Motorsports generates €160 billion in revenues globally

23 July 2021 2 min. read
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The global motorsports industry generated €159.2 billion of business impact in the world’s economy. Directly and indirectly, this means the industry supports more than 1 million jobs around the world.

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) governs world motorsports including touring, sportscar, drag racing, and rally car events. In order to examine the global economic contribution of the motorsports industry, it enlisted strategy consultancy EY-Parthenon to create a first-of-its kind report of the global market.

The motorsport industry is made up of a complex web of components. Spread across 7,200 facilities, tracks and circuits, it has 2.7 million active participants, including competitors, officials, marshals and volunteers, and non-competing club members – and is governed by 146 governing bodies – including the FIA itself, and National Sporting Authorities (ASN).


As part of its research, EY-Parthenon drew on over 20,000 surveys, existing data sources from the FIA, and consultation with industry stakeholders. While it did not account for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as it focused on the financial year 2019, the report found that the industry had seen direct, gross output grow by approximately 90% since 2007 – leaping to €59 billion from €31 billion in 2007. This would make global motorsport’s combined economic output one-third larger than that of the world’s 25 smallest countries.

The huge size of the industry means that direct participants of the industry spend additional money at local facilities wherever their events take place – and this money spent at restaurants, for example, by event attendees is allocated between the additional material inputs like food and drink, wages, and profits of the proprietor. At the same time, global motorsport also prompts a large amount of indirect output, as wages spent by the employees of those businesses circulates the money throughout a broader section of the economy. According to EY-Parthenon, this amounts to more than €99 billion.

Breakdown of output, by industry type

Both these kinds of output create a huge amount of work. The global motorsport industry supports more than 1.5 million jobs globally by EY-Parthenon’s reckoning – with 576,000 supported by direct output, and 924,000 via indirect output.

Beyond paid employment, the industry also creates numerous opportunities for workers to gain experience and skills as volunteers. The industry had 302,000 unpaid formal officials, marshalls, and volunteers in 2019.

Commenting on the report’s findings, FIA President Jean Todt remarked, “This report reveals that the motorsport industry represents €160 billion total annual gross output… This is remarkable and it demonstrates that our sport efficiently contributes to the rebound of the economy in Covid-19 times. I thank EY-Parthenon, our Member Clubs, FIA championships promoters and all those who have participated in this global interest study.”