iSportconnect Publishes First Annual Sports Business Review

December 30, 2011

As sports business networking platform iSportConnect’s first full year of operation draws to a close, advice it has published its first annual review of the industry’s major events.

The report covers the most important sports business stories of 2011 including articles about sponsorship, major federations, stadia and clubs across a range of sports Worldwide.

The year started with one the world’s most powerful sport federations, FIFA, establishing an anti -corruption committee. It was a difficult year for the organization; while struggling to enhance its reputation and cut down on corruption, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was re-elected in May, caused much controversy with his comments about racism in light of incidents in English Premier League matches.

Corruption was also a major talking point in cricket with 3 Pakistani players being banned from the sport, by the International Cricket Council, and jailed for their involvement in the spot fixing scandal.

In the US, it was the year of the lockout with strikes over pay disputes occurring in the NFL and the NBA. The NFL lockout ran for 18 weeks, it originally seemed possible that part or, indeed, all of the season would be cancelled. The NBA lockout, which led to the delayed start of the regular season, saw several high-profile players moving abroad only to try to rush back to the US as soon as a labour agreement had been ratified.

The 2011 Rugby World Cup was one of the biggest sporting events of the year and one of the most successful World Cups to date, despite the major earthquake ruling Christchurch out of hosting matches. The tournament provided a significant and much-needed boost to the national economy.

The past 12 months have been particularly interesting for sponsorship. Manchester City FC announced a very large sponsorship agreement with Etihad Airlines that included shirt sponsorship as well as naming rights to the club’s stadium.

Stadium-naming rights have become an increasingly prominent issue as clubs seek to increase revenue. Several high-profile clubs have offered the rights, including FC Barcelona, which swapped its altruistic deal with UNICEF in favour of a very lucrative agreement with Qatari Airlines.

Qatar’s substantial investment in its sports programme continued this year, although London was preferred to Doha as host of the 2017 World Athletics Championships. London’s successful bid went some way in allaying concerns about the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Estimates by reputed organisations, such as Price Waterhouse Cooper, suggest that sports business will continue to grow worldwide. With major events including the London Olympics and the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine scheduled in the next 12 months, 2012 is likely to be another intriguing and exciting year.

iSportconnect Features Editor, Colin Robinson said: “ 2011 has been  a very interesting and exciting year for both the sports business industry and iSportconnect. One of our main objectives is to provide comprehensive coverage of the industry; our annual reports will document the major stories and provide an overview of events throughout the year.”

Read the report here >>