How big is the sports industry?

We at SportyFi often throw around the phrase “sports industry” in the context of our project. Let’s see what the expression really means.

Nov 13, 2017 · 2 min read

Sports is and industry full of passion, feelings, euphoria and also big disappointments — both for fans as well as for athletes trying to do their best. But the sports industry is also a business — one of the biggest ones.

Football (soccer) is by far the number 1 sport in the world.

The estimates on how big the sports industry is, varies by source, but it’s commonly considered to be more than $500 billion, with some estimates running up to $1.3 trillion! The industry connects many different activities, ranging from hot dogs sold at sports events to multimillion transfer fees paid by the biggest clubs when acquiring new superstars. The business features numerous participants: from rights owners (athletes, clubs, leagues and federations) to sports agencies, sponsors, investors and broadcasters — competing over a bigger and bigger pie, as the sports industry is growing faster than most.

But not all sports disciplines are represented equally in these finances. Number one, worldwide, is — no surprise here — association football (soccer), with a 43% share of the global financial sports market. Football (American) is also on a distant second place, with 13%. Baseball (12%), Formula 1 (7%) and basketball (6%) are the only three sports also having an over 5% share in addition to the top two. They’re followed by hockey (4%), tennis (also 4%) and golf with a 3% total market share in terms of finances.

Golf takes 3% of the sports financial pie.

There are over 8,000 indigenous sports and sporting games — and all of them, excluding the ones mentioned above, take up only 8% of the global financial turnover in sports — even though you can compete professionally in a lot of them. The pie here is comparatively small, but still in the billions, combined.

Here is where SportyFi comes into the picture. We want to spread the possibility of success, which always requires a solid financial base, to a wider audience of athletes and clubs, by circumventing existing mechanisms and opening up the industry to small investors — no matter what the sport!

Need more details? Check out the SportyFi Website or read the SportyFi Whitepaper. And come chat with us on Telegram.


  • Plunkett Research — Sports Industry Statistic and Market Size Overview, Business and Industry Statistics (2016)
  • World Association for Sports Management Series — Global Sport Management: Contemporary issues and inquiries (2017)
  • A.T. Kearney — The Sports Market (2011)
  • World Sports Encyclopedia (2003)


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