There has been all manner of sporting events this year, from the Summer Olympics to the Super Bowl and the inaugural The Hundred cricket competition. However, even after all of these occasions, football is still at the top of the tree. Euro 2020 highlights it beyond doubt because it created far more of a buzz than any of the occasions mentioned.
Maybe it’s the sight of Jose Mourinho rolling back the years in charge of his 1,000th game, or maybe it’s watching Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo continue to make history. Whatever it is, over 3.5 billion people watched the World Cup in 2018, cementing football’s status at the top of the game. Here’s why its position isn’t under threat.
The Potential of Sports Betting
To talk about the sports betting industry as if it has potential may seem odd. The sector already hit the £150 billion mark in 2020. That’s not an emerging market that needs to prove its value to its customer base. It already has an audience, and it loves placing wagers on football leagues and verticals. In 2017, the industry was already worth £1.4 billion.
Today, the expansion in the sector’s popularity, along with more locations available to operators, means that the money involved in the sport is hard to comprehend. It’s not only the providers that showcase this, but the generosity of their offers as the best betting sites go out of their way to appeal to new and existing customers, such as promoting welcome packages that include cashback and no-deposit matches, and rewarding users for their loyalty by giving them points that can be swapped for prizes. Some sites, like bet365, have become synonymous with online betting due to the features and options they offer. Regardless, the fact that football is a leader in sports wagering means that the resources the game will recoup are massive. And they can invest the cash to make sure the sport remains the most popular in the world.
The US loosening restrictions should only enhance football’s standing. While Americanised sportsbooks are popular, the likes of the Premier League and World Cup make sure that the area is lucrative for football, too.
The Simplicity of the Game
It’s important to talk about the simplicity of the game, especially when new features are introduced and threaten the straightforward nature of the sport. The Video Assistant Referee hasn’t been widely accepted worldwide, but it’s only one example of a component that adds confusion. Mostly, football is incredibly easy to understand.
Africa is a working case study of this in action. Africa is poorer than most continents, which makes it harder for people to enjoy sports. Without money, it’s hard to pay for the equipment or join clubs. Regardless, millions of people play and feed various leagues around the world, including the Premier League, which is why 80% of African players at World Cups play outside of their home nation domestically. When you can play with any object that is light enough to kick and big enough to mark out goalposts, you can see why the sport travels well.
The consumption rates for different sports tell you everything you need to know. Compared to American Football, its North Atlantic neighbour, football draws in audiences that are more than three times bigger.
As you can see, football isn’t under threat even though the sporting world is opening up to greater opportunities. If anything, it’s only going to dominate the landscape as markets expand.