The global sports events market has shown resilience and continued growth despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, it was valued at $184.61 billion, with a projected CAGR of 10.5% to 2031. The sports economy in France represents 2.6% of the country's GDP, with fluctuations observed between 2017 and 2022 due to the pandemic. By 2020, French household spending on sport had fallen to 18.8 billion euros, but by 2021 an increase was seen, reaching 20.8 billion euros. The market for sports event organization in France was estimated at around 32.6 million euros in 2020, with an upward trend expected thereafter. This market growth is influenced by factors such as digital broadcasting, event sponsorship (contributing 43.1% of revenues in 2021) and technological advances that facilitate participation in events. Public support and major players such as ASO, OC Sport and digitally-sensitive GAFAs contribute to this dynamism. However, concerns such as security and political interference pose significant challenges to the market's progress.

French sports events market: Navigating through digital transformation and public perception

The French sports events market presents a dynamic economic landscape, driven by a series of international events that attract worldwide attention while resisting economic downturns. France's penchant for staging successful recurring events, such as the French Open and Tour de France, as well as one-offs like the Euro soccer championships, strengthens its position in the global sports industry. With the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the much-anticipated Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, the market is set to benefit significantly.

Beyond traditional event management, the market is also integrating evolving segments such as digital broadcasting and e-sports, catapulting itself into the future of media consumption. From a statistical point of view, the French sports events market has had its ups and downs, but its resilience is evident with an increase of over 10% the following year, renewing its contribution to around 0.8% of the country's GDP.

Public interest in sporting events is enjoying a significant revival, illustrated by record attendance figures. The French Open attracted more than 600,000 spectators, while soccer championships attracted between 8 and 10 million fans. The illustrious 24 Hours of Le Mans also celebrated its centenary with a staggering attendance of over 300,000 enthusiasts. These figures underline not only the cultural impact of sport in France, but also its potential for economic stimulation in the wake of the pandemic. The transition to digital platforms has played a crucial role in reaching wider and more diverse audiences, particularly among young people.

This is reflected in the increasing use of smartphones and tablets to watch sporting events, with France a hotbed of digital sports content consumption. This trend calls for versatility and innovation on the part of event organizers, who must turn to modern, adaptable broadcasting methods. One striking observation is the evolution of public sentiment towards the organization of major international competitions. Notably, around a third of the French population takes a dim view of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Residents of the capital, in particular, are very concerned about the potential disruption associated with the event, reflecting a notable increase in skepticism over the past two years. This sentiment is compounded by significant doubts about security, transport efficiency and service quality.

The French sports events market boasts a constellation of key players, each bringing their expertise and influence to bear on shaping the sector.

  • Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) Leading the pack is sporting powerhouse ASO, best known for organizing some of the world's most iconic and grueling competitions. With the Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix and the Dakar Rally to its credit, ASO not only dominates cycling and motor sports, but also influences the media through its sports newspaper, L'Équipe. Ownership of these premier events makes ASO an industry titan, orchestrating events that not only capture the imagination of sports enthusiasts, but also attract a massive global audience.
  • Lagardère Sports (now part of H.I.G. Capital)** Formerly a sports marketing giant under the Lagardère Group umbrella, Lagardère Sports underwent a strategic change following the acquisition of its majority stake by H.I.G. Capital. Prior to this transition, Lagardère Sports played an important role in negotiating contracts with international sports organizations and in shaping the marketing dynamics of sports sponsorship and advertising.
  • GL Events A versatile player with a worldwide presence, GL Events manages venues and participates in the organization of large-scale trade shows and conventions, including sporting events. Its mastery of logistics and innovative approach to event management enable it to contribute not only to execution, but also to enhancing the spectator experience.
  • Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO ) ASO remains a major authority on the French sporting events market, known for organizing world-class competitions that demand precision, professionalism and the ability to capture the public's interest. Its management of the Tour de France alone makes it a key institution, bringing the legacy of French sporting traditions to the world stage.

The market thrives on the symbiotic relationships between these entities and public bodies, associations and a cohort of volunteers, all dedicated to the rigorous and triumphant execution of sporting events that continue to captivate audiences the world over. While France's ability to host and organize sporting spectacles is often a matter of national pride, it is the concerted effort and skill of these key players that turns ambition into reality.

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  • Last update : 11/01/2024
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Presentation and definition of the French sports events market

A sporting event can be defined as a demonstration of sporting performance organized in a specific place, limited in time, covered by the media and involving various types of spin-offs, notably in terms of marketing, advertising, television rights and economic benefits for the country.and involving various types of spin-offs, notably in terms of marketing, advertising, television rights and economic benefits for the country. The aim is to create the widest possible media coverage and economic spin-offs around a sport.

