Crowdfunding: a good opportunity for sport
1st September 2015
Co-founder of Fosburit, a sport crowdfunding platform
Reflection published in the Sport and Citizenship’s journal: Sustainable financing of sport
When crowdfunding is applied to sport, it is simply a return to the real essence of the activity: dreams, emotions and sharing. It is also an alternative solution to current budgetary constraints.
The current economic situation and the constraints weighing down on public funding have a direct impact on leisure activities, as can be seen from public subsidies for sports clubs at the local level. The reduction in this funding threatens the existence of sports associations, which therefore need to find innovative solutions.
At the local level, organisations are getting to grips with this and looking for alternative solutions, and crowdfunding is one of these. The idea is simple. In the hope of realising a sporting project – a club in need of new equipment, for example, or an independent athlete wanting personal success through a sport discipline – an appeal is made for crowdfunding, where individuals can contribute so that the funds needed for reaching the objective can be raised.
This phenomenon started with art projects and was quickly adopted by the rest of the economy. It is an alternative to the traditional ways of raising funding and it appeals to the sense of being involved. Crowdfunding platforms are very useful for this: they provide technical support and greater visibility which the project holders use to communicate, through social networks and media. They also offer a good way of testing the targeted public’s response to the project.
The success or failure of a crowdfunding campaign is a reliable guide to the viability of the project. When successful, the results can be a valuable argument with other, traditional sources of support and funding. They represent an empirical guarantee which can reassure and create a climate of confidence.
People give money to projects on crowdfunding platforms for various reasons, all of which contribute to a sharing economy which is booming. People have different motives, from savings on income tax (gifts to associations recognised as serving the public interest) to the sense of sharing or solidarity. It is clear that supporting a project is a way of being part of the action and indulging a passion. It is emotionally satisfying to have a part in constructing the future performance of the athletes funded. Sport is all about emotional involvement, and this is a key factor in crowdfunding, to such an extent that although it is a recent phenomenon, its role in sport funding should not be underestimated. There are more and more initiatives, and perhaps it is no surprise to find that the response of the public is constantly increasing.