With the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 kicking off this week, the tournament, featuring an expanded 32-team format from the previous 24, will for the first time be co-hosted by two countries, Australia and New Zealand. Experts from the University of Michigan are available for comment.
Marcos Rosentraub is the Bruce and Joan Bickner Professor of Sport Management and director of the Center for Sport Facilities and Real Estate Development at the School of Kinesiology. He can talk about economics and sports management; tourism, services and social and economic development.
“The World Cup tournaments produce small economic impacts in the short term. If a host country can host the competitions without building new venues and unnecessary infrastructure, the games and their economic impact can be quite positive (revenues exceed expenses),” he said.
“Those countries, including Australia, that built venues for international competitions that were not needed on an ongoing basis, found that the cost of hosting games and competitions can exceed the economic gains. However, hosting the competition is a great social experience and fans across the country will be in for an extraordinary experience. While those benefits are real and vital, it is important that host countries minimize investments in venues and other infrastructure assets that are not needed after the games conclude.”
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Stefan Szymanski is the Stephen J. Galetti Collegiate Professor of Sports Management and Co-Director of the Michigan Center for Sports Management in the School of Kinesiology. He is a leading expert on the economics of sports in general and soccer in particular. Author of several books, including the New York Times bestseller “Soccernomics,” he can analyze the economic impact and legacy of the Women’s World Cup.
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erik gordon is a clinical assistant professor of business administration at the Ross School of Business. His areas of interest include entrepreneurship and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity, investment banking, transportation, and digital and mobile marketing.
“Big sporting events like the WWC bring a mix of excitement, pride and disappointment to their hosts, who tend to overestimate the economic benefits,” he said. “Consultants hired to justify the expense of organizing events have a mystical way of counting every dollar that visitors spend two or three times over. They underestimate the costs. They treat the costs of infrastructure improvements as capital expenditures, not costs, and they underestimate the costs of crowd control and security.
“The economic benefits are concentrated in the hotels and restaurants that fill up; and also in the construction industry that works overtime to build the facilities. There is a mini-boom during games, followed by a mini-bust after the games close. Some events leave unpaid bills and a debt load that lasts a decade. The biggest benefit is often the pride hosts take in hosting games that are in the global spotlight. The biggest beneficiaries of host pride are countries that have not hosted major events and can now show that they are capable of hosting an event as big as the WWC.”
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aradna krishna, Dwight F. Benton Professor of Marketing at the Ross School of Business. He can talk about equal pay rights, viewership and ticket prices at the World Cup, which is on track to become the most attended women’s sporting event in history.
“American women are losing control over their bodies in the battle over abortion. However, they thunder on another battlefield. We rule in football,” she said. “The global audience for women’s soccer has been growing rapidly and a lot of the credit must go to the US women’s soccer team and their World Cup victories. These victories brought them a huge audience in the US (approximately 50:50 men and women), perhaps the largest number for a women’s sport in the US.
“Their victories also earned them public support; and male soccer players’ support for equal pay with men (after all, women’s soccer is watched by more people in the US than men’s soccer). When US soccer did well in profits, Europe followed suit by advertising women’s soccer leagues and building tournaments. The US Women’s Soccer team and US Women’s Soccer spectators have lifted up the sport and given women the right to rule with their bodies (and minds) and rule equally with men. The same belief in women and the right to govern their bodies is necessary for more basic human rights.
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Stacy Lynn Santassistant professor of sports management at the School of Kinesiology, conducts research focused on the legacy of sports mega-events, supply strategies, and leveraging these events for long-term benefits for the tourism industry in the city and region hostesses.
“Even before the start of the event, the athletes are drawing attention to human rights issues,” he said. “In addition to championing women’s sport globally, several athletes are involved in a climate campaign to highlight the environmental impact of international soccer tournaments. Athletes are using the media attention associated with the event to advocate for causes important to them.
“While Western Australia is set to welcome record numbers of international visitors, New Zealand has struggled to sell tickets and hotel bookings are less than expected. Considered long-haul destinations for Western travelers, visa requirements, expensive flights and low interest in traveling to New Zealand have led sponsors to give away free tickets to fill places. The biggest draws for hosting a World Cup are visitation and tourism revenue, and it looks like New Zealand will miss their projections.”
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FOOTBALL TACTICS AND ANALYSIS
Jennifer Klein is the head coach of the UM women’s soccer program. She can talk about soccer and the tactical tendencies of the game.
“The World Cup is always an exciting time of the year. So much football to watch. It’s a great opportunity to see different styles of play on display as each team/country completes to advance to the final,” he said. “As a football coach or fan, the games provide a great opportunity to observe, evaluate and learn the formations, schemes and tactics. You can also witness the new trends in the women’s game and how skins will trickle down to other levels of the game.
“With the expansion of the tournament to 32 teams, we will have the opportunity to see many new countries compete for the first time in a World Cup. It will also be fun to watch and see how the styles and philosophies of each team/country stack up against each other.”
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CULTURE AND SPORTS
Andrey Markovitsthe Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies, wrote the book “Different Evolutionary Models—Past, Present, and Future—Certain to Collide at Women’s World Cup 2023” and co-wrote “Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism” and “Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Policy and Culture.” She will attend the games in Australia this year, her fourth women’s world cup.
“This World Cup will see a showdown between the North American collegiate model of women’s football (soccer) and its club-based European counterpart,” he said. “This is a unique tournament in the women’s game. Very different from the previous ones because the game has become a cultural dimension.
“It used to be something exotic. It used to be marginal, but in the last 4-5 years it has become a major political and cultural construction. After being treated like unwanted interlopers by the football establishments in every European country, women have gained a full, even enthusiastic, acceptance of European club-based culture, including its time-tested player development apparatus. .
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ketra armstrong, professor of sports management and director of the Center for Race and Ethnicity in Sport at the School of Kinesiology. She is a former NCAA Division I scholarship student-athlete, coach (women’s basketball), and athletic administrator. Over the years, she has held integral roles in advisory/consulting, research, management, marketing, and/or media relations for numerous youth, community, collegiate, professional, and international sporting events.
“This is an exciting time for women’s sports. Although a male-centric gender ideology is still firmly entrenched in the institution of sport, women’s sports are growing in popularity and their socio-cultural importance is being recognized,” she said. “Women athletes feel more empowered and use their sports platforms to advocate for civil liberties, equality and justice in and out of competition.
“Historically, the Women’s World Cup has played a key role in galvanizing the world of sport and showcasing women’s place in it. I am really looking forward to seeing the images and hearing the narratives that will unfold and be highlighted in this edition of the Women’s World Cup.”
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scott campbellthe Constance F. and Arnold C. Pohs Professor of Telecommunications and Professor of Communication and Media and Digital Studies, can discuss the uses and impact of mobile and social media during the World Cup.
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Thomas Finholt, an information teacher at the Information School, can talk about the instrumented ball that will be used in this year’s Women’s World Cup and what it tells us about soccer matches and their results. She can also talk about the handheld devices players use and the use of advanced stats.
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