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REPOST: Sport tourism: $5.47M economic impact

Apparently, sports is no longer just a cultural or recreational aspect of life. It is a booming industry that has helped stimulate local economies and put several athletes into lists of the world’s richest people. And for tourism, it is an important revenue earner. Take a look at this report from Times Daily:

The Ole Miss team of John Thigpen, left, and Parker Davidson, right, display the fish they caught Friday. The team finished in ninth place. [ALLISON CARTER/TIMESDAILY]
FLORENCE — Sporting events are a vital aspect of the area’s tourism economy, and the impact just keeps growing each year.

If there was any doubt of the role sports tourism plays, consider this: The National Association of Sports Commission reports visitor spending associated with sports events in North America was $10.47 billion in 2016.

The local numbers are impressive as well with a $5.47 million economic impact to the Shoals via sport tourism in 2017.

That figure represents a $400,000 increase over 2016, according to Suzie Shoemaker, manager of sport/event sales for Florence Tourism.

“The bulk of this impact is from fishing with longer tournaments meaning longer stays in the area,” Shoemaker said. “We had some back-to-back tournaments which helped as well.”

She said the goal for next year is a 20 percent increase. Plans are in place to see that come to fruition.

The addition of another college bass tournament in April, the Bass Master College Series Southern Tour Event, should help. It’s a three-day tournament.

Florence Tourism Board Chairman David Muhlendorf said there’s no question fishing is a major component to the success of sport tourism locally. Holding tournaments in the cooler months is the goal.

“Our focus is to try to create events that will allow our hoteliers to fill rooms at times when travel is down,” he said, adding that next weekend’s Winter Blues catfishing tournament on Wheeler Lake is one such event.

Shoemaker said the challenge to bring in a wider variety of sporting venues is a priority.

Currently, the area predominantly relies on fishing, baseball, basketball, softball and disc golf. In recent years the Renaissance Man Triathlon has been a growing attraction as well. It brings people to the area for at least two days.

“We’re working on getting other sporting events for the future,” Shoemaker said, adding there’s special emphasis on girls’ sports.

As for how the economic impact is determined, Shoemaker said surveying participants reveals a true picture of time and money spent in Lauderdale County.

“We ask very particular questions of tournament participants, detailing how much money they spend in the various areas of tourism while they’re here,” she said.

Muhlendorf said widening the diversity of activities in the area will be key to making northwest Alabama attractive to visitors.

World’s most profitable sports events in history

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Not all sports are created equal and some of the most popular tournaments in the world offer more than just entertainment and cultural pride, but also massive economic benefits to both their participants and organizers. This is true especially when it comes to the biggest and highly phenomenal sporting events today.

Here are some of the most expensive and extremely profitable sporting events in history and what made them stand out from the rest.

  1. World Series

The World Series is Major League Baseball’s (MLB) 100-year old showpiece series, featuring the biggest baseball teams across the United States. It was in 2016 when they recorded their most memorable, and not to mention profitable game yet: Chicago Cubs defeated Cleveland Indians and won the series championship – an epic comeback after their century-long drought without a World Series title.

  1. UEFA European Championships

The event was founded in the 1960s with just four teams and it has expanded in terms of scale and profit in the last 50 years. The Euro 2016 was held in France and it was the biggest tournament to date, with 24 nations participating. Portugal holds the current championship title.

  1. FIFA World Cup

The international football (soccer) scene is one of the most globally renowned, with the last tournament boasting 700 million in audience population. FIFA’s highly commercial operations make it one of the most expensive sports events in the world both in terms of rewards and revenues.

  1. UEFA Champions League

Most sports analysts and investors know that UEFA Champions League—another major football event—is where the money is made, boasting millions to billions worth of prizes. Many superstars are present in every UEFA Champions League tournament and we’re talking about the most expensive players in the world of football: Manuel Neuer, Daniel Carvajal, Diego Godín, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and a lot more.

REPOST: Eight Decks, a Helipad and an Underwater Observatory: World’s Largest Sailing Yacht Docks in Israel

Yachts have long been a symbol of luxury and opulence, with many tycoons and the biggest celebrities seeing them as staple asset. But where exactly on the planet is the biggest and most expensive one sailing? HAARETZ has the answer:

Russian oligarch’s 144-meter mega-yacht, designed by Phillippe Starck, cost 360 million pounds

Residents of the Haifa Bay area thought they were used to luxury cruise ships and yachts docking in their city’s port. But last weekend such sightings reached a new level with the arrival of the world’s largest and most expensive sailing yacht on Friday. On Monday the ship made its way to Tel Aviv.

