MasterCard Study Suggests Rugby World Cup 2011 will Generate over a Billion Dollars

September 13, 2011

adiposity helvetica, sans-serif;”>The International Rugby Board (IRB) has estimated the Rugby World Cup 2011 will generate $1.67 billion for the global sports economy according to a major new study by MasterCard.

Conducted by the Centre for the International Business of Sport (CIBS) on behalf of MasterCard Worldwide, The Economic Impact on Global Rugby Part IV: Rugby World Cup 2011, concludes that the economic impact of Rugby World Cup is profound and that it has huge potential to create a lasting legacy.

Over 95,000 overseas visitors are expected at RWC 2011 in New Zealand, 30,000 more than at RWC 2003 in Australia. As a result, the report estimates that the total economic activity from overseas visitors may amount to $654 million. This short-term commerce flow will come through international spending in bars, clubs, shops, hotels, city attractions, bookmakers and inside host stadia, along with sponsors and organisations spending on marketing in cities around matches.

In the long-term, the study suggests that the economic impact from increased tourism, civic sponsorship and business development as a result of the event is likely to be NZ$1.32 billion ($1.08bn). This reinforces findings following the FIFA World Cup 2010, when 92% of visitors indicated that they would recommend South Africa to friends and relatives, and 90% said they would visit again.

In addition to the hosting and sporting benefits, Rugby World Cup plays a pivotal role in the growth and prosperity of Rugby worldwide. All commercial revenues generated by the Tournament are reinvested in Rugby around the world to increase competitiveness and ensure more men, women and children can access the sport. This is done through the IRB’s £45 million Strategic Investment Programme for the period 2009-2012. The total investment for the period is £150 million. This includes £17 million in Oceania and £6 million in New Zealand.

IRB Chief Executive Mike Miller said: “Rugby World Cup is one of the world’s top three major sports events and the largest in the world this year. As the report underlines, it will drive significant economic activity around the globe and, in particular, in New Zealand, both during the Tournament and in the longer term.

“We have no doubt the Tournament will be both successful and memorable. Aside from seven weeks of spectacular Rugby, New Zealand 2011 will benefit New Zealand and New Zealanders and it will benefit the global Game. The commercial revenues generated from the Tournament drive the growth and development of Rugby worldwide across our 117 Member Unions in order that more men, women and children can enjoy the sport and that more teams can compete to qualify for Rugby World Cup and ultimately challenge to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

“Alongside the more established Rugby nations, fans will be able to see emerging nations such as Russia, who will be playing in their first Rugby World Cup, and Romania where participation has risen 222% since 2003, adding to the appeal of the Tournament and inspiring further growth.”

According to the report, on a global level, economic activity is generated by fans travelling and people engaging with the Tournament from their home nation as part of the expected four billion television audience, for example by buying merchandise and consuming food and drink. It also reflects commercial companies who engage with the Tournament including broadcasters, sponsors, suppliers, licensed merchandisers and commercial travel and hospitality.