Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Not All Sports Business is Big

When most people think of sports business they think of the athletes who make tens of millions (and with multi-year contracts, hundreds of millions) of dollars, massive stadium deals, and billionaire owners. All of these things are true, but sports business doesn't end here. Underneath these obvious benchmarks of an industry are thousands of other businesses of various sizes that make up sports business.

There is the huge infrastructure of businesses that support professional athletes:

* Sports medicine. Helping athletes over come injury or even learn how to prevent many of them.

* Transportation. Airlines, buses, limos and more.

* Catering and event. Professional sports means events and there is a huge infrastructure businesses that support such.

In addition to those who support professional athletes, there are numerous companies that help those who want to reach the major leagues that depend heavily on sports dreams.

* Your local sporting goods stores.
* Clothing companies that supply uniforms.

* Numerous businesses that depend on the goodwill created by supporting a local team.

Today Allen Robinson and myself had the opportunity to interview Danny Arnold of Plex, a local company with three facilities that help in sports training and medicine. Danny's clients include professional athletes, such as Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros, Charles Woodson of the Greenbay Packers, and Shaun Rogers of the Detroit Lions. But they also include 11 and 12 year olds who dream of being great athletes or the adults in their 40s who want to live longer and better than previous generations. Each of these are a significant part of what makes up "sports business."

So the next time you want to disparage sports business as merely big business without regard to others, think about the many businesses that make a living on the quality of life hopes and big league dreams of others.
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