The Economics of the World Cup (Know Your Money)

What It Shows

This infographic shows an economic breakdown of the current World Cup tournament, including sponsorships, stadium costs, and more. Warning: it’s a large image!

Why It’s Good

The artwork is well done, and clearly a lot of time was put into making it pretty. I was also curious about these figures for the world cup, so it’s nice to see.

What It’s Missing

The first circular graphic comparing capacity with cost is okay, and while it looks nice, a set of bar graphs would have probably been fine. Having it all on that circular setup suggests that there is something interesting in the relationship between arc lengths and the circumference of the entire circle. The proportion of stadium seating to total seating isn’t actually very interesting, and even then you don’t actually get a sense of what the total seating is. You do get given the total cost, which makes me wonder if it would have been better to have had the stadium capacity as radius, and the arc lengths as costs in order to see those relative proportions.

I like the ball in the middle graphic showing the breakdown of costs to put on the tournament, but it’s just too big, and you need to see the slices of the pie better to get a better relative sense. You can tell, for the most part, but it still seems obstructing. Keep the ball, but shrink it.

The bottom graphic was promising, but the circular portion is actually a bit redundant, despite looking cool. I’m not actually sure what I’m looking at. For example, under PARTNERS, it says US $24-45m per year. Is that what they each bring in? Is that what they bring in as a collective, and I’m meant to multiply that over four years, potentially implied by the indicated fact that the $1.6bn is between 2007-2010? At first glance, I thought there was going to be a breakdown of how much the partners brought in versus the sponsors and national supporters, and how they contribute to the whole. Unfortunately, the green, blue, and yellow circles don’t add up anywhere, and are actually overlayed over each other, just repeating the sponsorship figures given on the right. A bit pointless. Another pie chart would have been more useful, to me.

This promising but in the end disappointing infographic can be found here.