This summer, it won’t just be the Italian public looking a bit glum as countries from around the world take part in the World Cup. Gli Azzurri’s failure to qualify for the World’s premier sporting competition for the first time since 1958 may cost the nation around 1 Billion Euros.
“It’s not only about missed advertising sales, television rights and merchandising related to the event,” Franco Carraro, a senator of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, said in an interview about the impact of the elimination from this year’s event in Russia.
“There is much more to it, including the missed sales for travel operators organising holiday packages to Russia, let alone the turnaround of betting companies and of bars and restaurants across the country during the matches.”
Lost Advertising Revenue
Many cost analyses of the Italian elimination, including by daily business paper Il Sole 24 Ore, focused on the expected lower revenue related to ad-sales during the televised matches and on the sponsorship of the national soccer selection in the years to come. They set the total bill at around 100 million euros.
Without any official matches until Euro 2020 qualification, the friendlies simply won’t attract the same levels of interest, support or sponsorship fees.
In a similar vein, replica kit sales and other merchandise won’t sell anywhere near the amount that a fervent supporter base would had they qualified. When they missed out in November 2017, their kit manufacturer Puma SE fell slightly with estimates suggesting $140 million in retail sales could be lost.
Related Industries Likely to Suffer Most
Of course, missing out on the competition is not just felt directly in terms of kit sales and decreased ad revenue. Perhaps the biggest impact is in the missed sales for travel operators organizing holiday packages to Russia. Add in the turnover of betting companies and of bars and restaurants across the country during the matches. After all, how many Italians would gather together to watch a Germany v France final for a competition they didn’t even play in?
While many argue that the standard of football in the Champions League is better, one German captain summed it up best in Delhi last year.
“You might win the Champions League but you don’t win it for Germany. The World Cup – yes you do,” – Lothar Mattheus.
In short, the lack of a World Cup spot means the country’s people will miss a big reason to unite this summer. And that is where the cost lies.