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India's largest sporting congregation, Global Sports Business Show 2016 sees a scintillating start

Indian football supremo Bhaichung Bhutia inaugurated the mega-event in Mumbai.

Global Sports Business Show
The Global Sports Business Show 2016 got off to a great start

Global Sports Business Show 2016 by The Times of India kickstarted its first day with Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia inaugurating the mega-event. The show saw an exciting start with brands like Facebook, Twitter, Vodafone, Yes Bank, NBA India, among others, engaging in conversations around the marketing of sports in India.

Speaking at the event, Indian football superstar Bhaichung Bhutia commented, "I believe that the attitude of players has changed for good. A lot of kids are taking up football as a career, which is a great sign. The game has grown at the grass root level as well.

“The only way to take the game forward is by working at the grassroots level to develop the system in India. It’s a big challenge we face and we’ve got to do a lot more than we’ve been doing,” he continued.

“Through the Bhaichung Bhutia Football School, we are trying to give back to football. We are one of the biggest football programs in India and we are producing some quality players, so we are very happy. The Global Sports Business Show is a great initiative and I hope it benefits everyone involved in sports.

“We all want to see Indian sports grow, and hopefully the entire ecosystem does grow through initiatives such as this, which come together for the benefit of sport," he further added.

Interaction with Facebook and other market leaders

Understanding the importance of brands and marketing in the sports industry, the event facilitated an interactive session on Sports Marketing where industry leaders put forth their viewpoints. They discussed pertinent issues like India's ability to fuel more sports leagues, where head honchos from Facebook, Future Group, DBS Bank and Kyazoonga presented their respective viewpoints.

Commenting on the changing space of social media in sports, Asha Thacker, Sports Partnerships, Facebook India elaborated on the need for having more social media presence of sporting leagues as well as sportspersons.

She elucidated how a certain qualifying Table Tennis match had more than 2 million viewers because of the Facebook Live option on the platform. She insisted that more sporting entities should be open for an omnichannel presence of sports.

The forum also took up the ROI of sports sponsorship and various other sports marketing avenues, where people like Hemant Dua, Delhi Daredevils; Anil Jayaraj, Star India; Radhakrishnan, Ten Sports, among others joined in.

The 3-day event will also see extensive conversations around Sports CSR, Sports Investments, Sports Textile and Fashion, presided over by speakers from the Textile Ministry of India, Sports Authority of India, Indian Army, BCCI, Govt. of Kerala, ONGC, among others.

Aim to make India a world leader in sports

Speaking on the success of the first day of GSBS, Deepak Lamba, President, Times Strategic Solutions Ltd. said, "The Times of India – Global Sports Business Show is a unique attempt to bring together top leading stakeholders, policy makers, sports management companies under one roof to help India realize the dream of becoming a truly international sporting nation with world class infrastructure.

“This initiative will accentuate the government’s vision to create a sustainable sporting ecosystem in India through infrastructure development, investments in the sports sector and overseas marketing of India as an international sporting destination which have been demanding attention for a long time."

Bringing together sports federations, food and nutrition authorities, health club owners, sports teams, fitness experts, dietitians, nutrition and sports supplement manufacturers and fitness enthusiasts, the Global Sports Business Show will also deliberate on the science of nutrition and its impact on sports.

The show will be an unparalleled platform for everyone who wants to understand the economics of sports and ensure new opportunities for all attendees. 

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