From Marcell Jacobs to the hundreds of girls who flock to cross-country races, from Federica Pellegrini to preschoolers hitting the pool for the first time, from Jannik Sinner to “doubles” on provincial courts: the sport in Italy is made by champions and champions who make headlines with their businesses but also – and perhaps above all – by the more than 15 million athletes of all ages who practice the dozens of disciplines available to compete, have fun or just keep in shape.
And, overall, the sector’s annual revenues are around 100 billion. theBanca Ifis Observatory of the Italian sports system, which in its first edition took stock of a complex phenomenon that employs resources, moves investments, employs workers and produces value throughout its supply chain, from the construction of factories to sports betting , through clothing and dozens of other sectors involved. Sure, most of sport consists of basic activities: among the associations, organizations, federations and factory managements, it is estimated that in 2019 they were involved beyond 74,000 businesses and 228,000 employeesgenerating half of the revenue of the entire sports system.
It is therefore the generalized movement that triggers the whole process: it involves families, offers services, mobilizes resources. The goal is to look for the next Barbara Bonansea or the next Vincenzo Nibali: but not only, also involving, educating, doing good. And health is perhaps the main positive externality: according to the Observatory, they are more than 5 billion in savings for the national health servicedue to the improvement of the physical conditions of the athletes.
The Covid has had a significant impact on the sector: sports associations and clubs have seen their income drop by almost 20%, with 30,000 fewer employees. Likewise, the phenomenon of mass events being postponed or canceled due to the pandemic has also led to a sharp drop in revenue for the sports sector. Think, for example, of events, such as marathons or granfondo cyclists, which involve thousands of enthusiasts and which have a significant economic impact on the territory with the demand for hospitality, catering and consumption.
2021, on the other hand, has been a year of recovery for Italian sport. Certainly exceptional in terms of overall competitive results (from athletics at the Tokyo Olympics to the victory of the men’s national football team in the Europeans), while economically the arduous climb to the pre- -pandemic continues. Over the past 12 months, total revenue hit 80 billion, an increase from the previous period but still far from the overall potential. The Observatory also points out that investments are those that can serve as an engine for the growth of the entire sector: it is estimated that for each public euro spent, you activate nearly 9% of private funds to create a turnover of 20%. A use of resources with significant returns, even in the short term.
And this year? Certainly, the failed World Cup qualification of the men’s national soccer team will cause a contraction of related industries, from media to betting to merchandising. However, enthusiasts who do not practice any sport will have one more reason to get up from the sofa and try their passions on the field, on the track, on the road, at the gym or in the swimming pool: you you are spoiled for choice. Fortunately.