What Soccer Has to Do With It!

The last thing I ever thought I’d be writing about in my Profit Confidential column was soccer. Now, be nice, no booing! Firstly, I dislike watching sports on television. And secondly, what does soccer have to do with it [the economy]?

As it turned out, Italy’s win in the World Cup final did not only create fan riots on the streets of Toronto; it may quite possibly give Italy the necessary boost to shift the country’s economy to the next gear.

Apparently, the Italian government may not have to trim its budget. Winning the World Cup could bring more shoppers and their wallets to the table and help boost the country’s GDP. Go figure: Soccer may have something to do with it after all!

Some officials are even saying that Italy’s 5-3 shootout win over France could bump up the country’s GDP by as much as half a percent. The secret is in the morale boost, which somehow spilled over into the Italian stock market. Now, I won’t pretend I know much about soccer, but I know enough to say that in Europe tempering with anything, let alone with soccer, is a big no-no. And, after the Juventus scandal, winning fair and square the World Cup, of all things, it is no wonder the country is elated and in a major spending mood.

In Italy, big soccer teams are publicly traded stocks. After the Juventus scandal, which is also the public entity controlled by the Agnelli family of the Fiat empire, has gone from a league champion and everyone’s favorite team to a team demoted from the major league.

Plus, on the Milan stock exchange, Juventus was halted more than space shuttle missions, all in attempt to stop it from being flushed down with the rest of the smelly stuff. But, after Italy won the World Cup on Sunday, Juventus’ stock went up almost six percent on Monday.

Typically, countries’ economies with the World Cup winning teams usually slow down during their first years as reigning champions. So, perhaps Italy is jumping the gun here. On the other hand, a billion and a half of viewers worldwide saw Italy’s win. That should be enough for the country to rake in something more than one huge street party and a nasty hangover!