Women are playing a key role in
UEFA Euro 2008, contributing at least €140million to commerce around the tournament, according to a
comprehensive economic study commissioned by MasterCard, Official Sponsor of the UEFA
European Football Championship since 1992.
Women will be responsible for an economic boost equivalent to more than €4million per game, according to the study. The figure consists
of female spending on football related items, such as on merchandise, food and beverages, accommodation, transport and television sets.
The study also notes that women are also likely to spend more away from football on retail therapy, holidays and entertainment, while
Euro 2008 is on.
Given socio-cultural differences between
European nations, the new study suggests that women will account for approximately 10%
of the total economic impact of the tournament, which MasterCard research predicts will be at least €1.4billion. In some countries, such as
Germany or Sweden, women can account for upwards of 30% of the local economic impact.
The new research highlighted that the size of the economic impact of women is partly due to the football industry waking up to the
commercial potential of female support. Women engaging with football have been found to be more likely than their male counterparts to
buy replica strips, and actively participate in competitions. Top football players are now icons that cut across a wide range of markets
accessible to females, driving sales to some women of items such as posters and consumer magazines featuring footballers and their
Euro 2008 kicked-off, female fans have been prominent among the throngs enjoying themselves in Fan Zones
throughout Austria and Switzerland prior to their teams' matches. While female fans at the tournament are busy spending on replica shirts,
face-painting and food, women following the games from home will contribute to increased newspaper and magazine sales, replica shirts
and trips to bars, pubs and shops.
A previous study in 2004, in the year of the last UEFA
European Football Championship in Portugal, found that the top four expenditure
items at sporting events were tickets, food, accommodation and transport. MasterCard's latest research adds spending on merchandise
and attractions in host cities to the list forEuro 2008. The addition of these two items partly reflects the impact of increased female
participation in trips to major football tournaments.
The MasterCard study also predicts a consumer and commercial spending upsurge in sales of sponsors' products and services, electronic
and print media advertising, telecommunications and new media services, sports apparel and equipment, magazines and newspapers,
official merchandise and memorabilia and betting and gambling services.
Linked to driving commerce, the new research also suggests that
Euro 2008 will influence participation in football, generate a transnational and local 'buzz', increase brand equity for nations and organisations involved, increase fan equity - the emotional link
between a fan and their team, and international goodwill and respect.
Meulendijk, Head of Sponsorship, MasterCard Europe, said, "UEFA
Euro 2008 is proving once again that football is a truly universal sport, watched by men and women across the world. Our
research at the heart of football commerce shows that females are making a significant economic contribution - upwards of €4m every
game - thanks to UEFA Euro 2008.
"On a broader basis, our research shows there is huge interest in Austria and Switzerland – in the stadiums, at the Fan Zones in each city,
and in bars and restaurants, as well as with sales of televisions and food and beverages to watch the games back home around
Europe. Ultimately, the tournament is providing priceless moments to fans and a concrete boost to the economy."
Professor Simon Chadwick, one of the world's leading sport business experts who conducted the MasterCard research,
added, "This research clearly demonstrates the rising financial significance of females in the football industry. Whether women are committed fans
or spending elsewhere around the big games this summer, the fairer sex is making an important economic contribution. The football
industry is waking up to the spending power of female supporters and is increasingly adapting their products to suit them."
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