by Alessandro Zheng
Football fan William Salim travelled from Indonesia to watch the mighty clash between Italian champion team Juventus and the Australian A-league All Stars at the ANZ Stadium on August 10. As honorary president of Juventus in Indonesia, he was happy to see his team beat Australia 3-2.
“I am very happy to join in this wonderful event,” Mr Salim said. “Before coming to the stadium, I buy three kits in the shopping centre, ne for me, two for my sons.”
As Mr Salim knows, football is an important part of the culture in the world. The Iuemag website shows football, played by over 250 million players in over 200 countries, is the world’s most popular sport. Research by the website Top-end-sports shows that the most popular sports in Australia are Australian Rules Football, followed by cricket, and then football, that is, soccer.
While football brings lots of things to the community, such as vitality and fun, it does much more to promote sports equipment industry. As Richard Tse, a salesman at a Sydney retail sports store, said, “Sales of football equipment are more than we ever expected. I think the FIFA World Cup started a trend. During this year, a lot of advertisements on TV and radio motivated people to engage in the activities.” He said he sold some 500 Juventus kits during thie event.
Devoted fans who live for the game are another reason for football’s success. Robert Wellington, of Event Development at the ANZ Stadium, said, “ I appreciate that 55,364 fans came to see the match and created such an amazing atmosphere in stadium.”
The same happened in last year’s contest between Manchester United and the A-league All Stars, with approximately 80,000 fans at ANZ Stadium. That event resulted in media headlines.
“This is the importance of such successful sport event,” said Mark Ellis, football director at the International Soccer Academy. “Football is a sport that the family can enjoy; and it is a good topic of conversation between colleagues and classmates.”
Tourism is another industry that has benefited from big sporting events like the Juventus A-league All Stars contest. Hundreds of visitors poured into Sydney for the event, stimulating increased business at the city’s hotels, restaurants and shopping centres. As William Salim said, “I came to Australia because of this event. Now I have fallen in love with Sydney and I will come again as soon as possible.”