5.1. Comprehensive Level Analysis of Sports Industry and Regional Sustainable Development
It can be seen from Table 3
that, from 2013 to 2017, the comprehensive level of the sports industry and regional sustainable development in eastern China showed a steady growth trend, and shows a cyclical change pattern of increasing year by year. The overall average value of the regional sustainable development composite index was 0.463, and the overall average value of the sports industry composite index was 0.354, indicating that the overall level of regional sustainable development is better than the overall level of the sports industry, and that the eastern region of China, as a whole, is lagging behind. It can be seen from the growth rate that, from 2013 to 2017, the comprehensive index of the sports industry increased from 0.297 to 0.416, with a growth rate of 40.07%; the regional sustainable development comprehensive index increased from 0.415 to 0.530, with a growth rate of 27.71%. It shows that the current comprehensive level of the sports industry is developing at a high speed, and the growth rate is significantly higher than regional sustainable development.
In the sports industry system, the overall average situation reflects that the development level of industrial support conditions is better than employment absorption and economic benefits. After more than 20 years of rapid development in China’s sports industry, contradictions in the industrial structure, supply and demand structure, and consumption structure have become increasingly prominent. For example, the average annual compound growth rate of sports employees is significantly lower than the growth rate of the added value of the sports industry, the growth rate of sports venues is much lower than the development rate of the sports industry, and residents ’sports consumption aspect and consumption levels need to be further improved [49
]. Therefore, the contradiction between the “supply-side” and the “demand-side” of the Chinese sports industry is an important factor affecting the further improvement of the comprehensive level of the sports industry. With the successive release of the “46 Document” and other policies that promote the development of the sports industry in 2014, “Accelerate the development of the sports industry” has become a national strategy, and the structural reform of the supply side of the sports industry has received great attention and a positive response from all walks of life. Therefore, from the growth rates in Table 3
, from 2013 to 2017, the growth rate of the economic benefits and employment effects of the sports industry was significantly higher than the industry support, and the internal structure of the sports industry is gradually developing from imbalance to overall balance.
In the regional sustainable development system, the overall average shows that the level of ecological environment is superior to the level of social security and economic development. As is known, the basic connotation of maintaining regional sustainable development is the coordinated development of social economy and ecological environment. China announced in November 1998 the implementation of the “National Ecological Environment Construction Plan”, which requires that the trend of ecological environment destruction be basically curbed by 2010, and that a virtuous cycle of natural ecosystems is achieved nationwide by 2030. On the basis of curbing the trend of ecological deterioration, and striving to significantly improve the ecological environment of the country, the ecological environment of key governance areas has begun to track a virtuous circle. The eastern region includes the Yangtze River Delta (Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang), China’s most comprehensive economic center, the Bohai Rim region (Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, and Shandong) with rich natural resources and the high degree of opening Strait Economic Zone (Fujian, Guangdong). With the implementation of the State Council’s “Registration of Tianjin City Master Plan (Nation Letter  No. 62)” and the “Yangtze River Delta Regional Planning”, the demonstration base in eastern China has accelerated the transformation of economic development mode and the innovation ability has been continuously enhanced, technological support for industrial development has been continuously strengthened, and significant results have been achieved in energy conservation and consumption reduction. Therefore, from 2013 to 2017, the growth rate of economic development was significantly ahead of the ecological environment and social security, and the socio-economic level showed a rapid development trend. Based on this, under a good ecological environment, gradually increasing social security and superior socio-economic environment, the comprehensive level of regional sustainable development in eastern China has made greater progress on the existing basis.
The comprehensive level of the sports industry in eastern China from 2013 to 2017 is shown in Figure 1
. The overall development level of the sports industry in various provinces and cities shows an upward trend, but there are large differences between regions. Taking the average value of each year as the dividing line, the provinces with a composite index higher than the average are Jiangsu, Guangdong, Shandong, Zhejiang, and Beijing, of which Jiangsu and Guangdong are in a leading position in the eastern region with obvious advantages. The provinces with a composite index below the average are Hebei, Fujian, Shanghai, Liaoning, Tianjin, and Hainan. The comprehensive level of the sports industry in Hainan Province is significantly different from other provinces, and there is a lot of room for improvement. It can be seen that there is an uneven polarization in the development of the sports industry in eastern China.
The comprehensive level of regional sustainable development in eastern China from 2013 to 2017 is shown in Figure 2
. Except for Beijing, which continued to maintain a growth trend after a slight fluctuation in 2015, the remaining provinces and cities in the eastern region showed steady growth each year. Among them, Beijing, Guangdong, Shanghai, and Zhejiang have always been ahead of other provinces in the eastern region with obvious advantages, ranking first in the eastern region. The comprehensive sustainable development levels of Tianjin, Fujian, and Hainan are in the second echelon of the eastern region; the four provinces of Liaoning, Jiangsu, Shandong, and Hebei are in the third echelon of the eastern region with a large gap. It is worth mentioning that, as a province of the Yangtze River Delta, the comprehensive level of economic development of Jiangsu is third in the eastern region, just after Beijing and Shanghai. However, it is affected by the backwardness of social security and ecological environment levels, leading to Jiangsu’s comprehensive level of sustainable development being at the end of the eastern region (9th).