Little affected by economic crises, the global sports market is characterized by both rapid and cyclical growth, based on the organization of major media events. These events represent real economic and sometimes even geopolitical stakes for the host countries. Hosting major sporting events is an opportunity to showcase a country, not only in sporting terms, but also in terms of tourism, culture and the economy, with an increased contribution to job creation (mainly temporary) and the collection of substantial tax revenues.The global sports events market was estimated at $184.61 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% to 2031.

In France, the market is relatively dynamic, driven by the organization of recurrent international events such as Roland-Garros and the Tour de France, and the more exceptional organization of events such as the Euro Football Championship in 2016, the Rugby World Cup in 2023, and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.the market is also structured around a number of major players in event organization (ASO, OC Sport...), event sponsorship (the commitment of BNP for tennis, or Red Bull for extreme sports, for example) and public authorities, which are often decisive in enabling an event to take place (organization and financial support).

As is the case worldwide, market growth is also being driven by therise of digital broadcasting, already popular sports and disciplines, and new practices such ase-sport. The digital broadcasting segment is of growing interest to GAFAs, who are in direct competition with traditional market players.

1.2 A booming global market structured around numerous international players

The global sports events market was estimated at $***.** billion in **** , and is expected to grow at a CAGR of **.*% to ****.

Global sports events market growth projections World, **** - ****, in $ billions Source: ****

The sporting events sector is seeing the emergence of new events that are just as attractive, changing trends and putting ...

1.3 A very dynamic French sports events market

The French sports event organization sector boasts a remarkable economic dynamic. According to BPCE L'Observatoire, the French sports economy accounts for *.*% of GDP, representing sales of ** billion euros generated by companies in the sector.

The sports economy in France has seen several fluctuations between **** and ****, with moments of growth followed by ...

1.4 Examples of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and Euro 2016 soccer tournament

Focus on the Paris **** Olympic Games:

The Paris **** Olympic and Paralympic Games are a major project financed mainly by private funds. Indeed, **% of the organization's budget is covered by private revenues, including the contribution from the International Olympic Committee (***), corporate partnerships, ticketing revenues and licenses.the Games Organizing Committee's budget amounts ...

1.5 The Covid-19 pandemic hits sporting events hard

European market

The sports events market paid a heavy price at Covid-**. Events on a global scale, such as the Olympic Games, and on a continental scale, such as the Euro Football Championship, were postponed.

The organization of a major sporting event involves the massive movement of people in sports arenas, ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Different notoriety levels depending on the type of sporting event

According to an awareness survey conducted by Sponsoring, almost * out of ** French people are aware that France will be hosting the **** Summer Olympics in Paris. However, only **% are aware of the organization of the **** Paralympic Games.

Did you know that France will organize... France, between **** and ****, in % Source: SponsoringSponsoring Panel question: ...

2.2 Monitoring of sports championships below the European average

Every weekend, soccer attracts an average of over **,*** spectators per stadium in France (***), which is lower than in the major European leagues.

Spectator match Average number of spectators in European soccer leagues from ****-**** to ****-**** source : EPFL

However, the least popular leagues (***) showed an upward trend after COVID-**, while the ...

2.3 A positive reception from the French for the organization of international competitions

The French are less and less enchanted by the idea of hosting major international sporting events. Those whose daily lives will be impacted by these events are the least satisfied, as the example of the Paris **** Olympic Games shows. Indeed, people living in the Paris region are much less enamored with ...

2.4 The rise of digital viewing of sporting events

New digital channels such as computers, tablets and smartphones are increasingly competing with the media that traditionally broadcast sporting events. According to the CNDS, the classic model of a single broadcast on a given channel is gradually being replaced by a model of "targeted information flows" that adapt to viewer preferences. ...

2.5 New sports practices and new players

The French market is the scene of several fundamental trends, including the arrival of new sports, mechanically correlated with the emergence of new players who are disrupting the market.

The rise of streaming encourages the emergence of new disciplines: e-sport

E-sport is also entering the game. The **** edition of the France ...

3 Market structure

3.1 A market divided between public, association and private players

A multitude of players are present in the sports events market. The Centre National pour le Développement du Sport (***) has mapped out the value chains involved in sports events, distinguishing between public players, private players and sports associations:

Public players: on a national scale, these players are the State and ...

3.2 The sports events value chain

Organizing a sporting event, whatever its size, requires a sound knowledge of sports management to enable the various stages of the process to be rationalized and rigorously structured. These are described in the publication Organizing a sports event by M. Desbordes and J. Falgoux, and can be summarized as follows:

The ...

3.3 Increase in the number of employees and companies involved in the organization of sporting events

The organization of sporting events is recorded by INSEE under NAF code"**.** Other sports-related activities". However, this category is broader and includes :

the activities of producers or promoters of sporting events, whether or not they have their own facilities; the activities of professional athletes, referees, judges, timekeepers, etc. ; the activities of ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Characterization of sporting events in France

According to the French Ministry of Sports, the sports events sector in France can be segmented along two main axes:

firstly, the level of media coverage of the event: a high-profile event will thus be considered "general public", while a less high-profile event will be reserved for an audience of insiders; secondly, ...

