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Marketing games

According to WSG?s chairman, ?India is clearly emerging as a dominant sporting nation than China."

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 13:47 IST

International sports marketing and management companies are making a beeline for India. Neo International Sports Academy (NISA), a sporttraining, marketing and management company and the $200 million Singapore based World Sports Group have recently set up shop in India.

Nimbus Sports, which has forayed into the Indian market almost a decade ago, is now a major player in the industry.

NISA is associated with the Singapore-based sports marketing company Dream Team Management and has a strategic alliance with Australian International Sports Academy. WSG India plans to focus on promoting and marketing cricket, soccer and golf in India and across the region.

Why is this sudden rush to tap Indian market? Speaking to Hindustan Times from Singapore WSG’s chairman Seamus O’Brien, Chairman said, “India is clearly emerging as a dominant sporting nation than China. Being present in India is the final piece in the jigsaw, which will allow us to offer sporting solutions in an Asian context to our regional, continental and multinational clients”.

Says Mushtaq Khan, director, Neo International: “We want to provide complete sporting solutions from training to management to event exe- cution and infrastructure consultation that include sports clinics; overseas training; talent scouting and sponsorship marketing,” Mahesh Ranka, general manager of Starcom’s sports marketing division Relay Worldwide says: “Sports is a logical connect and not much has been done so far. The potential is huge — and (as yet) untapped”.

According to experts, the industry is estimated to be Rs 750 crore with majority of the spend going to cricket. According to IEG, a global sports research agency worldwide sponsorship market alone in 2005 was approximately $22 billion. The sports industry’s core sources of revenue can be divided into three main categories: broadcast and media rights, sponsorships (including licens ing and merchandising), and ticketing and hospitality (such as entertainment and catering in sports venues). Accord ing to a McKinsey study, each of these sources of revenues internationally ac counts for roughly one-third of the in dustry's revenues, and each enjoys strong growth. In India of course it is largely broadcast and media rights, sponsorship and ticket sales.

There are several positive factors that boosting the growth of sports market ing in India. This include the prolifera tion of sports channels. (Nimbus is it self launching three new sports chan nels.) Secondly, growth in new media and above all sports is considered a part of the entertainment industry now.

As Ten Sports, managing director and CEO for India Navneet Sharma ex plains: “The arena of new media which is broadband, mobile, games on the PC is growing fast. Using celebri ties to market sporting events has also had an impact. Earlier, a television channel would only look at television rights. Now they want broadband and mobile rights as well. There is also more dependency on different sports as opposed to just one”.

While, the scenario looks bright, there are still challenges. Says one industry source, “It is an area that requires expertise and there is no professionalism in the industry due to which there have been several administrative problems. However. with newer players coming in the situation is expected to change. Competition will become intense — and healthy.” Secondly, there is an over dominance of cricket and cricket rights are going through the roof. A recent article in Sports valued global cricket at $2.4 billion and BCCI alone has been valued at $1.5 billion.

Sporting flutter Rs 750 cr potential sports-related market in India. $22 bn global sponsorship market. $2.4 bn global cricket market size. $1.5 bn valuation of BCCI alone. Points of interest Broadcasting & media rights Sponsorships, licensing and merchandising. Ticketing & hospitality, entertainment etc