China has retained its place as the leading global sports nation for 2013, according to the second annual edition of the Sportcal report that analyses the success of nations in attracting major sports events.
The Global Sports Impact (GSI) Project is an extensive study by Sportcal, the leading sports market research company, which has analysed over 700 major sporting events between 2008 and 2019. Events that have been included in the study are events that are regularly rotated throughout the world and can be hosted in more than one continent.
Two new events have been awarded to China since the first edition of the report in November 2012; the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship and 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The country has taken a noticeable step back from bidding for major events with the recent announcement that it is to concentrate on a ‘Sport for All’ policy rather than hosting major sports events.
China faces a new challenger in the shape of Canada. Canada is the most significant mover in the top 20 up three places to second. This is due to a strong period of landing world championships in curling, swimming and ice hockey, as well two major events slated for 2015: Pan American Games and the Fifa Women’s World Cup.
For a full list of nations please visit, www.sportcal.com/gsi
Russia retains third spot. Whilst no major new events were awarded in the last six months, the country faces a big year ahead. The summer Universiade and athletics’ IAAF World Championships are taking place in Kazan and Moscow, respectively, in July and August. The 2014 winter Olympic Games in Sochi also loom large on the horizon raising the prospect that Russia could be the leading nation in 2014.
The UK has dropped two spots to fourth. The UK will be confident of regaining ground in the years to come when the ‘Gold Event Series’ kicks into gear. The campaign is run by UK Sport, the sports funding and administration body and the government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Gold Event Series aims to bring a total of 70 top sports events to the country over the next six years, more than half of which will be either world or European championships in the likes of diving, field hockey, figure skating and boxing.
The gap between China and the chasing three has reduced considerably in 2013 and with the prospect of the Beijing Olympics 2008 dropping out of the index in 2014 the chances of a new leading nation in 2014 are very high. There are less than 4,000 points separating Canada in second and Italy, which will stage the 2013 winter Universiade in Trentino, in fifth. Germany retains its sixth place.
USA is up two places to seventh, after landing world championships in wrestling (2015) and women’s ice hockey (2017). Brazil stays eighth. The South American country has moved away from the bidding arena as it focuses on delivery of venues and infrastructure for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
South Korea is another notable riser, up three spots to nine. This is largely due to increased weightings for its hosting of the 2014 Asian Games (Incheon), 2015 summer Universiade (Gwangju) and 2018 winter Olympics (PyeongChang).
France rounds out the top 10, down three places on 2012 due to a lack of new event announcements. However, the launch of the French Committee of International Sport, a new international sports relations strategy co-ordination group acting on behalf of France’s sports ministry and the CNOSF, the country’s national Olympic committee in April, is likely to lead to a ramp up in bidding activity. It aims to “consolidate and strengthen” the international influence of French sport.
Turkey (13) and Japan (14) – two countries looking to land the 2020 Olympic Games – have swapped places on the index this year, with their other rival Spain unmoved in 11th.
After being awarded the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, and with a strong series of events lined up over the next two years, the Czech Republic is a new entrant to the top 20 this year, in at 17, ousting Switzerland from the list.
Denmark has leapfrogged both Sweden and Australia into 18th place. Although no new events were awarded to the three countries, Denmark benefitted from increased weightings for the five world championships it will host in 2014 and 2015.
The Global Sports Impact project aims to create an internationally accepted methodology for measuring the impact of sports events across the globe. The project enables events to be compared across a standard set of indicators.
Global Sports Impact has been developed through a consultative process involving a wide range of experts and academics and has been supported by a variety of government organisations and academic institutions. Each event is given a global sports index wighting based on a set of criteria which has been determined by over 200 sports industry experts. Lead partners of the project are UK Sport and Singapore Sports Council with supporting partners JTA and Sagacity. ISEAL from Victoria, Melbourne are the lead academic partner with support from other academic institutes throughout the world.