City of San Antonio Economic Development

The Culture of Business

The San Antonio Spurs reflect the San Antonio Business Climate

As a native San Antonion I’m contractually bound to be a Spurs fan. On my birth certificate, next to my tiny, yet chubby footprint are the words, “From this day on, I will now and forever be a Spurs fan.”  That might be a humorous exaggeration, but San Antonio is a large, diverse city and the Spurs are an important uniting force binding citizens with drastic differences together.  It unites people of all ethnicities, ages, political stances, and even favorite ice cream flavors to have a common team, a group to rally around.
The Spurs’ diversity, teamwork and humility reflect the city at large.  The Spurs have had one of the most international rosters, with players from Argentina, Australia, France, Brazil, and the Virgin Islands making them as diverse as the city.  The differences between the players are important only so far as how each of their talents can contribute to the team’s success, similar to how well people within San Antonio cooperate together. The business community and government are well known for their great working relationship and it is often commented on by visiting businesses. Like San Antonio, the Spurs are well known for working as a team, sacrificing individual credit to win together. Tim Duncan, is a perfect model of the team’s work ethic and captures much of the essence of San Antonio: no drama, no hysterics, no quit, just reliable and productive.
How do the Spurs impact San Antonio’s business climate? The Spurs have a three-fold impact; economic, global visibility, attracting and retaining a talented workforce by adding to the quality of life.
San Antonio is a smaller market than some NBA cities, but the Spurs have proven that we know how to play to win. The four time NBA champions do a great deal to remind the world that San Antonio is a world-class city.  According to Bruno Caprettini, author of the study, “Team Visibility and City Travel,” professional teams, especially those who demand extensive media coverage such as the Spurs, increase the visibility of their home towns to tourists increasing the flow of visitors and directly impacting local retailers and business owners in turn.

According to KSAT news, The Greater San Antonio, Chamber of Commerce predicts the economic impact from the Spurs-Miami Heat showdown could generate $3 million to $4 million per game for San Antonio. In non-champion years, however, the economic impact can be difficult to track and some critics claim most of the money is recirculating instead of adding new money.  Others argue, however, the benefits go beyond economics into the realm of public good.  Sports teams, especially teams with a uniting power such as the Spurs, increase the quality of life.  They help to celebrate the city’s respectable qualities such as cultural diversity, team spirit, and a no non-sense attitude. Just as libraries, community centers and zoos add to the enjoyment of a city, so does a sports team such as the Spurs. And although it is difficult to put a number on this added quality of life, it is important when considering the value this has to a cities work-force.

The Spurs make San Antonio a much more interesting place to live. It makes recruiting capable and creative young talent a much easier sell.  When the Spurs team wins a game, a frequently occurring event, downtown San Antonio bursts into fiestas, celebrating in a fashion reminiscent of a Super Bowl celebration. A city with a visible vibrancy and winning spirit is an attractive place for businesses, workers, and bright eyed entrepreneurs alike.

CAPRETTINI, B. (2013). Team visibility and city travel evidence from the uefa champions league (random) draw. Retrieved from http://www.iza.org/conference_files/SUMS_2013/caprettini_b8720.pdf

Spurs help to generate business in sa economy. (2013, June 10). KSAT. Retrieved from http://www.ksat.com/news/nba-finals-economic-impact-in-the-millions/-/478452/20505968/-/la5qgf/-/index.html

Picture from: Neon Tommy

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