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MEB conferences: importance of sport in Monegasque economy

Les intervenants de cette table ronde étaient interrogés par Christian Huault, Rédacteur en Chef à Nice-Matin
The speakers at the round table were interviewed by Christian Huault, Editor in Chief at Nice-Matin © MEB/ P.H. Sébastien Darrasse

At a conference organised by the Club Eco Monaco, in partnership with the Nice-Matin group, the members of the Monaco Economic Board discussed the importance of sports events and their contribution to the local economy. 

They are household names: Grand Prix, E-Prix, Rallye de Monaco, Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Jumping Monte-Carlo, Diamond League meeting, international football and basketball teams… the list goes on… The Principality is home to many of the biggest sporting events in the world, but also to many athletes of the highest calibre, who are residents here.

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© MEB / P.H. Sébastien Darrasse
© MEB / P.H. Sébastien Darrasse

Sport, a vector for successful business and tourism

Monegasque entrepreneurs know this very well because it is also a major asset for the image, attractiveness and prosperity of their business. Alexandre Bubbio, Director of the Monegasque Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (IMSEE – Monaco Statistics), provided some figures on companies whose business is directly sports-related: 287 such business generated a turnover of 448 million euros in 2023, employing 1301 people.

Claire Fissore, Head of the Marketing Division in the Tourism and Congress Department, also spoke on this topic: “It is interesting to note that the average price of hotel rooms is highest in May, the month of the Grand Prix, and not in August, which is usually the case for this type of destination.”

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Sportel as an example

Several speakers pointed out that sport is an integral part of the Principality’s DNA. This gives it real legitimacy when it comes to business tourism. The events company Monaco Mediax, who has been organising Sportel since 1990, has certainly grasped this.

Loris Menoni, the event’s Executive Director, says that in 2023 the Sportel attracted 2,000 decision-makers from the industry, from 71 countries around the world, to the Principality.

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Football’s popularity, with AS Monaco

Thibaut Chatelard, AS Monaco’s Marketing and Revenue Director, spoke about the multinational dimension of the football team, citing Japanese player Takomi Minamino, who is incredibly popular in his home country.

Having picked up on this notoriety, ASM has organised press trips to Monaco for Japanese journalists, indirectly contributing to the Principality’s appeal. He also mentioned that the Club’s social media platforms have a total of 24 million subscribers.

The prestigious Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

Geoffroy Bourbon, the ATP Tour’s Executive Vice President Europe, pointed out that the tennis tournament attracts ovr 140,000 spectators at the venue every year. The tournament also has a significant media footprint, reaching 40 million viewers worldwide and generating 167 million views on social media.

Speaking to Monaco Info, he explained that the tournament’s development is innovative despite, or because of, its constraints: “In Monaco, the growth possibilities are impacted because of the relief unfortunately, and the infrastructure as it stands. Nevertheless, the ATP Masters Monte-Carlo management challenges itself each year to find ways to provide an even better welcome for the players, spectators and fans.”

An international brand image thanks to the Grand Prix

Finally, Richard Micoud, Head of Communications and Media at the Automobile Club de Monaco, spoke about the economic impact of the Grand Prix, estimated at €90 million in 2017. Over 60 Monegasque companies help transform the Principality into a Formula 1 circuit every year. A real challenge in terms of logistics and expertise.

He also pointed out the 30,000 press articles generated worldwide by the Grand Prix, valued at over €200 million euros. Without a doubt, Monaco and sport go hand in hand.