The Business Called Sports

Long gone are the days when sports were only seen as a pastime or something you did for fun. Sports is now a business, and not just an ordinary business; it is one of the biggest industries in many countries around the globe.

In research published in 2018, the global sports market was worth around $488.5 billion.  North America, which was worth $60.5 billion in 2014 remained to be the world’s largest market. It accounted for almost 30.5% of the global market. It was followed by Western Europe, Asia-Pacific, and then the other regions.

Unlike before, when the sector was only limited to selling tickets, the sports business today is run by different participants. Some of the major players include rights owners, sports agencies, sponsors, investors and the broadcasters.

Sports Segments

Research entitled ‘Sports Global Market Opportunities and Strategies to 2022’, stated that the sports market is segmented into two types: Participatory Sports and Spectator Sports. With these two, the participatory sports accounted for the largest share in 2018 with 56.4% market share while the spectator sports is considered the fastest-growing market with a 4.3% compound annual growth rate.

Spectator sports are further segmented into Sports Teams & Clubs, Racing & Individual Sports, while participatory sports are segmented to Fitness and Recreational Sports Centres, Golf Courses and Country Clubs.

The research also segmented by the type of revenue source into gate revenue, media rights, sponsorships and merchandising. Here, media rights have the largest segments with a 23.7% sports market in 2018, while merchandising is considered as the fastest-growing segment with 7% CAGR.

Sports betting

For a starter, nearly all forms of gambling are illegal in many parts of Southeast Asia where we have many of Biz-find sister sites. However, there are two exceptions—Betting on the National Lottery and Horse Racing are legal in the country. Given this fact, sport betting is still a huge business in the country.  In fact, Thailand is among the popular destinations for online sports betting. (Please check local laws before participating in any form of “Sports Betting”.)

But it is not only happening in Thailand. The recent research of Zion revealed that the global sports betting market was valued at around USD 104.31 billion in the year 2017. Furthermore, this is expected to reach USD 155.49 billion by 2024 with 8.83% compound annual growth between 2018 to 2024.

This result was also expected because of the survey conducted in 2015 entitled ‘Global Online Gambling and Betting Market 2015’. The result of the survey stated that online gambling is steadily increasing globally while many governments start to regulate the practice around the globe. The survey also revealed that mobile devices such as phones and tablets are being used to access different gambling sites.

Nowadays, there are many websites that offer sports betting. People in Thailand can easily access regulated Asian and UK bookmakers. These websites support the Thai language as well as Thailand’s baht currency. 

The rise of eSports sectors

ESports is one of the recent developments in the sports industry. But what exactly is this? The simplest definition of esport is that it is any multiplayer video game played by two parties in an organized event or tournament. While there are still many people who don’t regard eSport as a branch of sports, this industry is earning and continuously growing.

In research published by NewZoo, the global eSports industry is worth about US$905.6 million and growing 38 percent yearly.  From $696 million in 2017, Newzoo’s research also forecasted that global eSports market value will further grow and reach $1.48 billion by 2020.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, the number of players is also consistently growing. According to Newzoo’s research, Thailand is ranked 20 in the world for having around 18.3 gamers. The research company also estimated the sector’sgaming market was estimated at Bt9.7 billion way back in 2017.

In 2020 the Thailand e-sports league is thriving with many of the Thai Premier League teams being represented. With their usual thirst for success, the most successful football team, Buriram United, has also become the most successful e-sports team, having quickly grasped the marketing potential on online gaming.

The Spring of Sports’ Management School

Working in the sports industry today has become easier than ever. While the industry is growing rapidly, different opportunities are opening in all areas of the sports industry. The recent addition which saw consistently growth is the higher education institutions. The education areas have a projected rate of 15%.

Sports Management courses tackle different areas of sports such as finance, economics, sports law, media deals and many more. In 2010, there were already 25-35 schools offering sports management programs. This data was gathered in the U.S. alone. Today, the number of schools which are creating a new set of course focused on business sports are consistently growing around the globe. Moreover, there are many online degree programs with this program.