Outlook for the sports market in North America through 2019

October 2015
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Outlook for the sports market in North America through 2018

At a glance

PwC’s Sports Outlook focuses on recent results and potential opportunities and challenges to future industry growth. This edition for North America provides revenue projections over five years through 2019 within four key segments of the sports market.

Outlook for the sports market in North America through 2019

Segments analyzed:

Gate revenues: Primary market ticket sales for live sporting events. Seat premiums and license costs are not included.
Media rights: Fees paid to show sporting events on broadcast and cable television networks, television stations, terrestrial radio, satellite radio, the Internet, and on mobile devices.
Sponsorship: Fees paid to have a brand associated with a team, league, facility or event, including naming and category rights.
Merchandising: The sale of licensed products with team and league logos, player likenesses.

Select key findings:

  • The North America sports market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.0 percent across the four segments analyzed, from $60.5 billion in 2014 to $73.5 billion in 2019.
  • For the first time, media rights are projected to surpass gate revenues and become the industry’s largest segment by 2018 (CAGR 7.2%).
  • Gate revenues are projected to increase at a CAGR of 2.6 percent, from an estimated $17.7 billion in 2014 to a projected $20.1 billion in 2019.
  • Sponsorships (CAGR 4.5%) are expected to maintain strong segment fundamentals, including longer term deals, higher renewal rates, and enhanced inventory yields.
  • The merchandise segment (CAGR 1.4%) remains a relatively saturated market in North America with broad coverage of key consumer product categories and deep penetration of traditional buyer segments.