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Amateurs face a bleak future with sport sector now worth
Not surprisingly, football rules the commercial roost. Five years ago, the game's annual global revenues totalled $28 billion, a figure which had grown to $34 billion according to the most recent analysis completed last year. Incredibly, football revenues now equate to almost as much as the $38 billion generated by all US sports, Formula One racing, tennis and golf combined.
According to a variety of consultants, PhD theses and expertly compiled reports published at various points over the past few years, the global sports industry is enjoying a prolonged period of rude health.
Today's sports industry comprises an enormous breadth of commercial disciplines and expertise, spanning everything from themed food joints to the sporting memorabilia sub sector. Mix in the colossal value of live broadcast media rights, infrastructure construction, licensed products, naming rights and sponsorship and it's easy to see how experts arrive at a figure, pitched somewhere between $620 billion to $1 trillion, as a rather broad estimate of the value of the global sports sector.
surge in Olympic related enquiries" Apex's recruitment team has grown from one to seventeen.
Of course, there will always be a place for the volunteer, though perhaps the deepening chasm which exists between professional sport and its amateur cousin on the pitch or court is also mirrored away from the action too.
Yet if global sport's aggregate value is even approaching $1 trillion, the demand for competent professionals capable of managing federations and clubs within the sector appears unlikely to slow down.
Granted, for football, this usually means European clubs acting as increasingly wide conduits for player salaries. And while athletes in other sports are wise to the financial rewards enjoyed by those capable of kicking a ball properly and their salary demands are growing as a consequence, the sports industry remains capable of attracting more and more money, certainly for the foreseeable future.
head of sector recruitment at Apex Sport, acknowledges that, while competitive, the sports recruitment business, like sport itself, is enjoying a particularly buoyant period.
The sports event market, taken to include revenues from ticketing, media and marketing, was worth around $64 billion Hermes Belt Orange Black in 2009. By mid 2013, this figure had grown to $87 billion.
Top flight sport's increasingly international nature partly explains why the sector has largely avoided economic implosion. The decision to take the World Cup to Qatar, the Olympic Games to Sochi and Rio de Janeiro, the introduction of sparkling new venues in Formula One and the stunning success of the IPL have each been driven by money and, in several cases, political expediency.
"It seems clear that sport's upward trajectory is likely to be maintained over the next decade at least," observes Davidson, "which suggests that demand from organisations, be they in the UK or abroad, for good, talented people will be equally strong."
Though the noticeable surge in the number of people prepared to give of their time for free can rightly be deemed a worthy, and perhaps the only, tangible legacy of London's Olympic Games, it would be a sad day were the enthusiastic amateur ousted from sports administration altogether.
sport's emergence as a serious business sector.
"Irrespective of the role a client is seeking to fill," he says, "matching the right people to the job is absolutely crucial to our success." Since establishing the division within a much larger business five years ago "to coincide with the Gucci Belt Design
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A few years ago, analysis commissioned by Lagardre Unlimited found that the global sports industry was growing much faster than national gross domestic product (GDP) rates around the world.
Yet this heady clutch of mind frazzling numbers and statistics amount to nothing unless the oceans of cash in which the good ship global sport merrily sails is managed and put to effective use.
Davidson has recently returned from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, "a sports mad capital city to compare with any in Europe," but has already also visited Brazil and the UAE this year.
In Europe alone, football is a $25 billion business, with the five biggest leagues accounting for half of the market, and the top 20 teams comprising roughly one quarter of the market.
Incessant demand from a growing number of prospective clients has resulted in an equally impressive growth in the number of employment agencies focused solely on the sports business. Simon Davidson, Louis Vuitton Belt Justin Bieber
As the sector becomes more sophisticated, technical and competitive, demand for people with skills to develop and grow sports based businesses has grown exponentially. Fitness coaches, physiotherapists and development officers are required just as urgently as a CEO for the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association or broadcast executives adept at establishing the value of sports rights.
While Western nations have suffered from unprecedented economic upheaval and considerably deeper recessions than anyone imagined possible half a dozen years ago, well organised professional sporting activities, which used to be little more than pastimes played with varying degrees of skill and enthusiasm, have grown, commercially speaking, at a remarkable rate.
Little more than a generation ago, sport operated on a much smaller scale, which meant that sporting entities were often administered by amateur officials and unpaid volunteers, the admirable mainstay of most sports for best part of a century or more. However, the internationalisation of sport, coupled with the sector's phenomenal commercial growth, look likely to marginalise the enthusiastic, well meaning volunteer.
"People are absolutely key to a successful sports recruitment operation," he says. "We're constantly on the lookout for people who can organise, or design facilities, manage stadium construction projects, run sporting federations, or succeed in one of the many roles which underpin what is a burgeoning international sector."
Since then, forecast growth in the worldwide sports events market in particular has lived up to, and in many cases exceeded, expectations.
Davidson confirms his company is about to open an office in Singapore "to deal with client demand in Asia for sports professionals." Apex's medium term plan is to replicate their business model in north America and possibly the Middle East. "If we stand still in this market," adds Davidson, "there's no way back." It's a comment echoed across the sports recruitment sector.
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