Ever since the inclusion of rowing in the Olympic Games in the 18th century, rowing has taken a different twist and is now recognized as a business venture around the world. Rowing institutions and individuals participate in rowing not because it is a sport but also as a business venture. To individual oarsmen, rowing has provided them a constant supply of income which helps them sustain their daily lives. On the other hand, many institutions have come out to promote rowing through sponsorship deals and management. Some are profit organizations while others are non-profit organizations. This paper will highlight the reasons on how rowing has become a business around the world.
The proliferation of rowing clubs in the world brought key players in the industry who wanted to manage the sport like a business (Edmonds et al., 442). Therefore, clubs started to be run by organizations that facilitated it. This has brought the aspect of registration and subscription of members where the member contribution sustained the budget of the organizations. Furthermore, the management provided coaching services alongside other rowing facilities such as transportation and accommodation (Marcolin et al., 464). Through the engagement, rowing has become a business for the organization manning the clubs where they generate profits from club`s success such as titles and member registrations.
Furthermore, other companies see boat racing as a business venture. These companies provide for the necessities in the rowing competitions such as rowing shells, oars, rowing gears among others (Mayglothling, Rosie, & Tristan, 202). For instance, Adirondack Rowing is a company in the United States that provides both new and used rowing shells worldwide. Other businesses have ventured into providing lessons to potential rowers at a fee. This has enabled the businesses to thrive considering the huge number of potential rowers worldwide and the popularity the sport has gained.
Moreover, the art of advertisement has taken charge in the rowing races. Many advertising companies have used rowing to market their products and services. The marketing companies paint the boats with brands of the products and services they offer. On the other hand, other companies have come forward to sponsor boat racing as a marketing strategy. The sponsors for rowing competitions include Regatta Central, Boat House Sports, Connect-a-dock, and Jan Sport among others. During the sponsorship, the companies stage various advertising posts in a bid to improve their sales basing on the target group from the spectators in the racing competitions.
The organizers of the racing competitions also engage in rowing as a business. In a rowing race, there are many sources of funding. These include, sponsorship from the government, sporting associations, businesses, individual clubs, and spectators. Therefore, the organizers collect this funds and facilitate the main racing using the funds they have raised. This includes purchasing of the medals and paying the rowers. For instance, the organizers convene the racing clubs for the competitions where the participants contribute some amount to the organizers. On the other hand, the organizers buy prizes using the same contribution. Mostly, the organizers retain more funds than what they have distributed towards facilitating the main regatta.
Similarly, rowing tourism has also been aided by the spread of rowing around the world. As a sport, rowing has been a major tourism attraction. Most spectators gravitate to the riversides to watch the racing competitions. Besides, some of the spectators who engage in rowing for leisure rent boats where they enjoy themselves rowing. This promotes tourism activities along the river banks thereby improving the living standards of the locals. Furthermore, many trainers are willing to train potential rowers at a fee. These coaches engage in the business of training those that are ready to enjoy rowing for leisure purposes.
The Canadian Henley Rowing Corporation facilitates rowing competitions in Canada. For instance, the corporation facilitated a rowing regatta for six days in 2016. The competition brought together over 2500 competitors from Mexico, United States, and Canada among others. On the other hand, the corporation supervises the ticketing in the events where the participants and spectators pay for attending the events. Furthermore, the corporation accepts donations and contributions from volunteers who facilitate the programs such as training and maintenance of rowing facilities.
In Canada, weekend adventure tours are usually held periodically. These adventure tours attract many physically fit and experienced rowers and involve rowing through rough waters and sculling for about forty kilometers per day. These adventure tours usually take place on weekends, and the local organizers for the adventure hire camping lodges along the river banks. Therefore, this provides a business opportunity for local lodgings and restaurant to have a broad range of customers hence a source of business. Additionally, the local organizers also stage leisure tours that involve rowing in a scenic lake or river. The organizers also provide meals during lunch and tea breaks. This in a way is a form of business since the local restaurants are hired to provide outside catering services. Therefore, these restaurants make more profits during rowing activities. The participants in these leisure rowing tours usually pay the subscription and registration fees to the organizers hence making the organizers also to be in business. The organizers also facilitate leisure competitions for high school students in Canada. Leisure enables the students to embrace boat race as a relaxing activity and not only as a competitive sport. This, in turn, plants the aspirations from the students to pursue rowing at an advanced stage, therefore, creating room for more coaches to be employed to teach them on how to row. This leisure for the students is usually organized at off-peak seasons thereby creating a constant supply of revenue to the organizers.
