In every country, the sports sector plays a crucial role in uniting and entertaining people. It performs communicative, patriotic, developmental, and educational functions. The sports industry is also responsible for coordinating and integrating individuals and social groups, which is crucial in developing a nation. Sports, therefore, have an impact on the political and socio-economic processes of any country. As a result, a lot of countries have directed their efforts in ensuring that the sports sector is well organized to yield maximum benefits. Germany is an example of a country which over the years has focused a lot of its energy in the sports sector. The country is a successful sporting nation that contains a lot of sports enthusiasts. Football is the most popular type of sport played in the country, other popular games in the country include Golf, Tennis, Ice Hockey, Skiing, Handball, and Motorsports- especially formula one among many others. As at 2018, Germany had 1,757 medals in the all-time medals of the Olympic games. The country has approximately 91,000 sports clubs with around 28 million people in the country being members of the clubs. Such an Impressive involvement of people in sports means that the country has a well-organized sports sector.
Organization of The Sports Sector in Germany
The sports sector in Germany is made up of various organizations and institutions. The industry is composed of operators and providers stemming mainly from three segments: The public sector, which is made up of the government or state, the private sector which represents the market and the voluntary sector that is made up of nonprofits. The public or state sector includes local, district, state and federal governments. The local level is involved in offering sports programs such as those provided by the nonprofit sports club. The private sector is made up of commercial or professional sports organizations, composed of professional leagues and their member teams. The industry is also composed of organizations that are allied to the sports industry such as equipment manufacturers and sporting apparel, principal stadium operators and commercial sports suppliers including sport tourism agencies and sports and fitness centers. The voluntary sector represents mass sports provision. It is mainly consisting of nonprofits sports clubs. In addition, there are governing federations and bodies for these community clubs. These establishments offer participation and competition opportunities, organize important championship events and manage and regulate sporting codes.
The three sectors do not operate in isolation, for instance, the federal-state offers funding to nonprofit sports organizations for the development of elite athlete programs and sports in the country. The non-profit sports organizations in return offer sporting opportunities to society and the development of administrators, officials, coaches, and athletes. An overlap of the market and the state sector occurs when the state offers the legal framework of how the sports will be carried out or when it supports the construction of major sporting venues and stadiums to offer spaces in which professional sport can be carried out. The state is also responsible for supporting the event and manufacturing industry to carry out business. The professional sports sector overlaps with the non-profit sector by developing the officials, administrators, and coaches to facilitate elite-level competition and offering playing talent for leagues.
History of The Organization of The Sports Sector in Germany.
During the start of the 20th century, the imperial German government supported elite sports in the country and their organizations. The governments that have followed afterward have all done this to support national representation. Since 1914, the national office of the minister of interior has been responsible for the sports industry in the country and has held this responsibility all through the years. The national committee of Germany (NOK) was set up in 1949, while the German sports association (DSB) was established in 1950. NOK was tasked with representing the Olympic ideal in the country while the DSB was established as the national umbrella organization which represented all sports federations. The organizations would later be merged in 2006 to form the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSM). The organization that is currently responsible for mass and top sports in the country.
The German Olympic society initiated the Golden plan in 1959 that was aimed at increasing sports facilities in the country. The plan argued that every inhabitant was required to have a specific area of sport facility. It presented guidelines on how these facilities would be designed. The plan, however, neglected critical indicators such as the current condition of the facilities or their actual demands. The Golden plan was nevertheless beneficial to the country since it led to the development of sports in Germany by developing 50,000 sporting facilities and investing 9 million euros in a span of 15 years. The plan can, therefore, be considered as the foundation for great sports movement in Germany. In 1992, DSB’s Bundestag which contained the golden plan east that was aimed at building new facilities and renovating the existing ones was developed. After a methodological redirection, a more holistic plan is used nowadays, which takes into account the actual demand and sports development with the community and the development of the facilities.