The exterior of the stunning ship was designed by the world-famous designer Phillippe Starck. The yacht has eight decks, a helicopter pad and its own underwater observatory in the keel.

The world’s largest sailing yacht in the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv’s coast on Nov. 28, 2017. | Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
The world’s largest sailing yacht in the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv’s coast on Nov. 28, 2017. | Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
The world’s largest sailing yacht in the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv’s coast on Nov. 28, 2017. | Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

“Sailing Yacht A,” as the yacht is known – is owned by billionaire Russian oligarch Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, who Forbes called the 89th wealthiest person in the world in 2017 with a personal fortune of $13.2 billion. He also owns another of the world’s largest and most expensive yachts: “Motor Yacht A.” The name “A” for both the ships is reportedly for the purpose of having them appear first on the shipping register lists.

The sailing yacht is 144 meters long (35 meters longer than the second largest). It was built in the Kiel, Germany at an estimated price of 360 million pounds sterling. It was reportedly delivered to Melnichenko in May this year, after being launched two years earlier.

REPOST: 2017 Key Business Trends in the Sports Industry

More than a cultural phenomenon and an entertainment platform, the sports industry is a huge business. And just like any other business, it is rapidly evolving. Here some interesting trends in the industry, as listed by SA Promo Magazine, that may be changing it forever:

With top sports stars like F.C. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi worth in excess of $50 million, the global sports industry equals big business. Clearly, the landscape of the industry in 2017 is vastly different compared to ten or even five years ago. As we enter the final business quarter of the year, it’s a good time to look back at the some of the key business trends that have shaped the sports industry.

During 2017, the focus of sports clubs and teams began to shift to creating high-quality and engaging fan experiences that don’t end at the stadium or sports ground. The mass commercialization of popular sports is starting to influence the way brands design and develop their products, and the advent of the digital age has created a new category of professional sports.

Innovation has been high on the agenda for sports teams and organizations so far during 2017. For example, the NBA team the Philadelphia 76ers’ has dedicated an 8,000 square-feet “innovation hub”, which opened its doors in July. Its aim is to provide support, consulting and investment opportunities to “start-ups with potential”. The Sixers Innovation Lab is situated in the team’s state-of-the-art training complex and business operations facility, and so far, has housed four diverse companies in the hub operating in eSports, pet care, digital cause media and daily fantasy sports. In addition to office and production space and operational support, companies housed by the lab are also able to receive free meals and housing in the Philadelphia area as well as legal services, marketing support and third-party branding.

Another side of innovation has been of benefit to the 76ers’ fellow NBA team the Sacramento Kings. The sports team’s new home, the Golden 1 Center, has been dubbed the U.S.’s first “smart arena”. This $558 million sports and entertainment venue officially opened last September and has already played host to many notable sporting events including the UFC on Fox 22’s fight night headlined by a women’s strawweight MMA bout between Paige VanZant and Michelle Waterson in December 2016, the WWE No Mercy event last October and the Sacramento Kings’ pre-season and regular games during the 2016/17 season.

A full entertainment and sporting complex, its use of innovation shows in both its design and facilities. The 44 x 24 feet court video screens and the 6,100 square-feet main videoboard all broadcast in 4K Ultra HD and free Wi-Fi connections available throughout the arena claim to be in excess of 15,000 times faster than the average home broadband network. According to the construction and development team, the bandwidth capabilities of the network available in the arena and the surrounding plaza extend to the equivalent of posting over 225,000 Instagram photos per second.

A relatively new player in the sports business game is on the brink of becoming a billion-dollar industry. eSports has experienced exponential growth in recent years and is set to become even more popular following the recent announcement that it will become a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games. Seen by some as competitive video gaming, eSports is expected to generate almost $700 million in revenue before the end of the year. Its total audience reach is estimated to be 385 million and market researchers forecast a reach of 589 million within the next three years.

