Sports And The Economy
Although not commonly associated with one another, the state of sports in a country has a direct impact on its economy. There are many ways in which sports can contribute to the socio-economic development of a country. At the same time, it can be said that the affairs pertaining to sports in a country are influenced by the prevalent socio-economic conditions. The key, therefore, is to focus on strategic ways in which sports can benefit the country’s economy.
Here are some ways in which sports can have a direct positive impact on the economy.
1. Infrastructural development: There is a direct correlation between the encouragement of sporting activities and events and the infrastructural development of a country. The latter is inevitable when the pursuit of sports is encouraged in the youth.
2. Employment generation: This is an important factor that developing nations must take into consideration. Sports and related activities not only nurture athletes and performers, but also generate a host of other related employment opportunities to boost the economy.
3. Inflow of foreign capital: When a country retains a keen interest in its sporting events, a steady inflow of foreign capital is almost certain.
4. Community health and well-being: Encouraging the youth to participate in sporting activities benefits the healthy and well-being of the community at large. This, in turn, brings down the medical expenses.
5. Inculcates discipline: The practice and pursuit of any sport carries an inherent competent of diligence and discipline. When the nation encourages sport, it nurtures in its youth the culture of discipline and responsibility, both of which are sure to benefit the economy in the long run.
6. Promotes social cohesion: There is nothing like sport to promote social cohesion in any society. The playing field becomes the leveler in terms of bridging gaps across race, class, caste and perhaps even gender to some extent. More importantly, the pursuit of organized sport builds in the players a sense of team spirit and brings to the fore the idea of playing for a nation.
7. Nurtures leadership: An excellent way to nurture leadership is through the pursuit of sports. The heightened sense of responsibility not only for one’s own performance but also for the wellness of the team at large nurtures in each player the qualities of leadership, which are again beneficial for the nation and its economy at large.
8. Encourages tourism: A country is best advertised to the world through its pursuit of sport and its participation in international sporting events. This can be seen to have a positive impact on the tourism in the country, which offers many benefits to the economy.
Back in 2010, England's engagement with its sporting activities contributed to a whopping 1.9% of the nation's GDP that year. During the FIFA World Cup 2014, Brazil managed to double the business for its local players. In countries like India, celebrities and business tycoons are more than willing to collaborate with the government in order to promote a growing variety of sporting events in the country.
There are some other ways in which businesses in the country directly benefit as a result of sporting events:
• The purchase of tickets for the sporting events generates a considerable source of income.
• The sales of sports products and merchandise increase.
• Restaurants and clubs that host match-viewing events and celebrations witness a major hike in their business.
• Travel and F&B companies make tremendous profits through strategic advertisements.
• Local manufacturers who design sport equipment see increased business.
Encouraging the youth and the masses to pursue sport is one of the surest ways to benefit the economy. Both developed countries and the developing nations must keep up their efforts and energies in the realm of sports, as they would with any other sector, such as education or manufacturing.