Interesting discussions at the cluster meeting on the economic dimension of sport

On the 11th April a cluster meeting was held in Brussels in the framework of the EU Work Plan for Sport, entitled “The economic dimension of sport - Why sport matters?”. ENGSO was represented there by our Executive Committee member, Ilva Ciemite, who was a speaker at the event.

The meeting was organised by the European Commission and it was meant to share good practices and to discuss relevant topics about how sport contributes to the economy. The starting point to the discussion was chosen in a forward-thinking way as the next EU member state holding the Presidency, Austria, will tackle the economic dimension in the sport sector. Case studies of major events and experience of host cities were presented, along with tools to measure the impact of events on health and public finances. Paths to improve policy making through better data gathering was also discussed.

The session on the economic benefits of sport was about sport as an economic sector on its own and the ripple effect it has on other sectors like tourism and production.

The session on measuring the economic benefits of sport focused on its direct effects – such as employment and purchasing power – and also the indirect effects – as the supply and value-added chain. The session sought answers to questions as how to monitor the economic importance of sports, and what are the costs of physical inactivity. A good example was presented by Monika Puchner from FIBA. She revealed the research outcomes of the economic and social impact study on EUROBASKET 2017. Jérôme Pero, the secretary general of the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry presented the numbers on their side.

In this session Ilva Ciemite presented a research about the impact on Latvia’s economic sector of international sport events that were supported by the Latvian Sports Federations Council. The research methodology was developed by the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science. The research revealed the average daily expenses of guests from 24 countries and it also showed the total impact of the examined events on the economy. The presentation also pointed out the other essential benefits of organising international sport events, such as improved sport infrastructure and the gained popularity of sport itself. The presentation is available here.

Ilva Ciemite holding her presentation (Photo: Jana Janotova)

The last session of the event was about the use of data for policy making. It was about the progress among EU Member States in developing national Sport Satellite Accounts.

Throughout the sessions several comments were given about the necessity to develop common methodology to measure the economic impact of sport events as if common methodology is used, then the data will be comparable and easier to evaluate among different countries and events.

The conclusions of the meeting were drawn by Thierry Zintz and Barbara Spindler-Oswald who summarised the main takes from the event and made some concluding remarks for the next steps in the future.

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