Global sports teams are also beginning to invest in eSports and more interactive ways to connect and engage fans. Four Australian Football League teams including Essendon and Carlton are considering investing in professional eGamers after the successful acquisition of Legacy eSports by Adelaide Football Club. Many club officials in the region view eSports as a natural extension to their teams, opening a new fan base in a demographic that typically engages in online video gaming and content streaming. The AFL clubs expressed an interest in harnessing the potential of eSports to generate content, suggesting the creation of a dedicated eSports studio that will enable the creation and broadcast of games across the genre. The target audience for online gaming includes Millennials and older online and mobile aficionados; meaning that there is huge potential for expansion in the market.

Moving forward into 2018, we can expect to see technology and innovation still dominating trends in the sports industry. We’re already witnessing the transformation of sporting arenas into high-tech entertainment monoliths, and sports media is expected to undergo a similar evolution. On the fields and elsewhere professional women’s teams are beginning to surge in popularity in mainstream culture, particularly since sports organizations are looking for new ways to optimize the experience of fans while increasing their existing audience base.

Futuristic technologies revolutionizing the sports industry

Technology has been an essential part of our everyday life, from helping us with simple tasks to accomplishing complicated projects. In fact, the practicality and efficiency of using this modern wonder have been transforming different industries for years–and the world of professional sports is no exception. Let’s take a look at the latest and most innovative technological advancements that are revolutionizing the sports industry today.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) in sports training
Image source: Sports Illustrated

Many famous NFL and NCAA players were trained with the help of virtual reality (VR) and we see U.S. teams like Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings and others have partnered the VR-based training method with their usual drills to prepare for most of their major games.

With VR, players can have the chance to reassess their performance from watching themselves in pre-recorded drills, analyzing better plays and improving footwork and movement.

  1. 3D-Printing in professional sports products
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Just like how it conquered other industries, 3D-printing is making its name in the world of sports through high-quality and professional-grade products and equipment.

Its recent popularity in the industry can be credited to the technology’s capabilities that allow full customization, cost efficiency and freedom for creativity – since its innovative nature can produce a list of new and much-needed revolutionary sports products that have not existed before.

  1. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for sports management
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Used in the business of sports, GIS technology can take care of management and security in large sporting events like the Olympics and World Cup. This is because, as an advanced software, it can track patterns, movements and even identify characteristics of participants in specified geographic locations.

GIS can also be used to analyze winning shots, provide play-related statistics that can improve players’ performance later on. For instance, the same technology was used to identify patterns during tennis’ London Gold Medal match between two sports superstar, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

REPOST: Virtual Reality Is A Growing Reality In Health Care

Potentially catastrophic natural events, such as Hurricane Irma, are always a major threat to properties, including cars. And when it comes to ultra-expensive luxury automobiles, finding the safest parking shelter can really be a major challenge. Read more on the Sun Sentinel:

Luxury cars were transported from Pretige Imports to Porsche Design Tower. (Courtesy/Porsche Design Tower)

As millions of South Floridians prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, shelter for their cars is a key item on the check list.

Insurance companies suggest parking vehicles close to buildings for protection against high winds, and to avoid parking under trees.

But where does one park a $15 million Pagani Zonda, or a $5 million Ferrari? One option: The 60-floor Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach.

Prestige Imports, a luxury car dealership in North Miami Beach, will be safeguarding 10 of its most valuable vehicles in Porsche Design Tower’s unused units, in addition to an unsold penthouse located on the 56th floor with the ability to store up to 11 vehicles.

The tower was built to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and has the advantage of its unique ability to lift cars from ground level, said Porsche Design Tower developer Gil Dezer.

Cars were brought to the penthouse via the “Dezervator.” (Courtesy/Porsche Design Tower)

A first-of-its-kind auto elevator lift system, dubbed the “Dezervator” and named after Dezer himself, is a high-tech hydraulic elevator that smoothly transports owner’s cars to private sky garages adjacent to their condo units.

The tower contains three such lifts. The system has received worldwide publicity, having been prominently featured on financial news networks and TV programs touting the lifestyles of the wealthy.

To ensure that there is no flooding, Dezer brought in additional drainage pumps and employed a team to work 24 hours a day. The group is dedicated to keeping the Dezervator’s pit dry.

The unsold penthouse unit, currently on the market for $32.5 million, is identical to another penthouse in the tower that sold for $25 million on March 31 – just two weeks after the building’s official opening.

