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Manchester - A Global Centre for Sport

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Sport and the North West are closely entwined. Football, cricket, rugby, athletics and cycling are just some of the sports which have had world class stars from the region over the years, not to mention the legendary teams, which attract fans from all over the world.

Now the University of Salford Business School is hosting a conference to examine the benefit the region and the UK as a whole derives from sport, whether that is through improved health and wellbeing, community cohesion or simply the economic benefits.

Taking place on November 7 as a joint event with the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan Universities, Manchester –A Global Centre for Sport will address all those topics.

Conference organiser, Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sports Enterprise at the University of Salford, said: “Go anywhere in the world and tell people you are from Manchester, and they will immediately know where it is. Yet Manchester and the conurbation are much more than two football clubs.

“Sport does not just contribute to Manchester at the elite professional level, there are endless examples of grassroots sport taking place every week. Some of this sport simply helps keep people fit; other elements of it though help to bring together different social groupings or engage vulnerable people in meaningful activities.

“Sport creates jobs, generates income, and builds export revenues. It can have marketing and commercial benefits too. Towns and cities often now position themselves as being homes of sport, while countries utilise sport as a way of influencing other countries, what some people refer to as soft power.

“Our conference will look at all these factors.”

Manchester – A Global Centre of Sport’ will be an opportunity both to talk about and celebrate the region, while at the same time helping to understand the role that sport plays nationally and internationally.

The event, which is free and open to the general public, will take place at Salford University’s Media City campus, starting at 17.30 and finishing at 21.00. People are welcome to attend, to take part in the discussions, to ask questions and to be with others who are all part of a great sporting city.

Dr Leah Gillooly, lecturer in Marketing at the University of Manchester, said: “Manchester has become a hub for economic and commercial activity in sport. Not only do fans from across the world head to the city, some of the world’s leading companies in sport are based here. These include accountancy firms, legal practices and digital businesses.”

Dr Daniel Parnell, senior lecturer in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University said: “Manchester and the whole North West has therefore never been a better place to be for sport. For that matter, nor has Britain; not only is the country leading the field in sports such as cycling and football, it is also among countries leading the way in the business of sport, and in running projects that have a social and cultural impact.”

The event is part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Manchester Festival of Social Science. Further details about the event and the festival can be found via

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Sam Wood

0161 295 5361