Study on the economic impact of sport through sport satellite accounts
Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union explains that “The Union shall contribute to the promotion of European sporting issues”. As a response, in 2006, the European Commission set up the EU Working Group “Sport and Economics” which developed the Vilnius definition for sport to identify economic activities in goods and services associated with sport. Based on that, national Sport Satellite Accounts (SSAs) were calculated by Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Poland, and the United Kingdom. They formed the basis for an EU-wide multiregional Input-output tables for sport... (MR-IOT:S) which was published in 2012 and based on 2005 data. The current research, using 2012 data, updates the original study on the basis of four premises: Croatia joining the EU; the long past base year; the economic crisis which may have caused systematic changes in the results; and an update of the Vilnius definition, which too was part of the work undertaken during this project. The availability of fully-fledged national SSAs from Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg (closely approximated, but still preliminary), the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, and the United Kingdom provided a much wider firm database compared to the one available for the first model. It was found that in 2012, sport related Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 279.7 bn Euro or 2.12% of total GDP within the EU. In addition, 5.67 m employees could be attributed to sport, a share of 2.72%. Stated otherwise, around every 47th Euro and every 37th employee in the EU are directly sport-related. These numbers indicate that sport is an employment-intensive economic activity, therefore generating a greater sport share in employment than in GDP. In fact, an increase of GDP by 1% goes hand in hand with an additional 1.35% of employment. This is an important insight, as it underlines the substantial role sport plays in countering unemployment. This key-result was already found in the previous study and is further supported by the new data.