In a World Cup year, like 2018, it can seem as if the rest of the sports world grinds to a halt. There’s just a great deal to talk about at such a massive international event, from how the stars perform, to who the up-and-comers are, to individual match previews and outcomes – and even how various businesses profit from the action. Through all of this intrigue the World Cup pauses the rest of the sports world in a way that perhaps only the Olympics can do otherwise. But with the world’s biggest tournament now behind us, those interested in the world of sport are looking ahead.

Here are some of the next big stories to expect to be reading about and engaging with in major sports around the world.

The Development Of The U.S. Gambling Market

If you follow sports at all you may well have come across the story that the U.S. courts have paved the way for legalized sports betting through the country. It isn’t happening overnight, but this is adding a massive industry to the already lucrative U.S. sporting markets, which should make for a major story in all kinds of ways. We don’t know yet how many people will start betting, how the different leagues will get involved, or what new platforms and apps might emerge. But the entire sports betting landscape is going to be changed by this massive soon-to-be movement.

Serena Williams’s Motherhood Slam

Perhaps this is putting undue pressure on Serena Williams, particularly given that she recently experienced a rather shocking upset. But after Williams made it to the final of Wimbledon less than a year after childbirth, it seems as if she’s destined to win another Grand Slam eventually. This will be remarkable not just because she’s now fairly old for a tennis champion, nor because she’s a mother. Rather, it’s because Williams nearly lost her life with delivery complications and their aftermath, and appears to have made it back to the top of tennis by sheer willpower. A motherhood Slam for Williams would be the biggest story of the year in sports.

World Cup Aftermath In Domestic Football

There’s always something a little more special about the domestic football leagues around the world following a World Cup. More of the world is paying attention, certain star players are elevated, and the landscape always seems to shift just a little bit. Case in point, early looks at the Premier League are tabbing World Cup stars Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah as likely Golden Boot winners, and are even giving Liverpool – a club boosted back to prominence by Salah – as a possible league winner. There isn’t one specific story here, but domestic football will demand more attention after a thrilling World Cup.

Formula 1’s Finish

For a few years now, Formula 1 racing has been a foregone conclusion. British star and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been a virtual shoe-in for end-of-year titles. This year however, former champion Sebastian Vettel is staying hot on Hamilton’s heels, to the point that we may have the closest finish in recent history.

Donald Trump Vs. Athletes

This is not a very good story for sports, as it brings an air of negativity to the whole spectacle. But unfortunately, U.S. president Donald Trump has shown a tendency to inject himself into sports stories, typically in order to berate or attempt to disqualify African-American athletes in one way or another. There was an eruption of responses when Trump recently took to Twitter to suggest LeBron James lacked intelligence (in the aftermath of James opening a school for at-risk youth, no less), and this sort of thing only figures to intensify. It feels like we’re heading for some fairly large-scale conflict between American athletes and the president.

Tokyo 2020 Announcements

We’re still two years away from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but rest assured the athletes who figure to be competing are already getting ready. And that means we should begin to hear about who’s in and who’s out soon, which always makes for a few good stories. For instance, many remain skeptical that U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps is really ready to call it quits, and there’s always speculation about who will return and who will age out of prominent gymnastics teams. The next six months or so should begin to produce answers to these questions that much of the sports-loving world is asking.

The World Cup is back and in just a few days the biggest football competition in the world will be kicking off in Russia to find out who is the very best team on the planet. Today we are going to look beyond the football and scratch beneath the surface of how businesses in just about every country in the world, are able to use this competition to boost their profits.

The World Cup provides a unique opportunity for money making, and here are the nuts and bolts behind how it is done.

Frenzy

The first step to making money off the back of a World Cup is simply to embrace it, this is a marketing opportunity which needs little input from your own business. Any fans of football are already whipped up into a frenzy over the competition which makes them far more inclined to spend money on football related gear. As a business you can use this free marketing, to sell products and services which can be coupled with the spectacle.

Merchandise

Selling World Cup merchandise is a greta way to make money during this tournament, be it official or unofficial equipment. Over recent months and the coming weeks, national pride takes over and consumers are more than happy to invest in clothing, flags, trinkets and just about any other type of memorabilia which has their teams colors emblazoned across them. As an indication of how much money can be made, during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, over 3,000 vuvuzelas were sold in England alone.

Events

One thing that is for sure is that when the football starts, everybody stops what they are doing and switches their gaze to the nearest television. What this means for anyone who runs a bar, a restaurant or an events location, is an opportunity to make big cash on match day. In order to do this you have to have the perfect set up, tag on drinks and food promotions and most importantly, get the word out there that your place is the best to watch the action.

Offers

Many companies will make huge money and gain a great amount of new clients by offering unique World Cup experiences. For the small investment of some tickets for the finals themselves and a plane ticket or two, you can then open up a competition which consumers will automatically enter upon being a certain product, with the chance to see the action live. Many businesses will do this on items such as televisions and speakers, offering the perfect medium to watch the finals, as well as having a chance to actually go should someone win. Imagine if a company invests $5,000 on tickets and plane travel, and as a result sells 10 televisions at $1,000 each, a license to print money!

Worldwide events such as the World Cup provide a wonderful opportunity for many businesses to cash on the hype that surrounds the tournament, as well as being able to boost their company’s reputation.