to their major world championships. What form does this participation take and what numbers are they generating?

9. Social Impact

The GSI Project has studied the social impact of sport over a long period of time and without doubt it is the most challenging of all impacts to study. There is very little research undertaken about the social impact of sport at most sporting events.

Social impact is hard to measure because of its intangible nature and the difficulty in converting it into pure monetary values. How do you measure pride and social inclusion in monetary terms? Yet the unique power of sport to attract, mobilise and inspire has long been recognised by the United Nations and it is increasingly trying to harness this power to achieve a range of outcomes and policies. This chapter looks at various areas of social impact ranging from volunteering, children, participation, education and the environment.

10. Case Studies

The GSI Report 2015 presents in-depth case studies on:

  • Rabobank FIH Hockey World Cup 
  • Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games  
  • Fifa World Cup 2014
  • IAAF/Al-Bank World Half Marathon Championships 2014
  • Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games

Each case study presents the key highlights of the event, and looks in detail at the economic, financial, sporting and social impacts of each event.

11. Events Data

Where do each of the 77 world championships and multi-sport games in 2014 rank, according to GSI’s innovative scoring system? The GSI Project has to date collated analysis data on over 1,500 top sports events and the events data pages present analysis, data and GSI ratings on the top events in 2014. 

12. Nations & Cities Index Review

How much has each top sports nation risen or fallen in the Sportcal Global Sports Nation Index since 2012? Russia might be the current leading Global Sports Nation, but which country leads the way per head of population, or by GDP per capita? The GSI Report 2015 also looks at the top 500 cities as measured by the Sportcal Global Sports Cities Index, the top sports cities by continent, and at which continents are increasing their share of events by the GSI rating system.

Add to Cart


Our expert team will help you find the right report to match your business requirements.

Get in touch:

+44 (0) 20 8944 8786