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New Report Dissects the Staggering £330m Manchester Generates from Football Each Year

Thu 11th Apr 2013 | Money & Finance

We all know how much the rivalry between Manchester’s two biggest clubs means to the fans; but what you mightn’t have been aware of is the huge financial implications these competing Premier League heavyweights impart on the surrounding area.

Rivals they may be on the pitch and at the top of the table but united, they are helping to generate a staggering £330m a year for Greater Manchester’s economy. Much of this is down to United’s two decade-spanning dominance as a global brand but it is thought that City’s ascendance in recent years is now beginning to tell and could potentially inflate this figure even further. According to the report – the first of its kind investigating the impact of football in the area – the economic boost is almost 8x that of Glasgow and thought to be the equivalent of hosting an Olympic games once every four years.

Starting at the top with the pro clubs and their direct commercial activities, the report then filters down through manufacturing, retail and into hospitality to determine the final figures. With 8,500 jobs supported in some capacity by football, it’s clear that to many, the beautiful game is more than just a passion, it is becoming a key element of day-to-day working life. The report ultimately suggests that the global spotlight on United over the past two decades is equivalent to an eye-watering £1bn worth of advertising for the city.

The study, commissioned by Marketing Manchester and conducted by Cambridge Econometrics and the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, states: “It is likely that the advertising value of the clubs to Brand Manchester will increase further in the future; over the next 20 years, this could be worth in excess of £2.5bn.”

Other findings include:

· Average hotel occupancy is 85% on United or City matchdays, compared to 70% on any other day.

· One in eight of all international visitors to the city attend a match at Old Trafford, compared to the national rate of one in forty.

· Overseas visitors going to United or City games spend an average of £800, roughly a quarter more those not watching matches.

The report – entitled Analysing the Value of Football to Greater Manchester – also points to the two major powers in the area, plus Bolton Wanderers, choosing to tour in the Far East, America and Scandinavia as another factor in the increased profile and economic bump. The body in charge of new business development in the area – MIDAS – are reaping the benefits of football’s popularity in Greater Manchester, using it to lure in potential start-ups on the back of global buzz.

Posted by: Dan Carson 

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