Outlook for the sports market in North America through 2018

November 2014
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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 2018 within four key segments of the sports market.

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 4.5 percent across the four segments analyzed, from $56.9 billion in 2013 to $70.7 billion in 2018.
  • During the period, the revenue gap between media rights and the industry’s largest segment, gate revenues, is projected to close to within $500 million (2 percent) by 2018.
  • Within this environment, the gate revenue (CAGR 2.6%) and merchandise (CAGR 1.4%) segments continue to show respective signs of relative maturity, each with mitigating factors to future growth and the need for further innovation, while the segments of media rights (CAGR of 9.1%) and sponsorship (CAGR 4.8%) continue to realize the increased valuation of sports content by media companies and brand marketers through new inventory and the runoff of prior generation deals.