An Interview with Sports Entrepreneur from IISM- Vedant Garg

Published On: March 23, 2021
Sports Entrepreneur

Vedant Garg is a student of Master’s Degree in Sports Management from batch 2019-21. Vedant is an ardent sports lover who has been a professional cricketer. At IISM, he is getting acquainted with the sports industry in depth. This year, he will be all set to enter the Sports Industry with a formal sports education. However, prior to it, he has established himself as a Sports Entrepreneur with his venture- Sport It Down.

Here’s a written interview with Vedant.

Know Vedant’s story and his learnings being a Sports Entrepreneur.

1. What does Sports mean for you?

According to me, sports is an important part of my lifestyle and is my identity. I’ve played cricket at a recognised level and this sport has shaped me as a better human. Nowadays, I don’t shy away to try out different sport and learn more about it. I try and follow as many sports as I can. Formula 1 being the one that keeps me excited all the time.

2. How did studying Sports Management happen?

I decided to give up cricket after a year gap post bachelor’s and was in a zone to do MBA, but somehow, somewhere, this term – “Sports Management” popped up. I researched and it was a “let’s do this” kind of decision for me. Needless to say, my parents were very supportive with my decision.

3. What did you learn at IISM?

Firstly, the guidance of our faculty has influenced me to concentrate more in this field. Their expertise and assignments given by them have definitely put our long unused brain to work. Secondly, I’m thankful to IISM in general and the Corporate Relations team in particular for providing some amazing internship opportunities- SFA, Khelo India, Female Cricket and Six5Six Sport to name a few. I got to learn a lot during my internship which is as important as the academics.

4. Tell us about your venture- Sport It Down.

‘Sport It Down’ was born as a random hobby to kill time during the initial phase of the lockdown. The idea kept me excited but I was unsure of how to exactly start with. We all were mentally struggling during that time and most of the athletes were demotivated as they were kept out of their game.

So, the idea of giving them the recognition they deserve and build a positive sporting community was the main motive behind this venture. Gradually, I brainstormed as to what more can be included to make it more appealing to the audience. Facts, updates and memes then came into play and we follow the same grid pattern on Instagram since then. Our primary platform is Instagram as most of the athletes are active there. Other platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn come handy for different kind of content.

As of now we have covered the journey of around 95 athletes across 20 different sports. Some of them have represented the country Internationally and most of them at National level. I’m glad to have a couple of foreign athletes on board as well. To boast about a few athletes – we have had the former captain of the Indian Women’s Rugby team, AIR 1 Boxer, AIR 1 Table Tennis player, 4 World Record holders and not to forget an Indian star cricketer who has played the Indian Premier League with Chennai Super Kings.

On the informative part, we have over 90 different and unique facts about some common and some unheard sports. The fact part has helped me a lot to know about a game for a personal knowledge gain. If any action-packed sports weekend is arriving, we’ll get the fixture covered in a single post. Memes have been a late addition to help with the fun part and keep the community happy.

5. What did you aim at while establishing your venture?

I wanted to build a platform where different athletes from different sport stay connected and know about each other’s journey, struggles and how they overcame every hurdle. These small snippets could give them that little push to stay focused and determined towards their sport. The facts and updates on the other hand will keep them updated about the happenings in the sports world.

6. How has your journey as Sports Entrepreneur been?

The journey has been fantastic. It feels great to see your brand getting recognised and reaching to some high-profile people. The part where I collect content has also helped me in networking and interacting with people. This has helped in my personal selling as well, which is very important in today’s scenario. There were days when I was out of stories and ideas, and I realised the importance of planning. Now, I keep a plan ready for at least the next week or two.

7. In what ways did IISM contribute to you flourishing as a Sports Entrepreneur?

The course structure at IISM has been moulded in such a way that almost every subject will help you somewhere at some point in your life. The support from faculties has been tremendous. Their selfless guidance has helped me a lot to take some important decisions related to the growth of the venture. Being a current student, I’m still learning a lot as I have Digital Marketing as a proper subject now, which is the core backend to carry forward Sport It Down.

8. What do you feel is essential for an individual to become Sports Digital Marketer and Sports Content Creator?

The most important part is – Belief. If your content is original and you believe it will create a value, it will succeed. Though, for content creators sky is the limit, but you have to be regular, experimental and analyse what can work for you and what not. You can’t do everything alone; you have to select a niche and then work upon it extensively. Staying up with the trends and interacting with your audience is the key to add that human touch to your creation. Learn more about the tricks and tips of various social media platforms.

9. Do you have plans of expansion or collaboration do you have for Sport It Down?

Sport It Down feels honoured to have already collaborated with various verticals in the sports industry. We have collaborated with various ventures owned by some International and National athletes. We did conduct a live session with a Sports Anchor. We are in conversation with a Sports Psychologist for a workshop. A big boost came recently where we became the Media/Digital partner for a couple of grassroot football tournaments under the esteemed association with All India Football Federation (AIFF).

10. What sets your venture apart?

As we grew, we noticed our idea wasn’t really rare and some sports pages do the same thing. But they only focus on small insights from the athlete, whereas we try and cover as many details as possible. Moreover, the combination of different verticals that we deal into sets the venture apart from the competitors in our budding league. Go and check out the fact’s column, you’ll be astonished.

11. Where do you see Sport It Down in few years down the line?

Sport It Down is an infant right now and I want to nurture it, step by step. A lot can change in the upcoming years and we too have to adapt accordingly. I am excited to see how things unfold as most of my decisions are on pure intuition.

How about Star Sports give us the interviewing rights for players in the IPL Season 20? Or maybe a Netflix series named “Streets to Stadiums”?

12. Where do you see yourself as a Sports Entrepreneur in the industry in the upcoming years?

My plan is to learn from the individuals I work with or under. I feel blessed to have already worked under some diverse departments and the learnings have been great. Small advice or gesture can motivate you or change your perspective. So, I want to add as much value and skills as I can and be ready for any challenge that crops up.

13. A piece of advice for aspiring Sports Management students/ professionals/ entrepreneurs.

The sports industry is full of passionate people and is highly competitive. You have to stay updated with as many sports and skills as possible to get recognised. A famous Hindi proverb – “Jo dikhta hai, who bikta hai”. Same logic with brands and same with us as well. Enjoy the journey, make mistakes and learn from it. All the best everyone and please let me know if I could be of any help.

An Interview with Sports Entrepreneur from IISM- Vedant Garg
Master’s Degree in Sports Management 2019-21
Founder- Sport It Down

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