Featured News

New figures show 2020 sporting calendar has been halved

Sports marketing agency Two Circles says that only 53 per cent of the sports events originally scheduled for 2020 will be held this year while Germany’s promoters’ association BDKV has called for clarity on smaller events. Here’s a round-up of some of the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry…

Two Circles: Sporting calendar halved

Projections from sports marketing agency Two Circles have found that only 53 per cent of the sports events originally scheduled for 2020 will be held this year.

Two Circles notes that 49,803 major sports events were originally scheduled for 2020 but the COVID-19 outbreak has led to the postponement of competitions across various sports. The most high-profile postponements have been the Tokyo Olympic Games and football’s UEFA European Championships.

Only 1,870 of the 5,584 events originally scheduled for March took place. As of today (April 20), Two Circles estimates that the global sports industry will generate $73.7bn in 2020 – some $61.6bn less than the $135.3bn projected before the outbreak. The global sports industry generated $129bn in revenue in 2019.

Two Circles chief executive Gareth Balch said: “Sports properties are keen to return as soon as possible as the longer the sports calendar is on hiatus, the worse the financial impact will be. However, sport should – and will – only return when it is deemed safe to do so, and with the support of all relevant government and medical authorities. Even hosting sport without crowds poses a complex challenge.”

Two Circles’ modelling predicts that a staggered return of live sport in 2020 will result in a spike of 5,467 events in September.

Gatherings ban in Germany

BDKV, Germany’s promoters’ association, has called for more clarity from the government about how to handle smaller events in relation to COVID-19.

Germany announced a ban on mass gatherings until August 2020, with all major summer festivals and several other concerts and events being cancelled already.

BDKV explained in statement that it is unclear what the federal state consider a major event and urged clarity so event organisers know how respond to ticketholders and what measures need to be in place.

Jens Michow, managing director of BDKV, said: “At the moment, it’s not about planning new concerts. However, we urgently need to know which of the many smaller events that have been planned for a long time in the coming months can take place and which hygiene requirements have to be created for this.

“Above all, it also applies to the many ticketholders, most of whom have already bought tickets. It is unreasonable to find out just before the event date whether an event is taking place or not. That applies in particular to the artists.

“I would like to emphasise again that we are by no means lacking in understanding the need to cancel events. But we ask for your understanding that we can only cancel events if there are clear and unambiguous official instructions in every respect.”

Fnac Darty

France-headquartered Fnac Darty, which includes ticketing subsidiary France Billet, has seen revenue fall almost eight per cent in the first quarter of 2020.

Due to the restrictions put in place for COVID-19, the group closed all its physical stores from mid-March onwards, leading to a drop in group sales of around 30 per cent for the month.

Fnac Darty has reported “very strong growth” in e-commerce, in all countries, during the lockdown period and has implemented a €500m Term Loan facility guaranteed by the French State to secure cash flow and prepare recovery activities.

Enrique Martinez, chief executive of Fnac Darty, said: “Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, our priority has been to guarantee the safety of our employees and our customers, through very rigorous procedures. Thanks to our preparation and the mobilisation of our teams, Fnac Darty was able, from mid-March, to adapt to the closure of stores in all countries and to be fully operational as an e-commerce and services player.

“Faced with the need to take particularly tough decisions, the quality of social dialogue within the Group and the commitment of our employees enabled us to meet our customers’ expectations and thus enable them to better live this period.

“Thanks to the rapid implementation of our action plan, and with the support of our banking partners, Fnac Darty is one of the first companies to benefit from a State-guaranteed Term Loan. I would like to thank all the Group’s employees for their professionalism, all our customers for their trust, the public authorities for their support, and all our partners and suppliers for their sense of responsibility.”

Scottish football

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said fans should not expect to attend football matches “any time soon,” as next season’s SPFL could start behind closed doors.

Football ground to halt on March 13 in Scotland due to COVID-19, with Sturgeon explaining that playing behind closed doors needed to be “very carefully considered”.

She said: “We have to consider if that completely takes away the risk. If a match is still on TV, the danger is people will congregate together to watch.

“What I will say is they will be very carefully considered and we’ll share as much of that as we can.”

A spokesman for the league said, according to the Daily Record: “SPFL teams are at the hearts of the communities that surround and sustain them.

“Fans, players and officials alike are all keen to resume matches as soon as it’s appropriate and safe to do so.

“Clearly, there are far more pressing issues for our communities and our health services at the moment, but we look forward to positive and early discussions with the Scottish Government on planning for bringing our game back.”