Skip to main content


Growing up, we have been told repeatedly – winning is not as important as competing.   Events like the Olympics, with the famed Olympic spirit mantra, reinforce this message.  But how pragmatic is this notion of ‘competing’ as opposed to ‘winning’. Let us leave philosophy aside for a bit and look at this question from a purely commercial angle.

Both Roger Federer and David Nalbandian have been in the professional tennis circuit for around the same amount of time.  Early evidence suggests that both of them were equally talented (with David winning almost all matches he played against Roger).  But over the years Roger has figured out how to win – not just against David but also against the other players.  As of now - Roger has taken home 8 times more money than Nalbandian has.  (73M Vs. 11 M).  Both are top-notch tennis players and yet, the difference is so stark.

And this is just one part of the story.  The other part (and the bigger part) is the sponsorships/endorsements that these players win.  Let us look at that picture.  Andy Murray recently lost in the finals at Wimbledon.  The value of annual contracts that Murray had before the match was around £24 Mil Euros.  If he had won, it was estimated that the annual value of endorsements for Murray would have exceeded  £100 Mil.  And since he lost, it is expected that he will earn closer to £50 Mil Euros.  So the cost of losing that single match was around £50 Mil. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/wimbledon/9385189/Wimbledon-2012-Andy-Murray-could-earn-100m-if-he-wins-in-final.html

So the next time you talk to your kids, what is your advice going to be?   Knowing the facts – can you truthfully say that winning is not that important??

Comments

  1. I am the other extreme. For me winning is mostly what matters.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guess you teach them that losing battles is OK but winning the war is important and some battles are key to winning the war :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. For every sportsperson, every loss presents a learning opportunity... Each loss hurts them a lot, they take a day or two (often weeks) to come to terms with it and move on... Most people learn about their limitations and about strengths of their opponents and do a better job next time around - at least they try to... Andy Murray also would have learnt quite a few lessons, the biggest of them would probably be the 50 million euros that he lost in endorsements!! He will move on and be back only to win next year... Such is sport :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fan Data Analytics: Key to drive sports company growth

Over the last several years, the buzz word in business and IT circles has been "big-data" and analytics. Many many articles and write-ups talk about them so I won't go into the details. You could get enough to last a lifetime with just the first few results of a Google search of these terms. But do you really know how it applies, specifically to a sports company? For long, sports franchises have been one of the biggest users of analytics. Before this was a buzz word, coaches and managers have relied up numbers and finding patterns in them to drive on-field performance. Indeed, the major leagues of the world have relied on performance analytics for everything from scouting for talent to calling the action on the field of play. But that never transcended to the off-field, more mundane but equally important task of managing the sports business. As more and more options come up vying for the fan's attention - live events, travel, other sports, TV, the Internet - the

Need for co-ed sports

Now, this is hardly a feminist piece. I am not here to tell you that women can do anything that men can and better too. One, you know it too. Two, this is hardly about women. I am not here to praise women and demand better rights. I am talking about the possibility that the entire field of sports can take a whole new meaning if gender is not made the criterion. So this is how the idea for the blog started. The Women’s Indian Cricket Team performed really well at the world cup this year. Mithali Raj praised her team for their hard work, persistence, and passion for the game. She also added that there should be an IPL tournament in the country for the women’s team now. Raj believes that the team’s fantastic game has increased the fan following for the women’s team as well and that they have earned their place here. While I am honestly not sure about an IPL tournament for women, it did get me thinking. Why not mixed sports? Now that girls play almost all the games that the guys do, w

Editor's Pick (ODI Finals): Bangladesh - Sri Lanka

The finals are finally here. Bangladesh meets Sri Lanka leaving Zimbabwe out. You might think that being home series for Bangladesh, it is really no big deal. But it really is not so. Sri Lanka lost home series. Now Australia is facing severe defeat by England. There is no such thing that it is normal for the home team to win anymore. Plus I would really like to appreciate Bangladesh for the way they are making into the big league of cricket today. If you look at the points table, you will see that Bangladesh won three out of four matches. Their points - 15 - are almost four times the score of Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka, with 9 points, made it to the finals. The last match saw Sri Lanka Beat Bangladesh. The only match that the home team ever lost. Makes you wonder if Bangladesh peaked a tad too early, doesn’t it? It was a comprehensive win for Sri Lanka. Bangladesh were 82 all out in 24 overs. Sri Lanka hit the target in less than 12 overs and won by ten wickets. It was really a o