When examining whether the comprehensive level of the sports industry and regional sustainable development is synchronized, U and G, respectively, represent the comprehensive level index of the sports industry and regional sustainable development. When U = G, it means that the two systems are in synchronous development; when U > G, it indicates that the development of the sports industry is superior to regional sustainable development, which is a lag in regional sustainable development; when U < G, it indicates that the development of the sports industry lags behind regional sustainable development, which is a lag in the sports industry [47
As can be seen from Table 4
, from 2013 to 2017, the number of lagging sports industries in 11 provinces and cities in eastern China was greater than that of regional sustainable development, which again shows that the comprehensive level of regional sustainable development in eastern China is better than the comprehensive level of the sports industry. From a comparative analysis of 11 provinces and cities, it can be seen that Shandong, Jiangsu, and Guangdong all experienced regional sustainable development lags in the last five years, indicating that the development level of the sports industry in these three provinces is higher than regional sustainable development. Beijing, Tianjin, Liaoning, Shanghai, Fujian, Hainan and the other six provinces and cities all had lagging sports industries; Hebei and Zhejiang show the coexistence of sports industry lagging and regional sustainable development lagging, indicating that the two systems of the two provinces are interacting with each other.
5.2. Grade Analysis of the Degree of Coupling Coordination between the Sports Industry and Regional Sustainable Development
The comprehensive index of the sports industry and regional sustainable development in the 11 provinces and cities in the eastern region were added into the calculation formula of the coupling coordination model, and the degree of coupling coordination between the two major systems of the sports industry and regional sustainable development was calculated (Table 5
As shown in Table 5
, the degree of coupling coordination between the sports industry and regional sustainable development in the eastern region increased from 0.554 in 2013 to 0.659 in 2017. The level of coupling coordination has gradually changed from barely coordinated to primary coordination, and the degree of coupling coordination between the two systems has been significantly improved, indicating that the interaction between the two major systems is constantly strengthened, and the coupling coordination relationship is developing in a benign direction. From the average value of the coupling coordination degree of the two systems over the past five years, we can see that there are six provinces in the level of coupling coordination that are stable, namely Beijing, Guangdong, and Zhejiang, which are at the moderate coordination level, and Jiangsu, Shanghai, and Shandong, which are at the primary coordination level. The level of coupling coordination of these six provinces and cities is in the leading position, mainly because the Yangtze River Delta, formed of Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang is China’s most important economic center and an important global advanced manufacturing base. Beijing, as China ’s national center city, is also the host of the Olympic Games, and Guangdong Province is China ’s largest economy and sports province; therefore, the six provinces rely on the unique advantages of the sports industry and region for the two systems to interconnect and promote each other. This has a positive impact on the coupling coordination of the two major systems. There are four provinces with a level of coupling coordination at the initial stage, of which Fujian, Liaoning and Hebei are marginal coordination levels. Tianjin is on the verge of imbalance. Hainan Province is in its infancy, with a mild imbalance.
In order to horizontally compare the coupling coordination between the sports industry and regional sustainable development in 11 provinces and cities in the eastern region, this paper uses ARCGIS 10.2 software to visualize the spatial coordination levels of the two major systems in the 11 provinces and cities in the eastern region in 2013 and 2017. From the perspective of the province, from Figure 3
a, it can be seen that, in 2013, 11 provinces in the eastern region had large spatial differences in the degree of coupling coordination of the sports industry and regional sustainable development. There were four provinces in the stable stage. Guangdong and Beijing have the best development levels, with an intermediate level of coordination, followed by Jiangsu and Zhejiang, with a primary level of coordination, indicating that the level of integration and development between the two systems has been relatively stable in 2013, and tends to be mature. There are six provinces in their infancy: four provinces in Fujian, Shandong, Shanghai, and Liaoning are at the level of bare coordination, and Hebei and Tianjin are at the level of about to be imbalanced, indicating that, in 2013, the two major systems in the six provinces have begun to integrate and develop. Due to the special geographic location of the “Island Effect” in Hainan, the level of coupling coordination between the two systems is moderately imbalanced, and there is a large gap with other provinces and cities. As can be seen from Figure 3
b, in 2017, except for the level of coupling coordination in Liaoning, which remained the same as in 2013, the level of the degree of coupling coordination of the sports industry and regional development in the remaining 10 provinces and cities in the eastern region has significantly improved, but there are still significant spatial differences. Beijing and Guangdong have been upgraded from intermediate coordination to good coordination, indicating that, after five years of development, the integration of the two major systems of the sports industry and regional sustainable development has become relatively mature. From the original moderate imbalance, Hainan has been upgraded two levels to imminent imbalance, which shows that, in recent years, with the support of policies and the cultivation of sports tourism projects such as “Coastal Leisure Sports”, the integrated development of the two major systems in Hainan has already begun and is in the initial development stage.
In order to further explore the spatial correlation between the degree of coupling coordination of the sports industry and regional sustainable development in 11 provinces and cities in the eastern region, we used the ARCGIS 10.2 software to calculate the Moran index of the coupling coordination of the two major systems in 2013 and 2017, respectively: when it is larger than 0, it indicates that there is positive spatial correlation; when it is less than 0, it indicates that there is negative spatial correlation; when the value is close to 0, it indicates that the degree of spatial correlation is low or randomly distributed [50
]. It can be seen from Figure 4
that the Moran indices in 2013 and 2017 were −0.2801 and −0.191, respectively, and the Z scores were −0.77 and −0.41, indicating that the pattern is randomly distributed in space and there is no spatial aggregation phenomenon. Therefore, the spillover effect of the coupling coordination of the two major systems of the 11 provinces and cities in the eastern region is insufficient, and there is a phenomenon of own development, and this phenomenon has persisted for a long time.