“Creating Leaders to shape a growing industry”

Published On: January 12, 2021

In recent years, India has seen a consistent upward trajectory in the business of sports. 2008 was a watershed year for sports in India with the advent of the IPL. Since then, the unique franchise-based format adopted by the league has inspired the creation of similar competitions in other cricketing nations, as well as the launch of similar events in other sports in India too. Investments in sports properties have grown at a good clip in the country in the last decade.

When an industry grows, its management practices too evolve with it. As processes get increasingly streamlined, we see a clear shift from the unstructured to the structured. The increasing need for quality manpower in the area of Sports Management, is therefore, concomitant to the changes in the business climate that we see around us.

As we see a surge in the sports industry, the need for specialized education that is structured around the requirements of the sector, also grows with it. Sports has the ability to captivate us, to hold our attention, and to get fans like us to be emotionally involved in it. This universality of sports makes it a great platform for businesses in other sectors to connect with the sports fan.

As a result, the business of sports is not just about selling of sporting events; rather it extends to selling of non-sporting products using sports as a platform too. The booming advertising figures around sports properties, especially in electronic media, bears testimony to this power of sports.

Sports can touch many lives, and the actual sporting event is just the starting point of the multi-layered business opportunities built around the action on the field, like sponsorships, celebrity management, franchise-related work, event management, advertising & broadcasting initiatives, fan engagement, and all other activities that are either associated with the running of the sporting event, or function as enablers for all stakeholders in leveraging their investment in the sporting property, whether B2B or B2C.

The fast-growing sports industry is in need of skilled professionals who can hit the ground running, and hence there is a need to ensure that students in this domain are inculcated with the right kind of skill sets. Many of these organizations provide them with the appropriate launch pad for an upwardly mobile career; so, the young professionals need to be strong conceptually while at the same time, have the skill sets required to apply the theories into practical situations.

Hence, our pedagogy places high level of importance in giving live project exposure to the students through internships and assignments involving real-life scenarios in various organizations associated with sporting events. What we offer is a pioneering specialization program, it is Management Education with a sporting context, which is an ideal start for some of the finest young talents in our country.

Things change fast in this industry, some of the leading sponsors of the major sporting leagues in India are not brands that existed ten years back. We see a good mix of traditional businesses as well as new-economy platforms at sporting events today. While the change is continuous, our program content is built around the need to constantly feel the market pulse and to be in the vanguard of the change, as our alumni shape the industry in the years to come.

Written by Mr. Vishnu Govind
Professor of Practice & Deputy Head- R&D, IISM

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