Remember the almighty row between the International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) just before the 2003 World Cup over ambush marketing?
Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly had refused to sign the contracts with the game's governing body ahead of cricket's quadrennial showpiece.
Sandip Mancha (26), a post-graduate student of sports management, was furiously taking notes as Pradip Dasgupta, his professor, analysed the row.
“The sports law class used to be one of the most interesting in my sports management course. Sponsorship contracts, contracts of players with the clubs, government rules and laws governing sports in other countries opened our eyes to a new world,” says Tenzing Niyogi, the 29-year-old general manager, sales (north) of Sport 18, a division of Network 18.
Niyogi passed out from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM), the only B-school in India that offers a one-year diploma in sports management, in 2003.
“Churning out great sportsman is as important as having good sports managers,” says Subrato Datta (64), a faculty member of the sports management programme and former secretary general of the Rowing Federation of India.
Apart from basic management subjects and sports law, the course covers topics such as sports management, sports economics, sports sponsorship, sports science, sports finance and sports administration.
Recruiters such as ESPN, Network 18, BCCI, All India Football Federation, Tiger Sports Marketing, a leader in the golf marketing and management, Globus Sports and Leisure Sports Marketing have been hiring from IISWBM for the last five years.
This year, seven of its students were picked up by the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee to manage the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
“It is extremely necessary to have homegrown managers to manage such games,” says S.V. Prasad, joint director, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee: “The problem was that till recently, we didn’t have the right mix of people with knowledge of both management and sports. Courses like the one offered by IISWBM will solve this problem.”
The average size of each batch varies between 20 and 25, and starting salaries range from Rs 2.5 to 4 lakh per annum. The course fee: Rs 68,000, compared to Rs 4.3 lakh for a regular MBA. If that seems on the lower side of the MBA universe, consider this: it’s still a virgin field; so, it has immense growth prospects, and seven-figure salaries are common for people with 4-5 years experience.