Business of Soccer Term Paper

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Business of Soccer

The specific word "soccer" was developed in the 1880s in the Oxford University. There was a custom there to use "er" to the end of words they used in a short form. Thus the short name for rugby football had been shortened to "rugger." The word soccer was the reply given by a student named Charles Wreford Brown, when he was questioned about his wish to play "rugger." He expressed his desire to play soccer instead. The form was obtained by the shortening of the word AsSOCiation football. Afterwards, the football league was started and the first goal was scored by Jack Gordon, playing for Preston North End (The Essential History of Soccer). The earliest form of football was an exercise in China which dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries, BC. At that time, the rulers were the Han dynasty and they had a form of physical education called the "Tsu'Chu." This form of exercise was to kick a leather ball which was filled with feathers and hair. The ball was to pass through a small opening of 30 to 40 cm. In width into a small net, and the net was fixed into long bamboo canes.

There was another variation of the same game where the player not to kick the ball into the "goal," but to use his feet, chest, back and shoulders in moving the ball while his opponents tried to stop him. The use of hands was not permitted in this game. Another game was played in Japan called Kemari from about 500 or 600 years later, and is still played today. This is a game in which the players stand in a circular mode with the players passing the ball from one to the other, but here there is no great effort at getting the possession of the ball. The only difficulty is that in the passing exercise, the ball should not touch the ground. There was also the Greek game called "episkyros," and the Roman game "Harpastum." In the Roman game, it was played on a rectangular field with a center line. The aim was to get the ball to cross the opponent's boundary lines. This game had also come to England with the Romans, but, it cannot be said that this was the origin of the present day game of football. The related games of rugby and soccer started in 1863 in England when the two games were controlled by two different associations. (Soccer History)

Industry Landscape:

The world has changed to a situation where entertainment is now the largest industry in terms of the volume of business and the people employed. Among the areas of entertainment, sports are the second biggest area after tourism. This has resulted in a situation where the American sports economic complex got sales worth2% of the gross domestic product or $152 billion in 1995. This figure is based on the calculation of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Economic Development Institute. This is expected to go up further to 3.5%. Among all the games in the world, soccer was the first to become international and also have a distribution wide enough to be called a global game. The efforts started first after 1974 World Cup through FIFA. There was a joint effort from the international marketing firms, companies making sporting goods, and the major network television units. This made FIFA the largest organizer of sports in the world, and a rival of the International Olympic Committee. It has a huge audience as it is played by nearly one billion people, and gets business of almost $260 billion every year and the World Cup gets an audience of nearly 36 billion. The details are available in the appendices (Soccer as an Economic Sector).

The game has fired up the imagination of the children and adolescents, and the highest attraction is among the poorest of the people, as they feel that they can use soccer to find a way out of their social difficulties. This feeling of being able to use soccer for social transformed into being used for social integration and strengthening of bonds between people. The fact that it is now an international game has also led to a situation where the transfer market and player contracts of soccer have become international. The salaries of International stars are now determined by the international market (Soccer as an Economic Sector). One of the soccer stars, David Beckham is probably the best known sports star in the world.

According to Sports Illustrated, he is estimated to be earning nearly $30 million a year, and in terms of money that is less than the earnings of Tiger Woods and Racing Driver Michael Schumacher. His face sells everything for motor oil to cell phones to Japanese chocolates, and his body likeness is even venerated in a Thai temple. In Britain, Beckham and his wife have replaced Princess Diana as the head of the celebrity culture, and the couple is adored by people of all ages, men and women, everybody. Yet, the club that he used to play for, United has not been able to make money without selling its players, and in terms of sporting prowess, the club has only won the European Club championship twice. (Brand It like Beckham).

The club which bought Beckham, Real Madrid has won the same championship nine times, and through adding Beckham, the club expects to get fans in England and Japan now and accordingly gone on the Internet in these languages. This could not have been done earlier, as there were strict restrictions on the number of non-nationals that a club could use. These rules were viewed as protectionist rules by the European Court of Justice in 1995, and this has opened up the transfer market in all over Europe. In the new club, Beckham will be playing along with other stars from England, Portugal, France, Brazil and the Congo. Even in England, there are now two managers from France in the clubs of Liverpool and Arsenal (Brand It like Beckham).

In terms of the development of the game, this is harming the game in the smaller markets in terms of club revenues. The clubs in those markets are not being able to retain their good players. The change came to the European clubs in the 1990s. The situation for the game and clubs had become very bad with no respect for fans and an amateurish approach to the game. Today the clubs are concentrating on the profit target that all businessmen have. England has become the center for professional and well managed soccer. The major clubs there are quoted on the stock exchange, and this is in spite of their history of not being permitted to play in many European tournaments in the past due to the violent behavior of their fans. (Soccer as an Economic Sector)

To achieve these changes, there was political action taken by the government in collaboration with the clubs and the federation. Laws were changed by the government to permit the modernization of the clubs. Strong measures were taken to stop vandalism and violence in the stadiums and nearby localities. A lot of finance was provided to the clubs through help in their tax and labor cost related loans. It is now realized that the main asset of the clubs is the passion for the club among the fans, and this sort of passion has a very high emotional content. Thus the strong club name has to be supported by excellent teams. This permits the club to give good performances, and that increases the value of the brand name of the club. This increase in the brand name permits the club to increase its earnings through business opportunities, and the increased earnings are expected to provide better returns. This has increased the demand and transfer rates for the players, as also their salaries. Due to all these changes, only five among the clubs usually show profits, and the others can show profits only when they sell their players. (Soccer as an Economic Sector)

Marketing Developments:

All clubs in soccer use their own methods to boost up the image of their clubs and their revenues. One of the biggest clubs is currently Manchester United or Man U. As it is commonly known. The revenue base of the club is nearly $200 million a year and is lower than only Washington Redskins and the New York Yankees among all international sports teams. The clubs goes into exhibition tours and the matches there regularly fill up stadiums with seating capacities of 85,000. The club also sells souvenirs in shops across Southeast Asia and those shops regularly have annual sales of millions of dollars. The games are also watched in pubs all around the world through satellite TV. The next aim on the plan of this club is the entry into United States, and the campaign for this purpose has already begun. Their operation will give…[continue]

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