GSI Nations Index 2019: China ends USA’s three-year reign as "Global Sports Nation" while Japan surges in to 3rd
by Colin Stewart
China has topped Sportcal’s GSI Nations Index in 2019 by overtaking USA whilst Japan continues its meteoric rise by climbing two positions in to third.
30th April 2019, 13:00

Sportcal’s data-driven GSI Nations Index has analysed 730 world championships and multisport games in 83 sports for 2019. Using a proprietary methodology developed by the Global Sports Impact (GSI) Project, core event data is analysed in order to produce a GSI Event Rating for each event. The GSI Event Rating is then weighted and attributed to host cities, nations and continents across a 14-year time period, creating the sports industry’s original and most comprehensive ranking of sports host destinations worldwide.

China has accumulated a total score of 40,709 in the GSI Nations Index 2019, having hosted or secured to host no fewer than 43 major sports events, second only to USA which registers 49 events in total.

The rolling Index brings events taking place in 2026 in to play for the first time. This includes the Fifa World Cup 2026 which scores for USA and co-hosts Canada and Mexico. This was not enough for USA to hold on to top position as China has secured a number of multisport games and world championships during the past 12 months.

As the index spans a 14-year period from 2013–2026, the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games are yet to register for USA. However, with Chengdu, China expected to be confirmed as the host city of The World Games 2025 imminently, the battle for Global Sports Nation will remain hotly contested for years to come.

Japan, climbing two positions to take third place, will host the Rugby World Cup later this year before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The latter has brought with it a number of high-profile world championships which Olympic cities traditionally acquire in order to build momentum and gain experience in the lead up to the mega-event.

The United Kingdom falls to fourth and Russia to fifth whilst Canada holds firm within the top ten, retaining sixth position. France leapfrog Germany in to seventh whilst Italy hold ninth. Spain makes an entrance in to the top 10 for the first time.

It’s all change from 11th to 20th. Korea (11th), Denmark (12th), Switzerland (13th), Netherlands (14th) and Hungary (18th) all climb the Index, whilst Austria (15th), Brazil (16th), Qatar (17th) and Sweden (20th) lose ground.

Influencers on the Index include the United Kingdom no longer registering the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as the Index moves forward. Likewise for Brazil, the GSI Event Rating for the Fifa World Cup 2014 and Rio 2016 Games are reducing in weighting with each year that passes and few events have been secured since.

Denmark climbs two positions to a record high thanks to a number of successful world championship bids in the sports of badminton, cycling and gymnastics. Switzerland also climbs two positions as we near the Winter Youth Olympic Games 2020 and 30th Winter Universiade 2021, two large-scale events delivering significant impact, in addition to successfully bidding for world championships in cycling and floorball.

Netherlands is the biggest climber, securing multiple world championships, including BMX, Cyclo-cross, sailing, speed skating, triathlon and volleyball.

GSI Nations and Cities Index Methodology

The GSI Nations and Cities Index is based on in-depth analysis of major multisport games and world championships over a rolling 14-year period, covering seven years in the past (including the current year) and seven years in the future. In total, 90 nations and 641 cities have hosted, or are scheduled to host events during this period.

Bids awarded up to and including 1 April 2019 have been included in the 2019 index.

Each event is given a weighting based on its Global Sports Impact (GSI) Event Rating – this rating is calculated using the latest event data across a range of indicators which measures the size, scale and impact of an event.

The GSI Event Ratings are then attributed to the host nations and cities, producing the GSI Nations and Cities Index. A time weighting is given, so that events in the current year are worth 100 per cent of the rating value, while events in previous or future years are worth less.

The April 2019 index further increased the number of events analysed with 730 events across 156 categories, in 83 sports, including summer and winter Olympic sports and Olympic ‘recognised’ sports.