“Hosting the FIFA World Cup: Economic Boon or Winner’s Curse?”

The Business of Sport – Seminar Series

Room G01 – Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1 7HX

Wednesday 16th May 2007 at 6pm
(For directions click here)

“Hosting the FIFA World Cup: Economic Boon or Winner’s Curse?”

Given by:

Brian Sturgess, Former Deputy Chief Executive, Professional Footballers Association (PFA), Consultant to the Football Association (FA)


Countries often compete fiercely for the right to host the football FIFA World Cup finals, but apart from national prestige are there any concrete economic benefits to be gained from hosting sporting events such as the Olympics or the World Cup? The evidence is mixed. Many estimates suggest large gains in employment and a boost to economic growth result. Some economists conclude that the net economic impact arising from a boost to aggregate demand is often negligible or even negative. In this presentation Brian Sturges surveys a range of studies assessing the macroeconomic impact of hosting the finals. It is argued that it is inappropriate to rely only on measures of the economic impact that are concerned only with the effect on macroeconomic variables to decide whether a bid should be made or not since hosting events can have major effects on the structures of the football market and related industries.


Brian Sturgess is the publisher and editor in chief of Soccer Investor Limited, a publishing and research company supplying clients in the football industry across the world. A former lecturer in economics at a number of universities he has published widely in books, academic articles and in the press on the areas of the economics of advertising, the media and sports. He spent nearly twenty years working as an analyst and consultant to a number of merchant banks and media companies including the BBC, the Telegraph Group, WARC, Tyne-Tees Television, Barclays, Nat West and ING Barings, on the financing and economics of media enterprises. He has also been a consultant to the European Commission on sport, culture and broadcasting. He is currently working on the area of the relationship between sport and economic development and has a number of projects underway in the economics of football.

Soccer Investor:

Soccer Investor is Britain’s leading supplier of financial and business information relating to the performance of the football industry. Details of Soccer Investor’s activities and services can be found at:


  • Baade, R.A., and Matheson, D.A., (2004),  ‘The Quest for the Cup: Assessing the Economic Impact of the World Cup,’ Regional Studies, vol. 38.4, June.
  • Deloitte (2006), Annual Review of Football Finance, Sport Business Group, Deloitte, Manchester.
  • Gouguet, J.J. (2002), ‘Economic impact of sporting events: what has to be measured?,’ in Barros, C.P., Ibrahimo, M., and Szymanski, S., eds. Transatlantic Sport: The Comparative Economics of North American and European Sports, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, USA.
  • Porter, P. (1999), ‘Mega-Sports Events as Municipal Investments: A Critique of Impact Analysis,’ in Fizel, J.L., Gustafson, E. and Hadley, L., eds., Sports Economics: Current Research, New York: Praeger Press.
  • Sturgess, B.T, and Brady, C. (2006), ‘Hosting the World Cup,’ World Economics, Vol. 7, No.4, January-December.
  • Szymanski, S. (2002), ‘The Economic Impact of the World Cup,’ World Economics, Vol.3, No.1, January-March

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil

Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763 or Email: 


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