Soccer (sometimes known as football) is a sport whose earliest development was in the Middle East over three thousand years ago. Even though these early presentations had some elements that the modern-day sport can associate with, the rules then were not similar to what is currently used.
ne of the earliest forms of soccer was a game called Cuju, played in ancient China, which featured anything between two and ten players a side (Helmer and Owens 1-16). The aim of the sport was to direct a ball towards a miniscule hole with players being allowed to touch the ball with any part of part of their body but the hands. Any fouls were penalized through point deduction and in the end the team with most points was announced the winner.
Other regions in the world that had games similar to soccer include South America and Greece. Over time, the sport’s popularity gradually began to move towards Europe where it began to take shape and acquire the characteristics of today’s soccer. Between 1307 and 1327 AD, King Edward banned it in England due to its brutal nature and constant reports of injuries (Helmer and Owens 77).
However, even with the ban it continued growing until the regime had no option but to legalize the sport again. By 1863, various soccer clubs had been established and later that year founders of the clubs sat at a meeting where official rules of the sport were drafted. The rules were gradually redrafted and gradually the sport acquired professionalism, and rose to become the world’s most popular sport.
Summary of soccer’s influence
Soccer’s most popular event is the world cup which is held every four years. In this event over 800 qualifying matches are played before 32 teams meet in the finals to pick out the best. With a average viewership of 26 billion in 2010, the soccer world cup is the single most watched sporting event (Michaels 1).
During this period all forms of technological access were utilized to follow the event with both traditional (TV and radio) and modern (avenues) recording record-breaking numbers. For instance, ESPN registered an average of 355,000 viewers per minute during the semi-final clash pitting Germany and Spain (Chong 1). MobiTV, a company that facilitates mobile access to live television was reported to have streamed 1.8 million hours of ESPN Mobile TV of the 2011 World Cup (Chong 1).
The soccer world cup is also the biggest generator of sporting earnings both for the host nation and FiFa, the organization governing the sport. For instance last year, FiFa reported over 2.5 billion sterling pounds in profits at the end of the twelve-month long event while South Africa, the host, made over 300, 000 pounds in tourism revenue alone (Michaels 1).
The viewership and earning numbers are both on an upward trend. The World Cup earnings to Fifa in the year 2006 were $3.4billion and went through a 85% increase to reach $4billion (Wyludda 1). Viewership in 2006 was recorded at 14 billion and moving to 26billion in 2010 went through a 36% increase. The increase in viewership can be linked to the increase in popularity of online and mobile television (Dunmore 1-2).
Based on figures from the 2010 World Cup viewers, in the United States over 49% of the audience were between the ages of 17 and 50 (Chong 1). Of these number 56% was male while 44% was female (Chong 1).
The soccer gear market is one of the sources of earnings for most stakeholders. Around the globe, the soccer gear business is estimated at almost three billion dollars. This section of the industry has witnessed a 67% growth from $1 billion in 1998. The major participants in the apparel market include Adidas and Nike controlling 40% and 20% of the soccer market share (Cengage 1).
It is worth noting that the aspects of supply and demand are probably the most important determinant of market forces for any product. These are the two factors that would make any market be either competitive or monopolized. These elements of business as well determine the pricing of commodities and services especially in regard to how they influence each other.
For the soccer market, the field of supply and demand is by far the most critical area of analysis since it is from here that one can explain situation that could arise with market trends. Aside from this, it is also interesting to realize that the supply and demand are always present alongside each other in every element of the growth of the sport because the demand cannot exist without the presence of supply and vice versa.
External growth means the growth of the outer components of a firm. For the case of soccer, improvements in external factors have been present in five different factors. These are political, economical, social, technological, and ecological factors. Positive changes in any of these factors have led to operational excellence for the sport.
For instance, an increase in the spread of the internet and participation of broadcasts in the sector has seen the consumerism of the sport reach an unprecedented high. Favourable political climates have also contributed to the growth of soccer and its popularity. For instance, for a long time the sport had been outlawed in Middle-East on religious grounds. However, with changes in regime, some bans have been relaxed making it easy for the sport to penetrate in such regions.
The target consumers of soccer are individuals between 15 and 50years and these are persons who have completed high-school all the way to early retirees. By nature a majority of individuals in this group are drawn to non-participatory sporting entertainment. Therefore, in order to capitalize on all opportunities, all key stakeholders have had to ensure that they use all available opportunities.
For example, in Africa, it has been a common trend for multinationals like Coca-cola to establish World Cup viewing centers for individuals who cannot afford television, radio or the internet. From these set ups it becomes easy for them to market their products as well as adequately sell their name.
From a personal point of view the sport is estimated to grow even more. This is because with advances in technology it is becoming easy to penetrate hitherto unreachable areas, consequently leading to an increase in the number of followers of the sport.
Another element that could effectively contribute to the growth of soccer is the gradual appreciation it is developing in countries such at the United States where other sports such as baseball and American football have been given prominence. This is an advantage that will see the sport gain more fans, essentially bringing in more income.
Cengage. Online Case 10.1 Addidas, Nike and Umbro. Cengage learning. n.d. Web.
Chong, Kristie. Breakout Year for ESPN Digital Media in 2010. ESPN Media zone. 14 Jan 2011. Web.
Dunmore, Tom. 2010. World Cup ratings: Time is on American soccer’s side. Pitchinvasion. 16 July 2010. Web.
Helmer, Diana Star and Tom Owens. The history of soccer. The Rosen Publishing Group, 2000. Print
Michaels, Steve. World cup viewing figures prove that this really is the world’s game. 29 May 2010. Web.
Wyludda, Angie. The Impact of a Mega Sports Event for a Nation: Analysis of the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany. GRIN Verlag, 2009. Print