While there is no definitive figure for how much the global sports sector is worth, we know that many billions are spent each year on tickets, TV rights and subscriptions, sponsorships, club membership, development of facilities and all other aspects of this complex and multifaceted industry.
But while the experts may struggle to come up with a meaningful figure, one thing is certain. If the public was to lose its fascination for sporting competition, it’s value both commercially and to society would plummet.
The world’s multi-billion dollar love affair with sport is based principally on the uncertainty of events. Sport is often described as the ultimate unscripted theatre, where we know the cast and setting, but where the ending is never certain. It’s the reason why sport is best watched live and continues to pull TV viewing figures which have advertisers drooling.
But take away the uncertainty of outcome and what are you left with? Ultimately the answer is a big fat zero. Sport without fair competition and an uncertain result becomes meaningless and ultimately irrelevant.
In short, sport faces an existential threat from those who want to rob it of its raison d’être by manipulating outcomes for their own ends. And it is a threat which has seldom been greater or more sinister. Fuelled by the huge sums to be made through illegal betting, the potential for athletes and officials to be coerced into match-fixing has never been greater.
By drawing on the expertise of integrity specialists Genius Sports, this special supplement looks at the threats sports face and the steps which can be taken to protect their competitions.
Follow this link to download the full report including expert insights from Adrian Ford, General Manager at Football DataCo, Andy Levinson, Senior VP, Tournament Administration at the PGA TOUR and Kevin Carpenter, Special Counsel, Sports Integrity for Genius Sports.