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How Football Created Entire New Industries

Football is a multi-billion pound industry that continues to grow, and it’s managed to create entirely new industries too. Find out more here

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Football was first played in England around the mid-19th century, and since then the sport has become one of the most popular in the world. It’s played in most countries and there are now hundreds of football clubs, all of which have large fan followings. Football is a multi-billion pound industry that continues to grow, and it’s managed to create entirely new industries too.

Console Gaming

Football has become so popular among the general public that it’s made its way to video games. There are now dozens of popular football video game franchises, with some of the most well-known being FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer, UEFA European Championship, and Football Manager. All of these games allow players to play as famous footballers or manage football teams.

The most successful football video game franchise is FIFA from EA Sports. The first game of the franchise launched in 1993 for the Mega Drive before being ported to other consoles. Since FIFA 95, there’s been one FIFA game a year and the franchise has expanded to modern-day consoles, including PC, PlayStation 5, and the Xbox Series S and X consoles. It’s known as the best-selling sports video game franchise in the world according to the Guinness World Records and is one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time.

FIFA along with all other football-themed video games have earned billions of pounds by selling copies of the games, selling expansions to games, and through video game microtransactions. However, it’s worth pointing out that although these games bring in billions of pounds, the developers and publishers are required to pay major fees to use FIFA branding, football clubs, and the likeness of football players too.

Sports Betting & Gambling

Hundreds of people enjoy betting on football, and a UK Gambling Commission report released in November 2020 covering the period of April 2019 and March 2020 found that GGY for betting was £2,329.7 million.

The UKGC study also found that football was the biggest contributor, making up 48.4% of all bets, followed by horse betting at 28%. Football remains one of the most popular sports to wager on, partially due to the sheer number of football matches and events that take place each year, including the UEFA European Championship, the FIFA World Cup, the Champions League, the Premier League, and more.

It’s not just sports betting that football is popular in, as some casino game developers have created football-themed video slots. While most of these casino games are generic and don’t use specific branding, some developers have signed deals with FIFA to create games based on the tournament’s branding, such as Dream Tech’s FIFA World Cup video slot. If you want to have a glimpse at these games and others, check out the website, a resource with thousands of slot reviews.


Merchandise is another huge part of football. Football clubs sell a variety of merchandise to fans, including football kits themed after players for men, women, and children, as well trousers, jackets, hoodies, toys, games, memorabilia, and plenty more. Football clubs make billions of pounds off merchandise, particularly from jerseys and kits, and they reinvest the money into the club, improving training facilities, paying employees, and helping local communities.

Football clubs also use the money to finance player transfers, some of which can be incredibly expensive. Most recently, Manchester United agreed to pay a whopping €15 million to transfer Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus to the football club. In addition to the eye-watering sum, Manchester United agreed to pay a maximum of €8 million in add-ons dependent on Ronaldo’s and the club’s success during the player’s time at the football club.

While the fee Manchester United had to pay to acquire Cristiano Ronaldo is high, it’s nothing compared to the money they earned from Ronaldo’s jersey merchandise. According to online sports retailer Fanatics, Ronald’s number 7 shirt sold more in a single day than any other player’s, and analysis from I Love The Sales claims that the jersey has generated over $219 million in sales, covering the transfer fees and more.

Football is a gigantic multi-billion pound industry thanks to all of the above, and it’s continually growing. We’re not sure how football is going to keep growing and changing, but it’s likely that we’ll see even more football video games and casino titles, and expect to see more record-breaking merch sales as fans just can’t get enough of the sport.

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