Financing Sporting Events
5 minute read · Issue Number 118 · April 29th, 2022
Just like any other type of event – sporting events require capital to exist.
There are multiple types of events in the sports world and not all of them require the same amount of money. Nevertheless, most (if not all of them) need it.
Grab a cup of coffee while we jabber about the financing behind sporting events.
Whether it’s a local marathon, a sports conference, a world cup match, or a baseball game – sporting events require people to manage the logistics and operations. They’re essential.
Salaries or costs of human resources will depend on the scale of the event (i.e., how many people will attend), the duration, location, and the number of services provided.
People can execute jobs in hundreds of different roles related to security, sales, marketing, assistance & guidance, management, entertainment, ticketing, and many others.
Besides human resources, most events will require infrastructure and materials. Costs here include renting (or building) the facilities like stadiums or roads to manufacturing merch or entertainment decorations.
Other relevant expenses are related to enabling experiences by providing the utilities needed to power and get people to the event—electricity, water, transportation, food, etc.
I could bet there are a gazillion different expenses in huge events, but most will land on the ones mentioned above. But so, how do event organizers pay for all that?
Funding events come in different types and flavors – again, depending on the needs and size of each one. However, there are a few ‘strategies’ that are general for most events to finance the gatherings:
Sponsorships from companies who use the occasion to promote their products/services
Private equity firms could invest in massive events to earn returns to their clients on such investments
Revenues derived from tickets sold to the general public (I.e., the spectators)
Government and National Governing Bodies will usually donate large amounts of money to support the development of diverse recreational events for the public
Revenues from memberships or fees charged to participants
Earned income from merch sales, food, and other services
In some cases, event organizers might use the National Lottery to fund diverse events
The Bottom Line
Maybe you’ll attend a sports event this weekend, or perhaps you haven’t been to one for a while – but most likely, you’ve already experienced a sports event in your lifetime.
While most events might feel seamless, tons of planning and organization go on behind them.
There are dozens, or even hundreds of things events do to make them happen – and those have actual costs.
Next time you’re at an event, look around. Ask yourself – what would be the cost of all these things happening simultaneously right now? And so, after reading this, you’ll at least know how they’re even able to source the funds to afford it.
🔗 Learn more:
Halftime Snacks Podcast episode “Sports Events Planning and Operations” with Paul Astley – Paul’s experiences advising Adidas, the Euro of 2020, and the FIFA world cup of 2022 are a masterclass to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at live events (you can also check out the transcript here)
Sources of Income for Sports Organisations – a wonderful quick read that goes a bit deeper on different sources of cash for events
🎙 Halftime Snacks Podcast
Kelly’s the CEO and Co-Founder of nVenue – a software that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide real-time predictions and analytics to every outcome of a play.
The platform supplements broadcasts, games, and sports betting providers.
We discussed specific knowledge, her career, nVenue's story and role in the present and future of fan engagement, product, technology, and growth towards full potential.
Apply to be a guest on the Halftime Snacks Podcast here.