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First sport evaluation since 2010

Wednesday, 31st July, 2019 4:20pm

The true economic value of sport in Ireland will be determined by a new body of research to be published this year.

The Federation of Irish Sport is partnering with specialist bank Investec to undertake the first major sports evaluation study in Ireland since 2010.

The business of sport is an important econonic driver but one that does not have up to date data, making the new report significant for the sector.

The research, which will be led by Investec Ireland’s award-winning economic research team, will evaluate the value of sport to the economy, government, social welfare and volunteering, as well as its health and social benefits.

Currently Irish sport is believed to be worth in excess of €2.4 billion to the Exchequer as well as supporting more than 40,000 jobs (2013) and generating €1 billion in tourism receipts annually.

According to a 2018 Onside Report, the sports sponsorship market has grown from €75 million in 2009 to €140 million in 2018, representing an 87 per cent increase over ten years.

The wider sports community is complemented by an additional 450,000 volunteers whose contribution in economic terms is somewhere between €322 and €582 million annually, based on data from 2010.

Results from the research carried out in 2010 found that following a total state investment of €618.3 million in 2008, the Exchequer received €922.7 million in taxes from sports-related activity.

In effect, for every €100 invested by the Government, it received €149 in sports-related taxes.

The Irish Sports Policy 2018–2027, published in July 2018, saw the Government pledge to double sports funding from €111 million per year to €220 million over a ten-year period, including an 11 per cent increase in capital funding in the 2019 Budget.

Commenting on the new study, Federation of Irish Sport CEO, Mary O’Connor, said: “It’s nine years since the sports community last undertook a piece of research of this scale.

“All economic indicators suggest sport’s economic value to Ireland has grown significantly in the intervening period,” she added.

“To this end, we are delighted to have the opportunity to identify the economic impact and economic value of sport to Ireland in 2019, and to understand how it feeds into the economic vibrancy of other strands of the economy, including tourism and hospitality, retail, health and well-being and fitness.

“This Government investment will help give Irish sport the necessary building blocks to further develop its economic footprint in Ireland,” the CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport explained.

The Investec research findings will be published in September 2019.Michael Olney

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