The Political Economy of Global Sporting Organisations

The Political Economy of Global Sporting Organisations

The Political Economy of Global Sporting Organisations

The Political Economy of Global Sporting Organisations


This book tackles such topics as the global sports economy, the global sports market and fringe sports. It will be of interest to all those currently studying and researching the economics of sports as well as being an eye-opener for those involved in the sports business.


Ringmasters or alphabet boys?

Sport: a commodity without weight

Sport is simultaneously a cultural and an economic activity. It is also a set of highly organised and structured global phenomena. Our interest lies in the role and nature of the global sports organisation (hereafter GSO). The GSOs exist to control sports at the world level and take many shapes and forms. In essence they are the supreme governing body of a sport or some other aspect of sport such as doping. Some are massive in their impacts and influence while others are much less so, even though their claim to global control may be legitimate. Whatever their size within their own circuit they all have some claim to be the ringmasters of sport. To date, there has been little investigation of them as a group but there are some interesting studies of them as individuals. It is our intention to begin to rectify this omission.

Sport as an economic sector is massive. In 1995, sport was the eleventh largest industry in the USA (Harverson, 1997). Also in the USA the sport industry was estimated in 1996 to be worth US$100 bn a year, and projected to reach US$139 bn by 2000 (Pitts and Stotlar, 1996). To suggest a figure for the present of US$200 bn a year is reasonable. In Europe soccer was estimated to be a US$10 bn business in 1997 (Giulianotti, 1999, p. 86). This seems likely to be a gross underestimate when a small number of clubs individually generate close to US$100 mn annually. The British Sports Council (1995) estimated that it accounts for 2.5 per cent of world trade. This figure includes both physical goods such as equipment and intangibles such as earnings and royalties.

There are further figures, all disparate in their nature. Sport-related activities generate 1-1½ per cent of regional 'value added' and 1½ per cent of employment in Britain (Lewney and Barker, 2002). More than $798 mn entered Indiana's economy through fishing and more than $280 mn was expended on hunting in 1996, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Census Bureau (Polston, 1997). The 2000 US Tennis Open contributed $699 mn to the New York economy. But the problem is that these figures only give us glimpses of various parts of

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