December 9 – For the purpose of this article, I will list a few things about the current global sports market and how it can impact on economic development. When we talk about the sports market today, we think of
- Broadcast rights – television, internet, mobile devices, satellite radio and local radio
- Sponsorship and Naming Rights
- Merchandising – from a pin to an anchor
In other words the market is wide open. The audience is no longer divided by borders, but instead sports content can be consumed anywhere, anytime and anyone with a device and if one is at the right place at the right time.
Now, more athletes are getting paid and more athletes are getting a lot of money. Some sports however have to contend with the view that worldwide audiences among them vary depending on whether the event is a National Championship, Regional Championship, World Championship or is a feature of an Olympic Games (summer/winter).
The sporting organisations which up to 30 years ago were largely run by volunteers are now being run by business executives with specific expertise in commercial operations, marketing and business development. What has happened too is the organisations are becoming flatter. The FIVB for example replaced the hierachy with a President, Executive Vice Presidents from the (strategic) regions and Commissions to ensure the work is carried out – see more on the structure here http://www.fivb.org/EN/FIVB/Executive_Committee.asp
While FIFA is currently experiencing turmoil and retains the number one slot for television audience worldwide, volleyball, unbelievably is in the top five. The beach element remains one of the most watched in the Summer Olympics Games. According to Mintzberg and Quinn (1991) “organisations with political designs have no dominant mechanism of coordination,”; in a table used by Thibault and Quarterman, Contemporary Sport Management, the summary shows that a sporting organisation with a simple design yields greater efficiency.
The publication goes on to state that the simple structures are accompanied by strategic plans to cope with the ‘environment’. The environment sport is in today speaks to commercial viability based on the four key areas mentioned in the top of this article.
Obviously the text would reference the information in a situation where the athletes/teams for which these plans are in effect for are at the top of their games and so all is required is to adjust structure and governance to bring success.
Sporting dynasties are not on extended wins as much as they were and new franchises, teams, countries are emerging to clip the dominance of those which once were always winning. The scientific approach to sports is in play and those who invest from the bottom up will have sustained top performances for years to come.
Caribbean in a dilemma
The Caribbean Sporting Industry has to re-focus its attention on an economic model one which has teams/athletes that can attract highest levels of sponsor partnership; one where athletes get endorsements from products and services in the region and certainly where consumers can get access to the content. What then can the Caribbean do to ensure that it captures some of the pie of the ever-growing sport market?
Here are some suggestions:
- Make travel across the Caribbean more reasonable and convenient
- Upgrade venues to host traditional and non-traditional events
- Maximise media rights arrangements
- Train existing personnel and make efforts to attract the next generation to be a part of the industry
- Tertiary-level institutions should do much more research into the prospects for the industry
- Create a package of regional sporting ambassadors
The Caribbean has enough stars of its own, it can create applicable merchandise to supply the world as the events and venues are properly prepared and managed.
A recent cultural and creative industries study done by CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – is pleased to present the release of a new study published by EY titled “Cultural Times – The First Global Map of Cultural and Creative Industries”.
For the first time, this survey quantifies the global economic and social contribution of this important sector. The study analyses 11 Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) sectors: advertising, architecture, books, gaming, movies, music, newspapers/magazines, performing arts, radio, television and visual arts. The top three employers are visual arts (6.73m), books (3.67m) and music (3.98m). While the study has not pointed to sport content in particular – we know sport is such a valuable component to all the areas mentioned.
Read the study when you have the time http://www.worldcreative.org/
The need to consolidate all the efforts is urgent and the Caribbean has to identify that its culture (sport too) is world recognised as one of the most known worldwide, but the figures don’t add up.
The call is for the region to pull all the resources and use the 2016 Olympic preparation platform to guide and provide a template for three to five years.