Master of Science in Sport Management Online

3 Top Sporting Events in the World

With their displays of athletic prowess, crowds, and high-value budgets, several sporting events attract the eyes of sports fans all over the world. Learn more about some of the world’s most popular sporting events and why they matter to sport marketers and managers.

The Olympic Games: Profitable Worldwide Sporting Event

Image via Flickr by sub_lime79

The tradition hearkens back to ancient Greece, but the modern Olympic Games are a much larger endeavor than early Olympians could ever imagine. For two weeks every two years, athletes from around the globe compete in either the summer or winter games, testing their mettle in sporting events ranging from basketball games to swimming relays in the summer, plus bobsled races and figure skating in the winter.

Olympic marketing revenue continues to grow. The games generated more than $8 billion U.S. dollars in the 2009 to 2012 quadrennium, up from close to $5.4 billion in the period prior, and $2.6 billion from 1993 to 1996. Revenue has increased in every one of the last five quadrenniums, according to the International Olympic Committee, IOC.

The IOC expects the 2016 summer games in Rio De Janeiro will generate $4 billion in revenue. Officials expect 70 percent to come from broadcasting deals and 20 percent from sponsorships. Image rights licensing, ticketing, and hospitality should account for the remaining amounts, according to a totalSPORTEK report.

The FIFA World Cup: Global Soccer Competition Goes Social

Image via Flickr by Celso Flores

Like the summer and winter Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup captures the world’s attention every four years. Only 32 nations compete, but billions of people from around the globe tune in to watch soccer matches played over the month-long tournament. Approximately 1 billion TV viewers watched Germany beat Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, including 26.5 million people in the United States, according to ESPN. These figures are impressive considering the U.S. was eliminated before the quarterfinals.

For professionals interested in sport marketing, the World Cup also witnessed a bump in social media advertising. Months before players kicked the first ball in the games, Twitter noted more World Cup-related posts than during the entire 2010 tournament.

Advertisers took notice of the trend. In 2010, Adidas spent only 20 percent of its marketing budget on digital media. In 2014, its digital spend eclipsed its TV budget. When Nike posted its World Cup ad on YouTube, and spokesperson Ronaldo shared via Twitter, views topped 70 million in days.

The Super Bowl: The U.S. Premium Sporting Event

Image via Flickr by djanimal

The Super Bowl is the largest event on America’s sporting calendar, the time when the winners of the American and National Football Conferences face off for the prized Vince Lombardi Trophy. The 2015 game pitting the Patriots against the Seahawks attracted 114.4 million viewers, the largest audience in American TV history. With so many eyeballs on TV screens, Fortune reports companies are already spending as much as $5 million for a 30-second ad slot during the 2016 Super Bowl game, 11 percent more than they did in 2015.

Events like these take the sporting industry to the next level. That next level makes these events especially relevant to marketers, sport managers, and fans.