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England wins more than just a match with the 2018 World Cup

July 26, 2018
Meetings Mean Business

When England beat Sweden to reach its first World Cup semi-final in 28 years, some reported on the benefits of having fans from across the country come together face-to-face.

Yet, as Michael Caulfield, a sports psychologist, noted in an interview for the BBC, the English were “reveling in the chance to come together in a show of patriotism.”

“The country [was] quite divided at the moment and the England football team [was] transcending it all and giving a bit of unity, hope and pride in being English,” Caulfield said.

In a politically tumultuous and divided time, the World Cup provided the catalyst for bringing people together and inviting citizens to look past their differences and share a single identity as fans. The competition generated a feel-good atmosphere, increased profits amongst local businesses, and a sense of unity that had long been absent.

As is often the case with major face-to-face sporting events, the World Cup not only cultivate a feel-good atmosphere, but also result in significant economic benefits.

According to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), England’s economy added more than £1bn this year. In its comments on the last World Cup, the CRR maintained, “Every goal scored by an England footballer – right the way to the final – would be worth £165.3m to England's retailers and an extra £33.2m to pubs, hotels and restaurants."

Professor Joshua Bamfield, CRR director, further suggested, “The spending patterns also fit in with the current retail theme of 'experience'. People want to spend their money going to the pub or having a barbecue with their friend and watching the match."

So while England may not have made it to the big game, the country may have won more than just matches in the World Cup.