The Sports Industry in Broward County

For the past few decades, the sports industry has brought millions of people together to compete and share quality time with friends and family. Believe it or not, Broward County is home to more than 300 sporting events each year! Greater Fort Lauderdale is a sporting enthusiast’s dream because of our ideal location which supports year-round events, including tournaments, championship games, and special events. Our unique location draws many athletes, even during their off-season, as well as their friends and family. Many tourists who come to Fort Lauderdale for sporting events will add additional days pre - and post - order to explore what the city has to offer. Their visitation has a large economic impact for our community.

Sports Hall of FameAre you yourself an athlete? Beyond Greater Fort Lauderdale being a hotspot destination for the sports industry, did you know that our county has produced many famous athletes? Every year the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame honors and recognizes Broward County residents that have set the standard of excellence and positively affected our community through sports and athletic involvement. Athletes such as Dan Marino, Roberto Luongo, Chris Evert and Jason Taylor are past hall of famers. With commitment and hard work, you could also be featured one day as a Broward County Hall of Famer!

If you love sports, you may be interested to work in the Sports Industry once you are older. In 2018 alone, the North American sports market had a value of about $71.06 billion U.S. dollars! This figure is expected to rise to $83.1 billion by 2023. The market value is composed of gate revenues, media rights, sponsorships, and merchandising. According to an article in 2013, the number of jobs in the sport industry in the United States was roughly about 450,000. Today, the number of job opportunities in the sports sector has increased dramatically over the last 7 years.

What sports do you play or enjoy watching? Do you play more than one sport? Before we see you on TV in a few years, let’s take a look at a few local sporting tournaments that our city has hosted in the past. You may recognize one or more of these events - and even have attended one! You can find a fun, exciting game throughout the year to attend and experience all the hype in one place.

Florida Panthers Hockey

Are you a hockey fan? As you may know, the Florida Panthers is our local professional hockey team located in Sunrise. The season is structured into a pre-season, then regular season, and then the Stanley Cup playoffs. The pre-season is generally held during the last two weeks of September. Each team plays several not-for-the-record exhibition games. In the regular season, which generally runs from early October through early April, the hockey teams play 82 games which determine their standings. The three highest-placed teams in each division and two wild card teams per conference enter the playoff elimination tournament to determine the Stanley Cup champion.

Did you know that the NHL’s All-Star game will be held at the BB&T Center this coming season? The National Hockey League (NHL) All-Stars Game is an exhibition ice hockey game that is traditionally held during the regular season, with many of the league's star players playing against each other. The All-Star Game is usually held in late January or early February because it marks the symbolic halfway point in the regular season. Each team plays with four players. The proceeds from the game benefit the pension fund for the players.

Kreul Classic High School Basketball Tournament

Is basketball your favorite sport? Do you want to see some of the world’s best young players showing off their amazing skills? If so, then you should try to catch the Kreul Classic Basketball Tournament in Coral Springs! This is a premier national high school basketball tournament that provides exceptional exposure for aspiring student-athletes. This high-profile event encompasses top-caliber competition, celebrity guests, motivational speakers, individual skills contests and more. In the past 28 years, nearly 20,000 participants representing 26 states, Canada, and the Bahamas, have tested their hardwood skills on the court.

One important piece of this tournament is the ability to acquire a basketball scholarship to assist with tuition costs for students to attend university. The tournament is partnered with key companies and organizations such as Publix, Broward County Athletic Association, and Florida Atlantic University to award academic scholarships to eligible students. They have awarded 70 four-year academic tuition scholarships for FAU and numerous monetary awards in varying amounts. During the tournament, teams compete in six independent divisions: four eight-team brackets and two four-team pool play brackets. They are also proud to honor their roots by hosting two girls' exhibition games.

Junior Orange Bowl Tennis Championship

Do you admire the footwork and power swings of tennis icons such as Serena William or Roger Federer? The Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship is one of the most important and prestigious junior tennis tournaments in the world. Did you know that most successful tennis players have played this tournament for the last 60 years? From 1999 to 2010, the tournament had been held each December at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida. Since 2011, it has been held at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation.

This globally recognized event brings together over 1,300 of the top ranked male and female 18-and-under junior players representing 76 countries. The tournament boasts an impressive alumni list of current pros including: Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova, Alexander Zverev, Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori, and Andy Murray. Lastly, how can we forget our American tennis player, John Isner? Who won 2018 Miami Open and was the 2016 Honorary Chair of the Junior Orange Bowl Tennis Championship. Over the past 57 years, tennis legends such as Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors, Mary Joe Fernandez, Monica Seles, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf have participated. 

USA Volleyball Indoor High-Performance Championship

How high can you jump? The High-Performance Championships are a major step in USA Volleyball’s Path to the Podium. The event is a coed international tournament held in the United States with the purpose of developing the international game of youth athletes in the United States. In 2019, the tournament was held at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center, which last hosted the games in 2017.

USA Volleyball Indoor High-Performance ChampionshipApproximately 145 regional High Performance teams, international teams, and teams from the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline will participate. Currently registered international teams include Canada, Chile, Liberia, New Zealand, Peru and Puerto Rico.  This year’s competition will take place in Pittsburgh, PA.

Career Corner:

Sports Agent: They act as a legal representative (hence agent) for professional sports figures such as athletes and coaches. They procure and negotiate employment and endorsement contracts for the athlete or coach whom they represent. Because of the unique characteristics of the sports industry, sports agents are responsible for communications with team owners, managers, and other individuals. Also, they are responsible for making recommendations. In addition to finding income sources, agents often handle public relations matters for their clients. In some large sports agencies, such as IMG, Creative Artists Agency, Roc Nation Sports and Octagon, agents deal with all aspects of a client's finances, from investment to filing taxes.

Sports Scout: They are experienced talent evaluators who travel extensively for the purposes of watching athletes play their chosen sports and determining whether their set of skills and talents represent what is needed by the scout's organization. Some scouts are interested primarily in the selection of prospects - younger players who may require further development by the acquiring team but who are judged to be worthy of that effort and expense for the potential future payoff that it could bring. Others concentrate on players who are already polished professionals whose rights may be available soon, either through free agency or trading, and who are filling a team's specific need at a certain position.

Lesson Questions:

  1. About how many sporting events does Broward County host every year?
  2. Does your school have any sports program? If so which ones?
  3. Name 3 Broward County’s Sport Hall of famers?
  4. Has your school ever taken a field trip to any professional games?
  5. Why do you think sports tourism is good for Broward County’s economy?
  6. Has your school ever won a state title? If so, which sport?
  7. Who plays in the Hockey All Stars Games and how many players play in each team?
  8. In the last 28 years, how many basketball players have played in the Kreul Tornament?
  9. About how many different nationalities does the Orange Bowl attract?
  10. How many times has Greater Fort Lauderdale hosted the USA Volleyball Indoor High-Performance Championship?