Staging the 2018 World Cup will boost consumer confidence


With consumers reeling from many months of gloomy predictions about forthcoming austerity, hosting a major global sporting event is set to provide one of the main anti-depressants in the coming two years – and to extend through the decade.


London’s staging of the 2012 Olympics is set to provide a major boost to morale with rising expectations of the event itself and its impact. Over a third of adults consider winning the 2012 Olympics as boosting their confidence about the prospects for the UK economy and growing numbers expect the London Olympics to leave a lasting sporting legacy and boost sports participation in the UK.* 


At the same time national interest is building up in the outcome of England‘s bid to stage the 2018 World Cup. Research by GfK NOP for financial and business research specialist JGFR found that just under 4 out of 10 adults (some 20 million people aged 16 or over) believe that England winning the World Cup will be the perfect boost to consumer confidence.


As economists and politicians debate where growth is going to come from in the coming years, the role of sport is set to play a major part, particularly hosting global sporting events and the economic stimulus expected to be generated from them. Management consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers calculate the economic benefits of England hosting the 2018 World Cup at £3.2 billion, creating thousands of new jobs and opportunities nationwide.


Success in winning the World Cup bid would boost confidence, especially among people in lower income households (under £25,000 per annum) who would hope to benefit from new jobs created: 44% agreeing that their confidence would be boosted compared to 39% overall.


Compared to the London Olympics the 2018 World Cup would be spread out to a much greater extent regionally. There are 12 host cities stretching from Newcastle to Plymouth. Regionally there are notable differences in the boost to confidence a successful bid would have. More people believe in the positive impact of winning the bid in the North West (54% support – two staging cities Manchester and Liverpool), London (46%) and the East Midlands (46% - Nottingham and Milton Keynes). Support is lowest outside England – 32% in Wales, 27% in Northern Ireland and only 20% in Scotland, although the latter will have a sporting boost from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The part staging of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in Wales will be a similar boost to the economy there.


Commented John Gilbert, Chief Executive of JGFR:


“Despite the disappointment of the England team’s performances in the World Cup in South Africa, winning the bid to stage the 2018 World Cup would provide considerable compensation. Such a success would build on the UK’s hosting of global sporting events in the coming decade – notably the 2012 Olympics, 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Rugby World Cup – and do much to make sport one of the key growth areas in economic recovery”


Enquiries: John Gilbert 0208 944 7510 / 07740 027968



*JGFR has tracked consumer attitudes towards the London Olympics since June 2005. Among the issues tracked are:


·         Winning the Olympic bid and confidence about the economy

·         Ticket applications

·         Boosting sports participation

·         The greatest sporting event of my lifetime

·         Switch to / purchase from / regularly use a brand sponsoring the Olympics

·         Leave a lasting sporting legacy

·         The NHS should use the London Olympics to promote sport/exercise

·         Helping at Olympic events


A short report: ‘Consumer Attitudes towards the London Olympics’ was published in May (cost £200+VAT) and an update will be published in December using data collected in September.



Charts relating to responses to ‘England winning the World Cup bid will be the perfect boost to consumer confidence’ across various demographic segments are available on request, cost £50 +VAT