Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Sport And Budgeting

The commercial evolution of sport and how it has managed to move from the kitchen-table model to the corporate-boardroom model has become quite a sophisticated industry from a financial viewpoint.

Benchmarks have been adopted from the USA and European professional sporting leagues which are seen as the most important leagues in the world and certainly the most lucrative for athletes.

What of budgeting and sport though? How can organisations, clubs and countries ensure that the proper budgets are allocated for sport and its development to drive the kind of activity that is so necessary in a society?

Internationally there are funding sources and those have to be explored at all costs; also people who are charge must and should have the basic principles and practice of effective financial management.

These managers should also be introduced to basic accounting principles and practice, and then led into more complex issues of pricing, costing, financial analysis, budgeting, and financial projections. While at the very senior level managers and administrators should explore future developments in sport finance and funding, and examine how they will impact on sport management knowledge and skill requirements.

It is within this framework that Jamaica’s policy supporting growth and development in the sport sector should be based; while the efforts must facilitate and set rules to regulate organisations which manage sport to effectively manage the sector.

It is important that people who are likely to be involved in sport administration understand some basic principles:

  • A firm understanding of the commercial evolution of sport over the last 50 years or so
  • An understanding of the different commercial phases sport goes through to reach commercial maturity
  • An appreciation of the major global sport events and leagues, and their financial arrangements.
  • An insight into the financial strengths and weaknesses of contemporary sport

Role of a nation
Jamaica, a country with rich sport history, must ensure that there is an awareness programme for the continuity of the legacy that continues to grow.

“The positive influence of sport on all aspects of human life – including its benefits for health, socialisation, self- confidence, leadership skills, and mutual understanding across divisions of race, culture and gender – means that its importance should never be ignored in any peace-building and reconciliation initiatives,” according to Elvis Ndubuisi Iruh and Marc Broere. Iruh is an African Author and Broere is a Nigerian journalist.

Sport’s role in nation-building is vital and the combination is equally important to development for the obvious reasons. It is an outlet for the energies of young people. It develops individual character and teamwork. It gives enjoyment to people who, in many cases, have few facilities for recreation.

If all these assertions and assumptions are true, then why has it become so difficult for sport to get the right budgets for sport? It is true that sport helps build bridges between nations and to unite people…show me the money!

© Carole Beckford

About the author


Carole Beckford is an author. Her second book - Jamaica is In - Sport and Tourism was published in November 2016. She is head of marketing for West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) she is based in Antigua. She has been a journalist for 30 years.