It seems that sports and show business have little in common. However, this is not the case.
Professional Sport as a Profitable Business
In this article, we will tell you how professional sports make huge profits and who has a stake in it.
In Ancient Times
Nowadays, professional sports are the centrepiece of most sports businesses. But the trend of turning sports into a source of income dates back long before our days.
Since ancient times, the performances of professional athletes have attracted the attention of thousands of people and created huge spectator audiences. Stadiums, hippodromes, sports tracks and arenas were a seething cauldron of emotion.
Sports stars were lit up and extinguished, idols and national heroes appeared. Many fans strived at all costs to get to the competitions of the best athletes to witness the unique show and to participate in the incredible beauty and intensity of events.
Already in ancient Greece, the professional organizers of the largest sports competitions and games knew how to properly plan and conduct such major events, place athletes and spectators, ensure their safety, and appoint qualified and respected judges.
We also note that all the largest games of antiquity (Olympic, Isthmian, Pythian, Nemean) were more than just sports competitions. They were at the same time cultural and entertainment forums. Singers, musicians and poets competed in skill.
The skilful combination of sports competitions and the struggle of artists made the games even more colourful and exciting spectacle, which attracted not only sports fans to the arenas, but also creative people who were eager to watch the performances of their favourite artists.
But the games satisfied the needs not only of spectators, who craved bread and circuses. Professional athletes, musicians, poets and writers, theatre actors, circus artists were also interested in large-scale cultural and sporting events. It was at such games they could fully demonstrate their talent, self-realize, gain experience and earn a lot of money.
Thanks to the attention of thousands of spectators it was possible to make a name for themselves in a few minutes, earn fame and reputation, acquire influential patrons and gain regular admirers.
Of course, their organizers were also interested in holding large sports and entertainment events, since this activity was their main craft, a profitable business that always brought good income.
Who else has benefited from sporting events? Business owners in the field of trade, transport, hotels and guest houses, cafes and eateries. Their budget was replenished since numerous athletes and spectators came to the games. With the influx of consumers, the income of the local business community has increased many times over.
Athletes, like sports clubs today, had owners and were often members of professional athlete associations. All of them also benefited from the competition, receiving their share of the profits.
Thus, several thousand years ago professional sports, watched by thousands of spectators, was a profitable business. It brought income to almost everyone who came into contact with it. How are things now?
Nowadays sport is a source of income for the same interested parties. However, one more significant participant has been added to the main groups of operators of the sports and entertainment services market. This is the state.
It also benefits from tax revenue, direct and indirect sports and health promotion. Today, the authorities of all countries at all levels are trying to support professional sports in the international arena, since outstanding athletes are a kind of advertisement for their nation, its human material, and their successful performances contribute to the development of the sports business, the creation of new jobs, the improvement and rallying of the population.
These reasons explain the fierce struggle that many states have for the opportunity to host the Olympic Games, world and European championships in various sports.
To put it simply, professional sport and the show business that forms around it bring good revenues to the state, which is why it so actively supports this sphere.
Do not forget about bookmakers, which also get their piece of the pie. Many companies around the world accept bets on the performances of professional athletes and clubs, and bettors gamble for huge amounts, trying to guess the result of this or that event.
Professionals advise to carefully approach the choice of a bookmaker for bets. The rating of the most reliable of them and a lot of useful information can be found on Meta.reviews.
Another significant participant in economic relations in sports show business was the media, which greatly changed the scale of this phenomenon, making it truly global and accessible at the same time to millions of spectators who are located at a great distance from stadiums and arenas where competitions are held.
When online media, social networks and various services broadcasting matches and competitions intervened in professional sports, its structure, as well as the structure and content of business processes, changed.
Athletes have become recognizable figures all over the world, real stars of show business, whom fans follow 24/7 thanks to their Instagram and Facebook accounts.
If without the participation of the media, a sports show was enjoyed by a maximum of several tens of thousands of fans who gathered at stadiums or along sports tracks, with the integration of TV channels and streaming services, the viewership has multiplied.
In economic terms, this means that the athletes themselves continue to produce the same market product (“circuses”). Only the number of its consumers is fundamentally changing at the expense of radio listeners, TV viewers and Internet users.
At the same time, the costs incurred by athletes and organizers of the sports business remain the same. The costs of the training process, transport costs, maintenance of technical personnel and material resources remain almost unchanged.
Now, these costs are more than paid off not only by the spectators who came to the stadiums and bought tickets, but also by all other fans who use radio, television, and the Internet. And, as we have already said, there are several hundred times more of them.
Due to this circumstance, two important things happen in the life of athletes, coaches and functionaries involved in professional sports:
1) their recognition, fame and demand (including in advertising, the film industry and other spheres) radically increases;
2) their incomes increase significantly.
The transformation of professional sports into an important segment of show business also meant entering into intense competition with other Internet and TV broadcasting products.
First of all, these are cinema, theatre, stage, circus and other leisure and entertainment areas. This rivalry forces professional sports to follow certain requirements.
To withstand the competition, a sports show must be interesting, entertaining, purposeful, rich in information, and also have elements of celebration and novelty. All this requires special training from sports managers and organizers of sports events.
As we have seen, professional sports has long been a billion-dollar business. Is it good for it? That’s debatable.
On the one hand, private and public sponsors support the sport financially, which contributes to its development and popularization among the population (if players did not earn millions of dollars, it is not certain that so many young people would dream of becoming the new Ronaldo and Messi).
On the other hand, businessmen and politicians who acquire sports clubs often lead them to ruin, underestimating the consequences of their actions and treating them like expensive toys. Time will tell how events will unfold and how sports will change in the future.