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Let’s make India a sporting nation

Where are we? Where do we stand? Although Asia stands as the global giant in the sports ownership and sponsorship category, reports say that Ind ...

04 Feb 2015, 12:37 IST
Where are we?

Where do we stand?

Although Asia stands as the global giant in the sports ownership and sponsorship category, reports say that India is nowhere in the picture. Could this be one of the major reasons for lack of sports motivation in the country? We do have various sports startups emerging in the country like Tenvic (By Anil Kumble),Sports 365,Sportz Consult,Edu Sports etc, but the growth in the sports industry is not much. Even careers like sports jounalism, sports marketing is not active enough in the country as compared to the developed nations. We keep complaining the lack of infrasturcture that the government provides us with. Where have players like Prakash Padukone and Milkha Singh gone?

However, the major issue lies in investments. According to the latest report by media agency Repucom, owing to investments in sovereign wealth funds, even though Asia and Middle East are the leading players  with investments of almost to the tune of 76.2%, India is nowhere to be seen. Going sportwise, in Badminton the leading brands are LiNing(China) recently coming into the market after years of domination of player Yonex(South Korea). On a Year on year basis,  Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) is the only Indian Player to have invested a huge sum in the New York City Marathon. Other major investors are from China, Japan and South Korea.

We definitely need to create a huge amount of exposure in the sports market and improve our visibility starting off with the major games we win in like cricket,hockey,badminton .Only then will the investors from other parts of the world be interested in improving our infrastructure, tournaments,sponsoring players .

Where do we begin from, keeping the vision in mind?

Sports like table tennis and swimming definitely need to be looked into as a challenging area rather than focussing only on the main games. These sports are dominated by USA and China. India can surely create a mark in this area starting off with more participation. Secondly, we need to promote our brands in the sports domain on a much larger scale. Thirdly, after the PM’s introduction of the Make in India campaign, this is undoubtedly to be looked into owing to the sports viewership in the country.

Each and every sport must have its unique Indian Brand and not endorse brands like Nike, Reebok etc. These are universal sports equipment brands. What we must look into is creating a mark in equipments and brandbuilding in every sports sphere. Tennis is dominated by racket brands like Wilson and Yonex whereas major Grand Slam tournaments have sponsorships from companies like Rolex, American Express  and the like. This is somewhere , if we put out hands into, would increase our media presence immensely. This is a huge opportunity for startups to look into. Sports as a whole definitely needs more visibility in India and we can begin by promoting it hugely in schools, colleges, giving opportunities to people in various age groups to participate in national and state level tournaments right from college and not by going to a specific training institute.

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