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Boardroom kicks

Corporate sports promotions are more about increasing brand visibility and networking, reports Sonal Srivastava.

india Updated: Jun 24, 2006 15:34 IST

Footballers and cricketers are not the only ones sweating it out for laurels. This season, the corporate world is also on a roll on the sports field. Be it the willow and the cherry or the football, the corporate honchos know how to play business. Recently, more than 20 companies participated in a corporate football competition in the city. In another cricket tournament, companies like ITC and HDFC had participated. There's more-- 32 teams from various companies had participated in a football tournament held at the Santushti grounds.

What's happening? Has the corporate world woken up to the advantages of a healthy life? Well, there's more and it's all about business.

Business games

Corporate sports promotions are more about increasing brand visibility and networking. Says VK Topa, advisor to FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), "Corporate sports are opportunities for networking and organisers invite those who matter to them. A few months ago, we had organised a golf event for increasing business with Japan where the bureaucrats and companies with Japanese trade links had participated." Neera Babu of Take Solutions (which organises such corporate golf events), says, "There is mileage in terms of visibility though it is not direct. And it helps in networking too." With visibility high on the agenda, the companies leave no stone unturned to get media coverage.

Work with pleasure

Though such tournaments help the companies in getting the right business connections, these are a great leisure excuse as well. Says Amit Sabharwal of HSBC, "Corporate tournaments are attempts to get away from work and enjoy for some time." Ajay Dua, secretary with the government of India, says, "These events help us in social interaction too as we don't get enough time otherwise. And we can discuss business issues in detail as well." Obviously, the players in the team are mostly amateurs. But as long as it helps business, it sounds like a good game.