Economics at your fingertips  

Cristiano of Arabia: Did Ronaldo increase Saudi Pro League attendances?

Carl Singleton and Dominik Schreyer ()
Additional contact information
Dominik Schreyer: Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Unternehmensführung (WHU)

No em-dp2023-14, Economics Discussion Papers from Department of Economics, University of Reading

Abstract: In December 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo, five-time Ballon d'Or winner and the most-followed person on Instagram, signed a reported 200million euros contract to play football in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for two and a half years. This marked one of several recent ground-shaking and expensive interventions by the KSA in global sports markets. We exploit the timing of this event, mid-way through a season of the Saudi Pro League, to estimate superstar effects. There are clear patterns showing that Ronaldo alone increased stadium attendance demand in the KSA, even before the influx of further stars in the summer of 2023. On average, Ronaldo helped to fill an additional 20% of the seats in his home team's stadium when he played, 15% of the seats in the stadiums he visited, and 3% of the seats where he did not even play. These effects may be the tip of the iceberg in terms of what policymakers will be hoping for. Regardless, they demonstrate that the astronomical sums being invested in sports markets by the Saudi state are not necessarily a total folly.

Keywords: Attendance; Demand; Externalities; Football; Spectator sports; Superstars (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L39 L83 Z2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 17 pages
Date: 2023-08-26
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara, nep-cul and nep-spo
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) ... 23/08/emdp202314.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Economics Discussion Papers from Department of Economics, University of Reading Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Alexander Mihailov ().

Page updated 2023-11-28
Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2023-14