Rolling out the research
Since 2010, we’ve covered more than 100 major sporting and cultural events across the UK, Ireland and France, including Wimbledon, the Tour de France, the London Marathon, Henley Royal Regatta and the Ryder Cup. The majority of this research was commissioned by UK Sport, the government body responsible for investing in Olympic and Paralympic sports.
We’ve also worked with national governing bodies of specific sports. Our work on the Open Golf Championship for The R&A confirmed how the event brings major economic benefits to its host locations.
Another piece of research for the Motor Sports Association (MSA) demonstrated how the economic benefits of closing public roads to host motorsport events in Britain would likely outweigh the cost and inconvenience. We found that these events could generate up to £40 million of additional revenue for local communities, at no cost to the taxpayer.
These findings were directly referenced to influence a change in legislation. Local authorities can now suspend laws like the Road Traffic Act to organise events on public roads.
A tool for everyone
Building on the success of our research, we’ve led the development of an online toolkit (eventIMPACTS.com) for the sport industry to help other organisations follow the same formula.
This toolkit allows organisers to make reliable predictions on the returns they can expect to receive from future events.
It’s now used as standard across the industry. UK Sport, Tourism Northern Ireland, EventScotland, London & Partners and the Welsh Government — the events and tourism bodies for the governments of all UK home nations — all require event organisers to use the methods in our toolkit when applying for funding.
"The resources available on eventIMPACTS have been adopted as best practice across the UK and are a great starting point for any event organiser looking to evaluate their event in a consistent and realistic way”
— Chief Operating Officer, UK Sport
Our research has shown the real economic benefits of sports events on communities up and down the UK.
But there’s a social element to sports too which is equally important. Part of our research is also measuring the impact of sports events against public health objectives — showing how they can inspire people to get active and improve their wellbeing.
Considering the long-term effects of Covid-19 on both mental health and local economies, our work is more important than ever.