Football: Euro success nets Russia $40 million

The Russian football team's success in qualifying for Euro-2008 is set to bring a windfall for the economy. Millions of dollars are expected to pour into the country as advertisers, merchandisers, and broadcasters take advantage of renewed enthusiasm for

The English economy will lose up to $US 2 BLN from losing to Croatia in the qualification games. This does not mean though that Russia will automatically get this money by making it to Euro-2008.

“The maximum effect will be around $US 40 MLN,” says Robert Voskerichyan, a professor from Moscow’s Institute of Business.

The Russian merchandising industry is not even close to the level of development in other countries. Currently those who will benefit most economically are television stations broadcasting the matches, commercial producers advertising during prime time and the Russian Football Association that will receive money from UEFA for making it to the tournament. Russian merchandise producers and sports bars are still lacking customers.

However, for many people football is not about the money. Above all it’s a sport.

“It’s not only the quantitative aspect of the amount of advertising revenue, it’s also an important way of promoting football and it’s key role in raising the quality of life,” says Yaroslav Lissovolik, Chief Economist of Deutsche Bank.

Specialists say that sport can become a serious investment opportunity for countries that host major football games on their territory. The Russian Football Association pulled out of Russia's bid to host the European Championships in 2012. the tournament will now take place in Ukraine and Poland. This will see an estimated investment inflow of $US 10 BLN. However, Russia is thought to be considering a bid for the World Cup in 2018.