Ifis banking plays with sport

Ifis banking plays with sport

Why is Banca If so excited about the sports economy? Facts, Figures and Business Npl. Emanuela Rossi’s article

It generates revenues of almost 96 billion euros and accounts for 3.6% of the country’s GDP. These are the most recent data, dating from 2019, therefore, they were pre-Covid, relating to the impact of sport in Italy according to what emerges from the first Observatory on the Sports System, created by the Banca Ifis Research Office to respond to requests from the European Commission to measure the economic dimension of all components of sport in order to have fundamental information for making strategic decisions.

A sports world, which involves around 35 million compatriots (15.5 million who regularly practice an activity), mostly dedicated to football (34% among those over 18 years old) who benefit from the highest amount of public contributions.

The Observatory is “an initiative that is part of the numerous projects recently launched by the Bank, such as sports sponsorships and activities to support the youth sectors, with the aim of contributing to the development of one of the main economic sectors and values ​​in Italy”, Ernesto Fürstenberg Fassio, vice-president of Banca Ifis said in the presentation of the Observatory.

Many thanks came from Giovanni Malagò, president of Coni, who recalled “the fundamental support for the Alpine Ski World Championship held in Cortina and the resources donated to Coni to reward the junior world medalists of the Olympic disciplines”, gestures that “represent an example of the commitment of this great reality to us. The data provided by the qualified and passionate work of the Observatory on the Sports System will be an important tool to understand the strength and extraordinary potential of the system”.


As mentioned by Malagò, it is not the first time that Banca Ifis has approached the world of sport. The institute specializing in specialist funding for small and medium-sized businesses is in fact the current main sponsor of Sampdoria and, again for the entire 2021-2022 sports season, also of Sampdoria Women, the first women’s football team to debut in Serie A in the season. 2020-2021, Banca Ifis was the second shirt sponsor in the final days of the Sampdoria club championship – which this year commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the Scudetto conquest – and sponsored some great Serie A matches.

In addition, changing the sports specialties, last year it was a premium partner of the Italian classic cycling 2021 and an official partner of the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche and Il Lombardia. In addition to cycling, the bank supported basketball with Umana Reyer Venezia, young golf and skiing talents, as a national partner for the 2021 Cortina World Championship.


As mentioned, in 2019 the Italian Sports System generated revenues of 95.9 billion, with an impact on the national GDP of 3.6%. The main component of the sector is represented by the “core” operators, that is, amateur and professional sports associations and clubs, sports promotion entities, federations and plant management companies. In total, there are more than 74,000 companies employing 228,000 people, generating revenues of 46.4 billion (48% of the entire Sports System, 1.65% of Italian GDP).

The contribution of operators moving “downstream” of the supply chain is also significant: we are talking about companies in the media sector in terms of revenue generated by content dedicated to sports, the sports betting sector, the use of sporting events (transport, hotels, restaurants, shopping). In the reference year, the value of this sector was 22.6 billion (23% of the Italian Sports System, 0.89% of the national GDP).

The survey carried out by Observatório Banca Ifis also includes companies that operate “upstream” of the supply chain, that is, manufacturers of clothing, equipment and sports vehicles. There are around 10,000 companies and 161,000 employees that in 2019 generated revenues of 17.3 billion (18% of the revenues of the Italian Sports System, 0.47% of GDP).


The pandemic that in 2020 caused a drop in revenue and employees also played a role in all of this, and it could not be otherwise. The sector most affected in absolute terms was that of sports associations and clubs, which saw their turnover drop from 40.2 billion in 2019 to 32.5 billion in 2020, with a decrease of 7.7 billion ( -19%). Important repercussions also had on the number of employees, which fell by 30 thousand units (from 189 thousand in 2019 to 159 thousand in 2020). There was a significant decrease in expenses linked to sporting events, suspended in March 2020 and restarted, but only behind closed doors, the following June. Induces generated by sporting events amounted to around 2 billion against 7.6 billion in 2019, burning 5.6 billion euros (-74%). The sports plants sector was also affected, whose revenue fell from 6.2 billion in 2019 to 2.3 billion in 2020, with a drop in absolute terms of 3.9 billion (-63%). The long suspension of sports activities, mainly of an amateur and amateur nature, also had an impact on externalities, which fell from 10.1 to 2.0 billion.

In 2021, thanks to the return of the public to sporting events, the resumption of amateur and amateur activity and the progressive reopening of swimming pools, gyms and sports centres, there was a partial recovery of revenues to 78.8 billion (3% of GDP ) . To return to pre-pandemic levels and support the development of the entire sector, however, according to the Observatory, public and private investments will be fundamental: 1 million public investments activate almost 9 million private resources that generate an annual turnover of 20 million euros. million, 2.3 times higher than private investment.

In the average reference year, 2019, in view of public expenditure of 4.7 billion, the main operators of the Sports System (associations and sports clubs, federations, sports promotion entities, facilities management companies) moved resources of 41.8 billion in expenses with raw materials, services, personnel and depreciation of tangible and intangible assets, contributing to generate a total value of 95.9 billion.


Alongside the economic benefits, there is a non-secondary indirect value generated for the Italian company. In 2019, Italian sport produced positive externalities for almost 10.1 billion. Of these, about 5.3 billion represent savings to the National Health System from spending on the treatment of certain diseases (eg, heart attack and coronary heart disease, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes). In total, externalities represent 11% of the value generated by the Sports System, with an impact on Italian GDP of 0.56%.


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