Sports & Recreation

The Sports & Recreation market has grown rapidly in recent years, with consumers constantly seeking new hobbies and activities to enjoy, whether that be going to the theater, keeping fit in the gym, or having a relaxing day at a spa.

Many aspects of the industry have adapted to the online world, such as the rise of online betting and the reshaping of art through digitization. On a sporting level, wearable technology gives users access to data about their performance, while the sports fan experience can be enhanced through technology both in the stadium and on screens back home.

The entire industry came under threat from the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many people to stay indoors for extended periods of time. This not only stopped them from taking part in their favorite hobbies, but it also disrupted the entire professional sports industry. However, the industry seems to have recovered well, with many even discovering new passions and hobbies during the crisis.

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Trending Facts & Insights

  • Market size of the online art and antiques industry in the United States in 2022 and 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)
    Sep 15, 2023

    Revenue generated by online art sales in the United States increased by around 4.6 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year, amounting to 5.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2023. That year, online sales of antiques and collectibles totaled 2.4 billion U.S. dollars.

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  • Wealthiest owners of sports teams worldwide as of April 2024 (in billion U.S. dollars)
    Apr 5, 2024

    Owning a professional sports team has come to be a status symbol among the mega rich. In 2024, Steve Ballmer, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, had a net worth of over 121 billion U.S. dollars, making him the richest sports team owner worldwide. Ballmer, who served as the chief executive officer of Microsoft for 14 years, became the Los Angeles Clippers owner in 2014, purchasing the franchise for around two billion U.S. dollars.

    What is the most valuable sports empire?

    With an estimated valuation of over 20 billion U.S. dollars, Liberty Media was the most valuable sports empire worldwide as of 2023. Originally founded as a media corporation, the company acquired ownership stakes in Formula One as well as the MLB franchise Atlanta Braves. In 2022, the company was also recognized among the largest media corporations in the world.

    Los Angeles Clippers

    The Los Angeles Clippers are a basketball franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Based in Los Angeles, the professional basketball team competes in the Western conference of the NBA. In the 2022/23 season, a total of almost 721 thousand fans attended Clippers games at the Arena, generating gate receipts of about 51 million U.S. dollars that season. The franchise value of the Los Angeles Clippers increased by nearly 20 percent in 2023 over the previous year.

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  • Most popular sports among Generation Z in the United States as of November 2022
    Dec 13, 2022

    During a 2022 survey of members of Gen Z aged between 13 and 25 in the United States, 53 percent identified themselves as either casual or avid NFL fans. Meanwhile, one fifth of Gen Z respondents were fans of Formula 1.

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  • Market size of the online gambling industry worldwide in 2022, with a forecast for 2032 (in billion U.S. dollars)
    Nov 23, 2023

    The size of the global online gambling and betting industry amounted to 63.53 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. This has been forecast to rise to 184.28 billion U.S. dollars by 2032, representing an increase of 190 percent within a decade. For comparison, the market size of the global sports betting and lottery industry was valued at roughly 235 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. Overall, the global sports betting industry constituted more than 200 thousand employees and approximately 24 thousand businesses in 2023.

    How popular is sports betting in the United States?

    In 2022, over 25 million individuals engaged in sports betting in the United States, highlighting the prevalence of the activity in the North American country. Moreover, this figure was forecast to increase by 47 percent by 2025. Overall, the total revenue from sports betting in the U.S. amounted to 7.56 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, denoting an increase of nearly 75 percent over the previous year. Meanwhile, DraftKings was the most popular sports betting website in the U.S. as of July 2023. 

    What is the United Kingdom’s National Lottery?

    A lottery is a form of gambling where participants purchase numbered tickets with the aim of matching those numbers with lots, which are drawn randomly at a later date. Established in 1994, the National Lottery is a nationwide version of the activity that is regulated by the Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom. Between April 2021 and March 2022, over eight billion British pounds worth of National Lottery tickets were sold, which was slightly lower than the figure reported in the period immediately prior. Meanwhile, more than 4.6 billion British pounds were available as prize money for potential winners of the National Lottery between April 2021 and March 2022.  

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  • Highest earning soccer players worldwide in 2024 (in million U.S. dollars)
    May 16, 2024

    Cristiano Ronaldo was the highest earning soccer player in the world in 2024, being paid around 260 million U.S. dollars a year. The bulk of this sum came from on-field income, such as salary and bonuses. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi earned around 135 million U.S. dollars per year, with a larger share coming from off-pitch income.

    Who is better, Messi or Ronaldo?

    Messi and Ronaldo have been compared throughout their careers, with both players having exceptional ability. On the one hand, Ronaldo is the record goal scorer in the UEFA Champions League and holds many of the individual records in the competition. However, Messi has the one medal that Ronaldo could never win: the World Cup. The Argentinian lifted the famous trophy in 2022 after an exhilarating tournament, in which he scored seven goals.

    Ronaldo and Al-Nassr: an example of sportswashing?

    Ronaldo is undoubtedly the most well-known player to ever play in the Saudi Pro League, earning a salary more than most people can only dream of. Outside of soccer, Saudi Arabia’s investment in sporting events has been substantial, and human rights organizations have accused the country of using sport to whitewash – or sportswash – human rights abuses. Following his move to Al-Nassr, Amnesty International called on Ronaldo to bring attention to human rights issue in the country. Ronaldo, meanwhile, said he wanted to provide a different vision of the club and country.

