The sport industry is valued at upwards of $620 billion. But why should someone study sport business? Isn’t sport just like every other industry? There is an exchange of goods or services for money right? Well here are five reasons why sport is unique and why students should consider studying sport business, in addition to their traditional business courses:
1. Sporting events are different for every person.
What other industry sells to fans/consumers that have loyalty beyond reason? That associate the win of the team to personal achievement? You hear “We won!” from the sports fan that has no direct influence on the team’s win. Seems normal right? However, you don’t hear “We increased sales and decreased operating expenses from last quarter!” from the owner of a new car. Sports fans are acceptably irrational.
2. The product on the field/court cannot be guaranteed, and consumers are happy about it!
If the team loses you may hear the following from a fan: “That’s ok. We will get ‘em next time!”. If the chicken is undercooked at a restaurant, you don’t usually hear “That’s ok. Next time they will fix it!” Without uncertainty and competition, sport is not interesting to watch!
3. Sporting event extensions are often more important than the game itself.
There is always a winner, and there is always a loser. Half of the fans will always be upset about the outcome of the game. Therefore, sport businesses need to sell the “sizzle” to the fan’s, even when the steak is not so good. In other words, the entertainment surrounding the game is just as important as the game itself.
4. You cannot sell a ticket to yesterday’s game.
Once the event happens, it’s gone. The sport event is created by teams, and consumed by fans, at the same time. It is important to meet fan expectations. Fans want a quality event as well as high levels of competition on the field/court. The only way you sell a perishable ticket to another event is to meet their expectations the first time.
5. You cannot high five yourself!
Sporting events are rarely attended alone. People consume many products alone, but sport is a community based product. People identify with teams like it is their clan, their community, or their family. They celebrate success the same as they do their failure; together.