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    Sports And The Economy

    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.

    8 Most Popular Sports Around the World

    8 Most Popular Sports Around the World

    When it comes to assessing the popularity of the sport, there are many factors that need to be taken into account. Some of these include organizational fund allocation, the number of professional athletes playing the sport internationally, the number of people watching the sport worldwide, and the fan base and fan following of the sport. There are some sports that are quite definitively associated with their vast and varied fan following. Football, or soccer, is the foremost in that regard.

    Here’s an overview of the top fan-based sports across the globe.

    1. Football/Soccer: Football is one of the most popular sports in the world. A plausible reason for its attractiveness to the youth and its raging fan following globally could be that it requires minimal investment regarding equipment. A fairly democratic sport in nature, it is not difficult for one to pick up the basic technique of playing football. The FIFA World Cup that is held every four years has a large segment of the global population as its viewership. The FIFA World Cup in 2014 had a television audience of over 3.2 billion people, and it broke several, TV viewership records in major international markets, including the United States and Germany (source: www.fifa.com).

    2. Basketball: Basketball is an immensely popular sport in North America and Canada, and one of the reasons for its large fan base is that it is a game of technique, strategy and agility. This combination makes it an exciting and action-packed sport to follow. As with football, it does not require a great investment regarding equipment.

    3. Cricket: Cricket has a large fan base in many countries of South Asia, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and in Australia and England. The traditional five-day test series in cricket have given way to the more fast-paced 20-20 matches, thereby increasing the popularity of the sport across the world.

    4. Tennis: Tennis is a very popular sport that involves a pair or two of players. An interesting facet of tennis is that the game is not restricted by a time limit (as with football; or as with the number of overs in cricket). The sport of tennis puts to test the stamina and the acumen of the player, which is why tennis players of international repute, such as Federer, Agassi, Sampras and Nadal, are so highly regarded. The number of estimated tennis fans around the world is nearly 1 billion (source: Sport Stardom).

    5. Baseball: The equipment used for baseball is similar to that of cricket; however, the two sports are very different in nature. Baseball has a large fan base in the United States, and the professional players of this sport are paid handsomely. A major reason for its popularity is the sense of team spirit that it generates in the American population. More recently, baseball has become immensely popular in Asian countries like Japan.

    6. Golf: Golf is commonly regarded as an indulgent sport that can be played solo and in a leisurely manner. A golf player’s performance remains unaffected by that of the other players, if one does choose to play in company. A golf course also makes for a quaint and picturesque backdrop to the golfer’s skill, which could be one of the reasons for its appeal. Golf as a sport came into existence all the way back in the 13th century in Scotland, which could account for its increasing popularity over the centuries.

    7. Field hockey: Field hockey is a charged and action-packed sport that keeps fans and spectators hooked to the swift movements and developments of the game. The set duration of each match adds to the enthusiasm and excitement of the hockey matches. Hockey has a wide fan base of around 2.2 billion (source: Sport Stardom) across countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

    8. Table tennis: Also known as ping pong, table tennis is an action-packed sport that requires very little space and relatively modest equipment. This makes it easy for schools and recreational spaces to make provisions for people to play table tennis, therefore adding to its popularity and fan base. Table tennis is very popular in many Asian countries, with China being at the forefront. The sport is believed to have about 850 million fans around the world (source: Sport Stardom).