In days gone by, sport was simply a case of those who won, and those that lost. However, it has become such a huge industry in the past few decades that many other winners are lurking behind the scenes. In this brief guide, we’re going to go through who is benefitting from the vast swathes of money spent in top class sport – let’s get started right away.
Ultimately, sport is all about glory. The athletes that end up winning trophies are the biggest winners of all, regardless of how much – or how little – money they earn. Name in the history books? Check. The knowledge you are the best in the world? Check. A story you can be proud of for the rest of your life, and that your grandchildren will pass on to their grandchildren? Yep.
It’s easy to feel oversaturated with sports coverage. But for the average person, experiencing a moment of sporting history is an incredible thing that you won’t ever forget. When you see Usain Bolt break the 100-metre record, it’s the fastest anyone has run, ever. When you see Lionel Messi dribble through an entire team and dink the ball over the keeper, it’s the greatest goal anyone has ever seen. And even if you are watching your local semi-pro or amateur team pull off an upset or achieve something incredible, it will be one of the most memorable moments in your community’s history. You can’t buy any of these experiences, but to say you ‘were there’ will be something you can keep with your for life.
Moving into slightly murkier territory now, we need to focus on the bookmakers. Wherever there is a sporting event, there will also be a bet – it’s been happening throughout the whole of human history. While the occasional punter will win big using something like this mobile app or popping down to their local bookies, the house always wins in the end. The gambling industry rakes in billions from sporting bets on a monthly basis, and there’s no sign of it stopping anytime in the future.
The media also thrives on sport – given how much the likes of Sky and BT Sport are willing to spend on screening rights, they must rake in a pretty penny in from it, too. Ultimately, of course, they get their money back from advertisers and subscribers, and until the nation’s thirst for sport is quenched, it seems that covering football, rugby, and tennis is pretty much a blank check for TV, radio, and newspapers.
Behind every top athlete is an agent. Some are great at what they do, and well respected throughout the sporting world. Most, though, are sharks, always on the lookout for a better deal – and a healthy paycheck as a result. There are thousands of ‘Mr 10 Percents’ out there, all making money off the back of their client’s sporting prowess. And the vast majority of us outside the sporting world will never, ever really know who these people behind the scenes even are.