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  • Leading amusement and theme parks worldwide from 2019 to 2022, by attendance (in millions)
    Jun 22, 2023

    In 2022, the United States’ Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World) was visited by over 17 million people, making it the most visited amusement park worldwide. Despite an almost 35 percent increase in attendees at Magic Kingdom in 2022 over the previous year, the theme park was not able to reach pre-pandemic levels of attendance in 2022. In the year prior to the global health crisis, Disney's Magic Kingdom was visited by more than 20 million people.

    What is the global market size of the amusement park sector? The global market size of amusement parks fell to 51.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 due in large part to the effects of the pandemic. This figure is forecast to increase the coming years, however. By 2025, the global market size is expected to surpass pre-pandemic figures and reach 89.2 billion U.S. dollars.

    What is the fastest roller coaster in the world? As of 2022, the fastest roller coaster in the world was the Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. The ride can reach top speeds of around 149 miles per hour (or 240 kilometers per hour) and was opened in 2010. The theme park itself, Ferrari World, is based on the Ferrari motor brand. Meanwhile, the highest roller coaster in the world, as of 2022, was Kingda Ka at the Six Flags Great Adventure Park in the United States.

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  • Largest city parks in the United States in 2023 (in acres)
    Jun 25, 2024

    As of 2023, Chugach State Park in Anchorage, Alaska, was the largest city park in the United States by a long shot, spanning 464,318 acres. Second in the ranking was the Great Dismal Swamp in the Coastal Plain Region of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, at 113 thousand acres. 

    A wide variety of park authorities

    Most parks in the U.S. are owned by the municipality, state, county, regional agency, or the federal government. Both McDowell Sonoran Preserve and South Mountain Preserve are part of the state park system along with most of the parks in the ranking. One of the more well-known park authorities is the National Park Service (NPS) – an agency of the federal government. Blue Ridge Parkway was the most visited NPS park in 2023 alongside many other well-known U.S. parks. 

    What defines a park?

    Parks in the U.S. are often called a variety of names, just a few of which are: forest, reserve, preserve and wildlife management area. Sometimes the differences between parks in the U.S. can vary massively from monuments to expansive woodland. The Lincoln Memorial made the ranking of the most visited city parks in the U.S., while this may not seem like it comes under the classification of a ‘park’, it is cared for by the National Park Service.

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  • Prize pool of selected sporting events worldwide in 2022 and 2023 (in million U.S. dollars)
    Mar 14, 2023

    Formula 1's overall prize pool for 2023 amounted to around 2.2 billion U.S. dollars, which was more than many other major sporting events across the world. Meanwhile, the prize pool for the UEFA Champions League in the 2022/23 season stood at 2.032 billion dollars, while the LIV Golf tour had an overall prize fund of 405 million U.S. dollars in 2023.

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  • Size of the wellness market worldwide from 2017 to 2022, with a forecast to 2027 (in trillion U.S. dollars)
    Nov 7, 2023

    The size of the wellness market worldwide stood at 5.61 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022. This figure was projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.6 percent, reaching an estimated 8.47 trillion U.S. dollars by 2027.

    What are the leading regions for the wellness market?

    In 2022, North America emerged as the leading region in the global wellness market, with the region accounting for a little over 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars of the global market. Asia Pacific and Europe secured second and third positions, respectively. Delving deeper into North America, the wellness industry in the United States outpaced Canada's market size by approximately 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.

    How large is the wellness tourism segment?

    In 2022, the global wellness tourism segment accounted for over 466 billion U.S. dollars of the market size of the wellness industry. The countries with the highest wellness tourism expenditure in 2022 were the United States, Germany, and France. Additionally, when considering the number of wellness tourism trips taken by travelers globally in 2022, Europe emerged as the leader, with over 300 million wellness trips taken by travelers in Europe. 

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  • Market size of the wellness industry worldwide in 2022, by segment (in billion U.S. dollars)
    Nov 7, 2023

    The global wellness economy was estimated at a value of just under 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022. Of this revenue, over one trillion U.S. dollars was generated in personal care and beauty, while the global wellness tourism market was estimated at 467 billion U.S. dollars.

    How large is the beauty and personal care market?

    Since 2020, the global beauty and personal care market has experienced year-to-year growth. In 2023, the market recorded a total revenue exceeding 617 billion U.S. dollars. Notably, the personal care segment contributed significantly to this revenue, closely followed by the skin care segment. Additionally, when considering countries with the highest beauty and personal care revenue, the United States ranked first, followed by China, which had approximately 30.6 billion U.S. dollars less in revenue compared to the United States in 2023. 

    In what region is wellness tourism most popular?

    In 2022, Europe stood out as the global leader in wellness tourism, with over 300 million trips recorded. Asia-Pacific and North America secured the second and third positions, respectively. Additionally, Europe led the ranking in the number of spa facilities worldwide, having approximately 9.6 thousand more spas than Asia-Pacific. However, in terms of the number of thermal and mineral spring facilities worldwide, Asia-Pacific took the lead with almost 23 thousand such facilities in 2022. 

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Industry Definition

The Sports & Recreation industry is very wide-ranging, covering everything from museums to professional sports. The art and culture sector includes cultural events and the performing arts, as well as libraries and museums. Under the umbrella of recreation fall hobbies such as gardening and musical instruments, as well as amusement parks, national parks, and outdoor activities.

The sports side of the industry encompasses the entire professional sports market, including team sports and individual sports worldwide, as well as sports betting and the fan experience. Global sporting events such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup are also covered, alongside sports participation among the general public and its engagement with fitness and physical activity.

Finally, the industry includes the wellness and spas market, covering everything from day spas and massage parlors to yoga and meditation.

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