In terms of the team sports industry, soccer is the most popular sport in Germany, with Bundesliga being its premium product. The Bundesliga was established in 1963 and was tasked with the primary objective of organizing a national professional league of competitive games in the entire country. The Bundesliga is made up of 18 teams with FC Bayern Munich being its most successful team. In 1966, the Handball- Bundesliga containing 18 teams were established. The basketball- Bundesliga was also established during the year. It contains 18 contestants similar to the Handball Bundesliga. 1994 saw the establishment of the German Ice Hockey League that is made up of 14 teams. Finally, in 1974, the volleyball Bundesliga was formed containing 11 teams .
Players required uniforms which would differentiate them from their competitors. Other sports such as Ice hockey required unique clothing apparel to participate in sports. Consequently, the German Sporting goods industry association was established in 1910. The association was founded by German sportswear wholesalers, importers, and manufacturers. After the second world war, the sporting goods and textile industry barely existed in the country. Many companies had been used for war materials or had been destroyed. However, in 1947, 100 manufacturers of sports equipment restarted their businesses. By 1949, 150 factories dealing with sports goods had been established, employing approximately 5,000 workers. In 1952, the most significant trade fair success in the Sports industry was experienced as a result of the upcoming Olympic games, the growing sports movement and an overall recovery of the economy. The sports industry in the country benefitted from programs such as Trimm Dich and the Golden Plan. The growing wealth in the country and social changes were also instrumental in steering the sector in the right direction. The number of sports in the country increased especially at the grassroot level where sports grew at an alarming rate.
The German sports aid foundation was founded in 1967 with the primary purpose of promoting youth athletes. The foundation is a non- profit foundation which enables top athletes and German youth to focus on competitive sports by offering financial and non-material support. The foundation has proved its worth especially in European competitions where it has been successful being of benefit to over 47,000 youth and top athletes since it was founded. Since it is a private foundation; it rarely gets any subsidies from the government. It is, however, financed through donations and revenue from charity programs and events.
Current Organization of The German Sports Industry
The organizational structure of the sports sector in Germany is primarily influenced by the federal structure of the federal republic of Germany. The structure features in both public sports administration and the self-administration or the autonomous civic of sports. At the federal level, two distinct pillars divide the sports industry: public administration and a two-tier pillar of self-administration or autonomous of sport. At the bottom of the federal level, there exist 90,802 nonprofit sports clubs which provide a diversified range of sports programs to the country’s population. On a non-governmental level, the German Olympic sports confederation is the sole umbrella organization that represents the interests of its member organization. The DOSB is currently a 99-member organization which is made up of 16 federations, 63 national federations, and 20 sports federations. The national sports confederation (Spitzenverbände) is involved with high-performance sports while the Regional Sports Confederation (Landessportbünde) deals with grassroots sports. Each sport, therefore, has one federation. The largest member organization is the German Soccer Association, which has 6.8 million members, followed by the German Gymnastics, Tennis and Shooting federation, which have 5 million, 1.4 million and 1.3 million members respectively.
The Federal government and the 16 federal states are responsible for sports in their areas. As a result, independent specialist ministries of sport do not exist, they are however fixed into a different policy field. The regions have autonomy of where the sports department should be allocated. Nevertheless, the federal ministry of interior is responsible for the top-level sport since it operates as a specialized department. It plays the leading role in supporting top-level sport and in coordinating the activities of other federal ministries that are tasked with certain responsibilities of an area in top sport. Specialist sports officers are responsible for sports issues at the local government. Individual ministries in this level operate independently due to the federal structure found in Germany. Even though federal states are responsible for sports, at the regional level, sports ministers of the regional state governments meet annually to coordinate their duties as part of the conference of the minister of sports in their areas.
In regards to the self-administered autonomous sports sector, the situation is very different. Clubs are organized on two levels; the level of specific disciplines and multiple sports. The club structure in Germany is outstanding since it builds the foundation for sports at the grass-root level. Sports club in Germany aims at providing various opportunities for people to be involved in sports. Most of the sports clubs in the country are registered and belong to voluntary associations. Club decisions are made on a democratic basis. Every member is therefore required to vote. The government or any other third parties do not influence these clubs.
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