Major sporting events to boost UK trade of £ 4bn

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Major sporting events in the UK could generate as much as £ 4 billion in soft power, trade and investment over the next decade, according to a new report commissioned by UK Sport and the City of London Corporation.

Commissioned in 2020, the findings of the UK Sport and City of London Corporation report on the impact of major sporting events, through the study of soft power, trade and investment, place their potential value over the course of over the next decade up to £ 4 billion. This is in addition to around £ 7bn of direct and expenditure-induced economic impacts.

The UK has hosted the biggest sporting events in the world in the decade since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the Ryder Cup, Rugby, Cricket, Hockey and Netball World Cups and World Athletics, Para-athletics and Road Championships. cycling. The report listed the soft power, trade and investment successes of these events as follows:

  • Wide range: many events were broadcast across the world to millions of viewers.

  • Foreign visitors welcomed: numerous events have drawn tens of thousands of foreign visitors to UK.

  • Engaged local communities: UK residents have attended several events to support competing teams and athletes from UK and around the world.

  • Improved perceptions: Visitor surveys indicated that perceptions of host communities were improved by the experience of the event, and outreach programs played a role in portraying the UK in a positive light

  • Prime location: a range of famous venues across the UK hosted the events considered.

  • World class participants: in all cases, elite sport was at the rendezvous.

While announcing a new mission to create the biggest decade of extraordinary sporting moments in May this year, UK Sport released the country’s aspirations for hosting international events for the next ten years, from the FIFA world 2030 to more than 40 world championships in sports such as boxing. , track and field, wheelchair rugby and taekwondo.

Produced by professional services firm EY, the report calls for better monitoring of the impact of events and highlights the possibility of more partnerships and collaboration between the public and private sectors, involving businesses as early as possible. and doing more to “activate” host cities and regions through non-sport activities.

The report also serves as a key basis to better harness the soft power benefits of sport and major sporting events to enhance the UK’s global reputation and partnerships – an area UK Sport is currently working on with government and a a number of sports organizations.

Simon Morton, Sports System and Events Director at UK Sport, said: “The findings of this report clearly demonstrate the enormous value that major sporting events in the UK contribute to the economy. It has been a pleasure to partner with the City of London Corporation and EY on this project and we hope the results will resonate everywhere.

“We can continue to leverage the undeniable value of major sporting events in the UK by entering into partnerships not only with the City of London, but also with the business and private sectors. Together, this will help us to further raise the nation’s global profile and generate significant social and economic benefits for the communities that act as host cities or villages.

Nigel Huddleston, Minister of Sports, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society, said: “Major sporting events play a central role in inspiring the country to get active, but today’s report also shows the invaluable soft power benefits that promote the UK internationally.

“I would like to thank UK Sport and the industry for the extraordinary work they have done to date to help make the country a premier destination for hosting major sporting events. With the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, the Gymnastics World Championships, the UEFA European Women’s Championships and the Rugby Union World Cup coming in 2022, we have a great opportunity to further enhance this reputation. . “

The report found that few major sporting event organizers had sought to quantify their impacts on soft power, trade and investment, with the notable exception of the London 2012 Olympics and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. 2018.

Upcoming events for the report include the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next summer, the Rugby Union World Cup in England next fall and a possible joint bid from the UK and Ireland. to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

Image: Shutterstock


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