The measurement of the sport sector’s economic contribution to the Australian economy is multi-layered, including direct, indirect, and induced economic activities, increased workforce productivity, and the value of volunteers.1
Outside of standard economic value categories there can also be a notional sense of ‘value’ related to personal and community wellbeing and national pride derived from sport participation or perceived affiliation with sport.
- employment (inc. volunteer service)
- health cost savings
- economic activity
- infrastructure and facilities
- events and tourism.
THE ROLE OF SPORT
SPORT SECTOR ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION
- User pay
(sports related fees, equipment clothing, training, etc.)
- The private sector
(including sponsorship and marketing spend)
- Local government
(mostly infrastructure spending)
- State government
(sports participation, high performance pathways, infrastructure)
- Australian Government
(including grants and programs from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and other Federal departments)
Employment and education
- improved cognitive development, learning and retaining information
- building critical life skills
- staying in school longer
- higher lifetime earnings (through better grades and staying in school longer).
Health and wellbeing
- A$4.9 billion worth of health benefit
- A$5.1 billion worth of social benefit
Events and tourism
- A$2.5 billion increase in Gross State Product (GSP) over 9 years; including 21,000 jobs.
- 1.3 million visitors leading up to, during and after the Games. Spending more than A$1.1 billion in the region.
- 100 national and international events secured in Queensland.
Economic analyses of the sport sector often use very different methodologies and/or data points (e.g. GDP, social return on investment (ROI), looking at the economic contribution of only volunteers, or a specific sport) which can make it difficult to get a clear, overall view of the value of sport or to compare figures between reports, organisations or time periods.
Reports are also rarely replicated across time periods, and data can quickly become outdated. Some statistics or data may only be collected intermittently, may not clearly distinguish between sport and related industries, or may not be available without expensive subscriptions or analysis.
The adoption of consistent methodology and improved data currency and availability would help to address these challenges and strengthen the evidence base for the return-of-investment of sport for individuals, the community and the broader Australian economy.
- Intergenerational review of Australian sport, BCG Consulting for the Australian Sports Commission, (2017).
- Economic value of community club-based sport in Australia, Australian Sports Commission and the Griffith Business School at Griffith University, Queensland, (2018)
- Surf Life Saving’s economic contribution to the community valued at $3.6 billion. Price Waterhouse Coopers, (2011)
- Equestrian brings more than $1Billion to the economy, Equestrian Australia, (February 2017)
- The Australian Golf Industry economic report 2010, Australian Golf Industry Council, (2010)
- Community impact of football in New South Wales, SBP for Football NSW and Northern NSW Football, (June 2018)
- Value of a community football club, La Trobe University for the Australian Football League and AFL Victoria, (2015)
- Australian Motorsport – An economic powerhouse, Motorsport Australia, (16 November 2021)
- The value of community sport infrastructure: Investigating the value of community sport facilities to Australia, KPMG for the Australian Sports Commission, (2018)
- Sports Industry Economic Analysis: Exploring the size and growth of the sport industry in Australia, KPMG for the Office for Sport, Department of Health, (March 2020)
- The impact of engagement in sport on graduate employability: implications for higher education policy and practice, Kerry Griffiths, Steve Bullough, Simon Shibli, et al., International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics , Volume 9(3), pp.431-451, (2017)
- The Impact of Engagement in Sport on Graduate Employability: Final report, Kerry Allen, Steve Bullough, Doug Cole, et al., Sheffield Hallam University for British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS), (2013)
- The effects Of high school athletic participation on education and labor market outcomes, John Barron, Bradley Weing, Glen Waddell, Review of Economics and Statistics, Volume 82(3), pp.409-421, (2000)
- Economics of sports injury and participation report, Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, (18 February 2022)
- Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Post Games Report, Office of the Commonwealth Games, Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games, Queensland Government, (2019).
- Annual report 2014-2015, Australian Government, Department of Health, (2015).
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