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Gambling and clothing economic winners from Olympic factor

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Issued:10/01/12

The Olympic factor will help the UK's £20.7bn sporting economy expand over the next three years, despite the gloomy national economic picture.

The biggest winner will be the sports clothing industry, which will rise by 15 per cent to £5bn in 2015. And the sports gambling industry will be worth £3.2bn, a hike of nearly six per cent.

The predictions have been made by Sheffield Hallam University's Sports Industry Research Centre (SIRC) in its annual General Sport Expenditure Trends essay, released today.

It says the 2012 London Olympic Games, together with an investment in the health and fitness sector, will be responsible for driving long-term economic growth.

And participation is likely to increase over the same time period due to a rise in community-based investment in fitness clubs.

But there is less good news for sports-related publications, which will see revenue fall by around five per cent over the same period - making this the biggest loser in Britain's sporting economy.

Professor Simon Shibli, co-head of SIRC, said: "The sport industry continues to be resilient, outstripping the economy as a whole during boom times and contracting less during leaner times."

The essay also predicts that the sports market will grow strongly by nearly two per cent during 2012, despite fears that the country as a whole could be pushed closer to recession.

The boating industry will achieve growth of around 2.5 per cent due to investment prompted by new technology in this year's Olympic sailing competition.

And the health and fitness industry will grow by two per cent this year, buoyed by investment in small towns currently with limited provision.

This year will also see spectator sports recording a rise in attendance, following record attendances at Ascot, Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix during 2011.

Sporting equipment will also rise significantly, benefiting from a boom in bicycle production.

Professor Chris Gratton from SIRC said: "Over the last twenty years the sport industry has continued to take a greater and greater share of national economic activity.  The hosting of the 2012 Olympics will only accelerate this long term trend."

For press information contact: Laurie Harvey on 0114 225 2621 or email laurie.harvey@shu.ac.uk.