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G2: $15bn: pounds 89.1m+: pounds 84m: $275m+: pounds 4bn: pounds 150m: $0-$13.6bn: $12.6-$14.5bn: pounds 1bn: Who's netting the World Cup billions?: From Fifa deals to pizza sales, huge amounts of money will be made during the tournament. So who's turning a massive profit? And will the people of Brazil see any of it, asks Leo Benedictus

June 3, 2014



Money gambled with British bookies

Besides the costumes and the abusive singing and all the other great traditions, the World Cup is a festival of gambling. And losing, mostly. (Although Paddy Power notes that fewer than 10% of British punters have been deluded enough to bet on England this year, prompting them to triple the odds on victory for England to 100-1.) Analysts at Betfair, Ladbrokes and William Hill estimate that British gamblers will wager more than pounds 1bn over the course of the tournament, making it the biggest betting event in UK history.

Money spent on

stadiums and infrastructure

Corruptly or otherwise, wisely or not, the Brazilian government has spent around $15bn on transport infrastructure and new football stadiums (sometimes in cities without a major football team). Spent on education, it is a sum that could clearly do a lot of good. Yet Moody's also points out that it represents just 0.7% of all investment in Brazil between 2010 and 2014. Either way, both sides of the debate can take satisfaction in pointing to Sochi, where a staggering $51bn of public money was "spent" on turning a beach resort into a skiing one for a fortnight.

Football sticker sales in Brazil

The Italian company Panini won't say how many stickers it expects to sell during this World Cup, or how much money it will make from them, but a bit of hasty envelope maths reveals that it's going to be a lot. In 2010, Panini sold 220m envelopes of stickers in Brazil alone. According to Reuters, newsstand owners are expecting to sell at least 50% more this time, making it at least 330m. Envelopes cost one real (27p) each, making a gross revenue in Brazil alone of pounds 89.1m. Brazil represents about 70% of the South American market, so that ought to be around pounds 127.3m for the continent as a whole. And then there's rest of the world . . .

TV rights and

marketing for Fifa

For Sepp Blatter, the World Cup is his wedding day. TV rights and marketing deals between them look likely to raise around $4bn (pounds 2.4bn) for the football regulator, up from the $3.7bn it collected for the 2010 tournament in South Africa. If this depresses you, take comfort from the pounds 16m that Fifa has reportedly sunk into the film United Passions, a staggeringly awful-looking vanity project that everyone is laughing at.

Alleged price-gouging by stadium constructors

According to auditors, this figure is just a minimum estimate of how much public money has been lost to price-gouging for the construction of the national stadium in Brasilia, the bill for which has almost tripled to $900m (pounds 537m) since the project began. Their report mentions items such as the cost for transporting the grandstands, for which the original budget of $4,700 became a final bill of $1.5m. At the same time, auditors note, the construction firm Andrade Gutierrez has recently increased its political donations 500-fold. And that's just Brasilia.

Contracts for British sports event experts

One benefit of London 2012 is that British companies that helped deliver a successful Olympics are now selling on their expertise to Brazil, both for this World Cup and the forthcoming Rio Olympics. All told, UK Trade and Investment estimates that pounds 150m worth of contracts have been secured in deals covering mobile phone masts, seating, stadium roofs and power generation.

Projected gains to the Brazilian economy

Brazil'sInstitute of Tourism estimates that tourists will spend

$11bn during the tournament, while tourism minister Vinicius Lages reckons it will add $13.6bn to 2014's GDP. Others, however, are not so sure. Think of all those traffic jams, those hangovers, the crime, the protests, the corruption. Indeed, there is already evidence of slow demand for flights, hotels and rental cars. And in March, the ratings agency Moody's estimated that the lasting effect of the World Cup on Brazil's economy would be, approximately, nothing.

Estimated sales of Domino's pizzas in the UK

This is a rough figure, based on the fact that Dominos UK expects to hire 1,300 new drivers to deliver 6m pizzas during a dinnertime World Cup. If a medium pepperoni pizza, say, costs pounds 14 online, then 6m of them will cost about pounds 84m. And that's just Domino's, and just in the UK, where pizzas will be merely one course within a wider orgy of unhealthy eating. According to the market research firm Nielsen, in the week the last World Cup started, crisps, chocolate and beer sales rose 10%, 37% and 51% compared with the same week the previous year.

Expected gains for sportswear manufacturers

After a disappointing 2013, the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry is predicting jollier times in 2014, thanks in large part to the World Cup. Strong orders for football-related products mean it is expecting growth of 3.5-4%, and given that the whole industry's turnover is around $361bn, that should see an increase in revenues of between $12.6bn and $14.5bn. If even a 10th of that is a direct result of Brazil, it's still not bad going. Adidas alone expects sales from its football division this year to exceed euros 2bn ($2.7bn) for the first time.


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Source: Guardian (UK)


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