Trying to imagine what this amazing penthouse looks like? Catch an exclusive glipse with these renderings provided by Dezer Development.

Both feature a garage designed to be used as a car gallery that can accommodate up to seven vehicles. In addition, there are two separate two-car sky garages in each of the penthouse units.

With only 10 full-time residents currently living in the recently-opened 132-unit tower, Prestige Imports is not the only one taking advantage of Porsche Design Tower’s elevated storage, Dezer said.

An additional 60 cars, and counting, have been delivered by unit owners to be protected during the storm. Over 90 percent of these vehicles belong to residents whose units are currently under construction. Unit owners of the building with more than two cars are also asking tower management to put their extra cars in the few remaining unsold units.


Here’s how top athletes build their wealth outside the sports industry

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Just like any other celebrity, professional athletes equally share the ups and downs of fame and fortune. Success has let them achieve their wildest dreams, doing the things that they love while amassing wealth and inspiring millions of fans around the world.

However, accomplished athletes also face the everyday challenges of managing and maintaining their wealth. Unlike other celebrities like Hollywood superstars or self-made millionaires, their income peaks at a very young age and can dramatically and unpredictably drop depending on some unforeseen circumstances.

Most of the time, professional athletes are amateur wealth managers and their financial literacy can fall ‘below average,’ making them vulnerable to risky investments and unwise decisions, among others. However, there are some who have successfully found the ultimate solution to both maintain and grow their wealth by focusing on one important goal: building multiple streams of income. In other words, as professional and high-earning athletes, they make more money not just from one but many sources.

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For instance, most individuals who have enough financial resources earn more by diversifying their income through investing, especially with trusted investment companies such as LOM Financial. In contrary to what other people think, investing is not just about setting money aside for a rainy day but it’s more about using a substantial capital to generate an equally significant income over time.

Another income stream that professional athletes can look at is in real estate – by diversifying one’s investment portfolio by acquiring properties that can provide long-term, and tax-free, financial benefit. In fact, several sports superstars including Andre Agassi, Alex Rodriguez and Shaquille O’Neal have found a home in the real estate industry.

Finally, most athletes don’t really enjoy the technicalities of financial management but do love to earn more by doing something that they enjoy. One stream of income is starting a small business, whether online or offline. Some may call it, “hobby business” and it’s for a reason. Usually, this stream of income is related to the athletes’ interests and hobbies.

REPOST: 30 Most Expensive Football Player Transfers Of All Time

Sports as a whole is a multi-billion-dollar business and in the world of association football (soccer), pricy player transfers are among its many highlights. The most expensive players include superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Paul Pogba. Total Sportek has the full list:

Paul Pogba to Manchester United is the most expensive transfer in the history of football valued at £89 million which broke the previous record of Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid which took place back in 2013. Below is the breakdown of top 30 most expensive transfers of all times.

Top 20 Most Expensive Transfers of All Times

If we take a deeper look into the 20 most expensive tranfer you can see that Real Madrid dominates the list with 7 entries in the top 20 list of transfers while all current top 10 tranfers happened since 2009 and out of top 20 most expensive player transfers only 6 happened before year 2009. Which goes to show that top clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Man City and Chelsea are not afraid to spend big to lure top players.

Update: Manchester United has resigned Paul Pogba from Juventus for a world-record fee of £89 million(€105m) which makes this transfer the most expensive ahead of Gareth Bale and Ronaldo’s Real Madrid moves. Manchester United agreed to pay €105 million plus add on bonuses to Juventus if certain terms are meet in future.

Below is the list of top 25 most expensive transfers of all times. We have used the official transfer fees quoted in GBP.

The biggest clubs in football keep splashing the cash and bring in worlds best players to their club to keep themselves at the very top of football elites. Real Madrid seem to spend big on that one big player every year which is tauted to be the next big thing, they already broke their own record several times when they spend world record fee for a player transfer and Real Madrid’s several transfers feature in the top 20 most expensive player transfers in the history of football.

So today we take a look at the 20 players who cost most money in transfer fee and the average transfer fee for a top player has increased dramatically in the last few years which is pretty evident in the top 10 list of highest transfer fee ever paid by clubs.