4.2 Examples of sporting events organized in France

Here is a table listing some of the biggest sporting events that are held regularly in France or have taken place exceptionally, including their frequency:

Some of these events stand out, either positively or negatively. For example, the ****-**** Champions League Final, originally scheduled to take place in Ukraine, was held ...

4.3 Prices vary widely according to competition type and discipline

Variable prices within the same competition:

For the ****-**** season, it was cheaper to see a Ligue * soccer "top match" in a stadium in France than in Italy, Germany or England. According to the Sofoot website, the average price to attend a Ligue * "top match" is €**.

Even within the French leagues, ...

5 Regulations

5. Regulations governing the organization of sporting events

The organization of a sporting event is subject both to the regulations applied to all types of public events and to specific specific rules and regulations (***), which are described in detail on the Ministry of Sports website:

The sporting event in question must be declared to the local administrative authorities (***), as ...

List of charts

  • Projections for the global sports events market
  • Trends in the size of the French sports event organization market
  • Did you know that France will be organizing..
  • Major soccer leagues, ranked by average attendance per match
  • Intention to watch sports events on TV in France
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Latest news

Events: Alive diversifies with Butterfly caterer - 28/01/2024
  • Alive, with 500 employees and sales of 80 million euros in 2023, up from 70 million in 2022, specializes in technical services for the event industry
  • Number three in its sector in France, behind GL Events and Novelti
  • Sales target of 100 million euros
  • Takeover of Butterfly, a caterer with sales of 4.5 million euros and 30 employees, based in La Madeleine near Lille.
  • Alive offers services in six sectors: fashion & luxury, culture & entertainment, corporate & conventions, television, trade fairs & exhibitions, sports & e-sports
Adidas still going strong despite the Kanye West scandal. - 20/11/2023
  • Adidas had a colossal stock of Yeezy sneakers, estimated at over a billion euros.
  • Yeezy sneaker sales accounted for 7% of Adidas sales.
  • Adidas organized two massive destocking operations, generating 400 million euros in the first online sale and almost the same amount in the second.
  • Resale prices for Yeezy sneakers vary between 100 and 300 euros.
In the Figaro Group fold, Gala magazine redoubles its ambitions - 17/11/2023
  • The Figaro Group acquired the weekly magazine Gala from Vivendi and its subsidiary Prisma Media in 2023.
  • Gala has changed ownership twice in three years, passing from Bertelsmann to Vivendi at the end of 2021, then to the Figaro Group in 2023.
  • Gala employs 60 journalists out of a total workforce of 70.
  • The Gala brand has over 9.4 million subscribers on TikTok, 60% of whom are located abroad.
  • Gala is the leading European media account on TikTok, and the fourth largest worldwide.
  • With the acquisition of Gala, the Figaro Group will reach 14.6 million women, representing 52% of the female population in France.
  • In 2022, Gala's sales amounted to 40 million euros, half of which came from advertising.
  • Gala's paid circulation in France is 123,123 copies a week, including 20,000 subscribers to the glossy magazine.
  • Gala has a daily readership of over 1.1 million.
  • During the Cannes Film Festival, Gala publishes a 96-page daily in French and English, with a circulation of 15,000.
Foodservices Sodexo continues to transform its business model - 26/10/2023
  • Sodexo client retention rate: 95.2
  • Fiscal 2023 revenue growth: +11.6%
  • Sodexo revenues in 2023: 22.6 billion euros
  • Sales of the Pluxee meal voucher activity: +26.9% to 1 billion euros
  • Pluxee net income: 234 million euros
  • Net income for all other Sodexo activities: 560 million euros
  • Percentage of Group capital controlled by Bellon SA family holding: over 40%
  • The United States accounts for 46% of Sodexo's on-site service revenues.
After Rock en Seine, American concert giant AEG spins its web in France - 25/08/2023
  • Attendance at Rock en Seine 2022: over 150,000 festival-goers
  • Sponsorship as a percentage of festival sales: 10 to 20%
  • AEG Group owns or manages over 350 venues on five continents and runs 25 festivals
  • Number of AEG European festivals: 3 (Rock en Seine, All Points East, Forwards)
  • Number of AEG Presents France employees: 31
Gala" weekly to be sold to Figaro - 05/07/2023
  • Vivendi to launch takeover bid for Lagardère in 2022.
  • Gala has 8 million subscribers on TikTok.
  • Average circulation of Gala in 2022: 128,000 copies.
  • Visitors to Gala website in May: 59.4 million.
  • Gala annual sales: approx. 30 million euros.
  • Almost half of Gala's sales are generated digitally.
  • Gala has 130 employees, including 60 journalists and a dozen support staff.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Amaury Sport Organisation
TV Sport Events
OC Sport (Groupe Télégramme)
LV Organisation
Lagardère Sports and Entertainment
Eurosport Event (TF1)
Le Figaro - Gala
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

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