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The economics of sport

Would you like to know the economic value of your sport or the importance of sport in your economy? Whether it's at national, regional or project level, we have the expertise to help you find out. We can help you with techniques such as Satellite Accounts and economic importance studies.  In 2016 our Satellite Account for Golf was the subject of an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons.  Currently we are helping clients to measure the impact of Covid-19 on the sport industry.

Sport participation

We have a long track record in conducting research into sports participation data.  We have analysed every data set on national sports participation since the General Household Survey in the 1970s.  As new concerns such as social inequalities and intersectionality become important, we are the team to help you to extract the maximum value from your data.  We also have extensive experience of evaluating programmes designed to increase sport and physical activity levels.  Ask us if you want to know about critical success factors and what works for whom and in what circumstances.

The economic and social impacts of major sports events

We are proud to be the lead authors of eventIMPACTS, which is widely regarded as the gold standard within the industry for robust economic impact studies of major events.  Our work has been at the forefront of event research since the pioneering study Football Came Home, which measured the economic impact of Euro ’96 on England.  More recently, in 2019 we completed 10 consecutive years of evaluating the economics of The Open – golf’s most prestigious major.  Our Impact Case Study on major events for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework was described as ‘outstanding’ and was rated as world leading research.

Elite sport

Since the setting up of UK Sport in 1997 and the investment in elite sport via the National Lottery, we've been at the forefront of research into elite sport policy and performance.  Professor Simon Shibli is a founding member of the Sport Policy factors Leading to International Sporting Success (SPLISS) consortium, researching the policy factors leading to success in elite sport.  Simon’s Olympic medal predictions have received international recognition for their accuracy, and his research has attracted significant media coverage at home and abroad.

Our elite sport work is easily adaptable to non-Olympic contexts. We have a long track record of conducting performance reviews of nations taking part in the Commonwealth Games as well as reviews of single sport events at national, continental and world levels.

Outdoor recreation

We are the founders and leaders the first cross-disciplinary research group in the UK looking at the growing sector of outdoor recreation from all perspectives. Bringing together economists, social scientists, ecologists, engineers and behavioural change and tourism experts, we are the home of expertise in the way we play outdoors – and the important economy behind it.  Not only is ‘green’ physical activity good for your physical and mental wellbeing, it is good for business and jobs too.

Performance management

Our ability to support your performance management processes stems from our combination of hard and soft skills.  By hard skills we mean the practical application of recognised management techniques such as strategic plans, logic models and benchmarking by which to understand what a project is designed to deliver. From this understanding it then becomes possible to articulate what success looks like and to derive the key performance indicators that are required to demonstrate success.  Our strength in this area is that we're able to take the emotion out of situations and enable processes to be objective, so that regardless of project performance there are important learning outcomes.  We also have a strong 'feel' for data and the ability to assess intuitively whether data seem reasonable. These soft skills are based upon our wider knowledge of the sport sector and years of experience of monitoring projects. We are also trusted for being fair and objective in our approach.

Social impact and value

Since the publication of the Government’s strategy for sport, Sporting Future, in 2015 the social impact of sport has been of increasing importance to policy makers and funders.  We all knew that sport was good, but we didn’t have the evidence or the methods to demonstrate it.  Following evidence reviews and research for clients including DCMS and Sport England, we are able to demonstrate the wider societal impact of sport and physical activity, the value of the impacts, and the social return on investment achieved by the inputs to the system.

Bespoke work

If you have an important sport management issue that you’d like to discuss, we are confident that we can call upon our skills in economics, finance, statistics, research methods, policy, and planning to help you.  We pride ourselves in being client-friendly and delivering solutions that meet your needs on time and within budget.

Get in touch

Contact us to discuss facilities, partnerships, doctoral research and more

Email us
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