These underrated water sports are the next big thing

If your idea of fun and YOLO-ing includes some exciting water activities, then you’re probably one of the millions of thrill seekers who have recently discovered the awesomeness of living life to the fullest by engaging in the worldwide craze on watersports. However, while the likes of surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling have long been popularized by enthusiasts, more and more options have started to emerge in recent years. They may be set in the calm and peaceful natural bodies of water or in the most challenging water-terrain combinations out there.

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Stand-up paddleboarding for instance is one of the newest water events that everyone is talking about—especially because of its semi-unique features that is interestingly confusing: a clever combination of canoeing and surfing. In a stand-up paddle, athletes should stand on a long board while using a paddle to propel and control its movement. This activity can be done either on flat water or in the waves.

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Ever heard of ‘freediving?’ From the name itself, you’ll get the idea how this surreal and somehow ‘expert-level’ sports works. It’s actually more like scuba diving, but without your scuba gear, the oxygen tanks, or any kind of breathing apparatus.  In other words, the ‘freedom’ from the heavy life-saving gears in diving relies on your ability to hold your breath underwater, diving several meters deep.

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Another underrated watersports that has been recently making headlines is ‘coasteering,’ considered as the art of sea-level traversing. The truth is, this sport has been informally practiced in some European countries with rugged coastline and mountainous terrains like Wales. However, it was only in the 19th century when it became a commercially guided recreational activity. Basically, it’s an activity that requires athletes to move along the intertidal zone of rocky coastlines whether by swimming or on foot—without the help of boards and other water crafts.

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In the more luxurious side of water sports, catamaran racing is an old but still growing competition. Designed for the wealthy, it showcases the latest in technological and design innovations in yachting.  At the recent America’s Cup in Bermuda, a major offshore financial center, the world’s most expensive yachts broke many performance records and set the bar higher for the next installment of the race.

REPOST: The World’s Most Valuable Soccer Teams 2017

With devoted fan bases, many soccer (association football) clubs around the world are capable of generating massive profits from TV deals, sponsorship, ticket sales, merchandises, and many other streams of income. It is therefore no wonder that some of the world’s billionaires invest heavily in them. Here are the world’s most valuable teams according to Forbes:


Ashley Young, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind and Chris Smalling of Manchester United take selfies with the trophy after the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)


No soccer team has done as good a job as Manchester United at turning a storied history of success on the pitch into profits.

The Red Devils have won a record 13 titles in the Premier League since the top flight of English soccer was given that name in 1992. During that time Manchester United has also made it to four Champions League finals, winning in 1999 and 2008.

And now for the first time in five years, Manchester United is the world’s most valuable soccer team, worth $3.69 billion. The team’s return to the top spot is a testament to their powerful brand and marketing acumen. Manchester United generated revenue of $765 million during the 2015-16 season, $77 million more than both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Manchester United brought in $405 million in advertising and sponsorship revenue, more than any other soccer team. And the Red Devils are also by far the most profitable soccer team in the world, posting operating income of $288 million, $107 million more than runner-up Real Madrid. It will not be easy to overtake the Red Devils in the near future: By winning the Europa League this year, Manchester United qualified for the lucrative 2017-18 Champions League.

The world’s most valuable soccer teams are big businesses because of the popularity of their brands and the sport’s unparalleled global audience. The 20 most valuable soccer teams this year are worth an average of $1.48 billion, 3% more than a year ago. Following Manchester United in value are Barcelona ($3.64 billion), Real Madrid ($3.58 billion), Bayern Munich ($2.71 billion) and Manchester City ($2.08 billion).

All revenues and operating income figures in our table are for the 2015-16 season, converted into U.S. dollars based on average exchange rates for the same period. Team values are enterprise values (equity plus net debt) and are based on exchange rates as of April 24. Operating income is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, player trading and disposal of player registrations. Debt includes stadium debt recourse to the team. Most revenue figures are from Deloitte’s Money League report.

The U.S. dollar rose in value relative to the euro during the past year. As a result, while not a single team declined in value year-over-year when measured in euros, nine of the 20 teams decreased in value when priced in U.S. dollars. Measured in euros, the average team value went up 7% during the past year, to 1.37 billion euros.

England dominates our list with seven teams due to the Premier League having the biggest domestic and international television deals. Big thanks to my colleague, Bobby McMahon, for  putting together the table below (term represents the end of season for deals). One-fourth of the distribution of the Premier League’s television money is based on pitch performance.


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