Moreover, vacation rowing tours such as the Federation Internationale des Societes d'Aviro (FISA) annual tours are also organized during the weekdays, and the tour takes place for several days. These vacation tours attract more spectators from all over the world who have a liking for rowing as a sport. Some of the spectators are rowers who engage in rowing as a recreation activity and are usually ready to exhibit their prowess for a challenge. Since the participants come from various regions of the world, there is the need for the provision of accommodation, transportation, food, drinks among other amenities. Therefore, the organizers position themselves to tap into the idea in providing other excursions, transport services and arrange for sight-seeing events. This significantly offers employment for many Canadians.
Finally, competitive touring events including relays and marathons are also organized by rowing companies. This gives the sport a competitive dimension that appeals to the youth and other businesses in team-building tours. The organizers also make sure that the rowing tour is done in a more stable and wider rowing shells so that the participants with less experience in rowing can blend in and have fun too. This has the effect of increasing awareness of the sport and therefore gives more room for future training on the desiring new participants.
Similarly, rowing has become a business to other companies dealing in the manufacturing of rowing regalia such as Powerhouse Clothing Company in the United Kingdom and Regatta Sports Company in Canada. For instance, Henley Royal Regatta is a sporting and social event where the spectators and the participants adorn formal rowing regalia since 1839 in England. Therefore, the manufacturers of the regalia make sure that they supply enough pieces to the event for both training and the main event. This, in turn, generates them more income. With the increasing recognition of boat races, the companies are also making global supplies for the costumes.
Moreover, other companies have come forward to support boat racing activities through providing insurance policies for the coxswain, rowing groups, the boats among other insurable aspects in rowing. This includes Amilcroft Insurance Company in the United Kingdom which provides elite rowing insurance policies. On the other hand, the Noble Marine Boat Insurance also provides insurance for boats involved in rowing competitions (Leonard, 178). Moreover, oarsmen also have life policies in other insurance companies worldwide (Tietze, Frank, Thorsten, & Cornelius 112). The insurance companies have tapped into rowing where they get monthly and annual premiums from the subscribers to various policies.
Furthermore, rowing has also attracted other companies that facilitate betting competitions. The betting is made by considering the first rower to reach the destination. This involves live betting events and online betting events. In live betting events, the participants bet on their suitable candidate by giving out their prices to the facilitator. If the person they placed their bet on wins, then the participants are awarded their prices and an additional price depending on the agreement. There are also online betting sites for rowing. For instance, BetFair.com is an online site that offers betting services on various sports including rowing races.
Other businesses are making more profits from assembling boats for the racing competitions worldwide. These companies include Dirigo in the United States. Other include Maas, Bay Shells, Durham Boat Company and Alden Ocean Shells. Besides, other companies have ventured into the businesses of providing spare parts and servicing for the boats. For instance, Oarsports Company supplies oars for rowing worldwide. Besides, Shell Repair USA does repairs on boats for rowing.
Finally, basing on the high number of rowing fans, other companies have ventured into photography where they sell photos of rowing competitions and icons. These companies include Jet Photographic, IDP, Photo-Row and Rowing Photo in the United Kingdom. These companies sell the photos to fans across the world thereby generating income. Also, other companies such as Joel Rodgers Company in the United States do freelance rowing photography and also produce the annual rowing calendar in the United States.
In conclusion, rowing has made significant milestones in its history. The sport evolved from being a recreation to a sport and finally to a business venture. From the discussion above, it is evident that rowing has become a source of revenue to both individuals, governments, and business institutions. Rowing as a sport keeps on gaining more popularity across the world, and there are chances that there are more trends to be witnessed in the competition.
Edmonds, Rohan et al. "Stroke By Stroke Analysis of Rowing." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 48 (2016): 440.
Leonard, A.B. "Underwriting Marine Warfare: Insurance and Conflict in the Eighteenth Century." International Journal of Maritime History 25.2 (2013): 173-185. Web.
Marcolin, Giuseppe et al. "Rowing On A Boat Versus Rowing On An Ergo-Meter: A Biomechanical And Electromyographical Preliminary Study." Procedia Engineering 112 (2015): 461-466.
Mayglothling, Rosie, and Tristan Mayglothling. Rowing and Sculling: Skills, Training, Techniques. , 2015.
Tietze, Frank, Thorsten Pieper, and Cornelius Herstatt. To Own or Not to Own: How Ownership Affects User Innovation; an Empirical Study in the German Rowing Community. Hamburg-Harburg: Inst. for Technology and Innovation Management, 2013.
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