Fans on stadium game businessmanChances are those well-known eloquent lyrics have stirred up some patriotic spirit from somewhere deep within even the most sporting averse of us.

With the 2016 summer of sport fast upon us the effect of the Euros, Wimbledon and the Olympics could have a significant impact on the economy (and the nerves) of the nation.

It has been reported by Lloyds Bank plc, ‘that the countries reaching the final four stages in the last five tournaments have tended to see rises in both consumer spending and GDP growth… the research shows that there are generally rises in spending growth during the period of the event that tend to drop off later on in the year, once the euphoria wears off’.  East Midlands Chamber of Commerce has analysed data ahead of the Euros this year and predicted that ‘the UK economy could benefit by up to £2.5 billion in additional spending by consumers during the tournament – a similar level to that seen during the 2014 World Cup.’

But whilst Euro 2016 may kick us off, this is the start of a long 2016 summer of sport, overlapped and closely followed by Wimbledon, the Olympics and the Ryder Cup. Lloyds have estimated that the London 2012 Olympics will provide a staggering £16.5 billion contribution to UK GDP over the next twelve years. Granted, whilst the Rio Olympics haven’t quite got the same ‘patriotic allure’ of hosting, the games are still expected to have a significant positive impact on the economy. That, together with the ‘cucumber boom’ reported last year in anticipation of thirsty Wimbledon Pimms drinkers, could see quite a fruitful summer ahead.

On a serious, and factual note, as many will know the Euros 2016 is the first time that the four sides from the British Isles (if you include the Republic of Ireland) have qualified together for a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. As the nation prepares itself for the glory (and no doubt the pain) of Euro 2016, pub landlords are saying their prayers in the hope for a dazzling (and long) performance by the home nations as crowds gather to watch the matches with a chilled beverage, a big screen and that all-important atmosphere. It has been reported that pub trade bible ‘The Publican’ estimates that ‘like for like sales are expected to soar by more than 10% for two thirds of licensees, with one in five expecting a rise of more than 20%, fast eclipsing the 6% seen by the Rugby World Cup last year’. David Scott, director of brands and insight at Carlsberg UK, told the ‘The Drinks Business Magazine’ ‘football tournaments are worth more than £60m to the on-trade and live football can add an uplift of 60% to an outlet’s rate of sale.’

Likewise supermarket and DIY kings will be rubbing their hands together in glee in anticipation of a run on barbeques, televisions and beer sales.  Supermarket giant Tesco has predicted record sales of craft beers and ciders during the Euro 2016.  East Midlands Chamber estimates that ‘thirsty football fans across the region will drink more than £3.5 million worth of beer during the course of the tournament’. To help wash down all that beer Domino’s Pizza have reported that they are creating 10,000 new jobs as part of a major recruitment drive ahead of the Euros and the Olympics with an estimate of three pizzas to be ordered every second during Euro 2016. According to the ‘Daily Star’ that’s enough pizza to stretch half way round the world.

On the flip side all that beer and pizza is not great news for productivity (or waistlines for that matter) and employers should be wary during the summer months with employees more likely to leave early, throw a ‘sickie’ or to be found browsing social media to keep up with the score.

However, not wanting to echo the infamous lyrics of Euro 1996 ‘thirty years of hurt, never stopped me dreaming’, an early exit from a tournament could really kick the economy, and would stick the boot in after the early exit from the 2015 Rugby World Cup. It was reported by the International Business Times that elimination from a major football competition could lead to the market going down by 0.5% the next day which equates to £3 billion being wiped off the market in a single day. So an early exit could do more than just denting the country’s pride.

Wayne Rooney / Andy Murray / the Brownlee brothers / Jessica Ennis – Hill ……the potential saviours of the UK economy? No pressure.