– New Horizons in Sports: To boost sports and lifestyle around it in India, many leagues have come up to bring out the best talents in the nation and give them a space to compete and develop themselves. The phenomenal success of the iconic Indian Premier League (IPL) in cricket planted the seed for similar league competitions in Badminton, Cycling, Football, Golf, Hockey, Kabbadi, Mixed Martial Arts, Tennis, Wrestling and so on. This directly translates to new investors, more fans, more spectators and increased revenues from ticket sales and so much more. To manage all of these, a new path of career opportunities have unlocked providing a new need for specialized skills and knowledge in sports with pay outs at par with other industries.
– Revenues & Popularity: The biggest Corporate houses have tapped in to this growing demand of sports management, which includes big names like Reliance Industries and Hero Motors to name a few. Add to that the active endorsement and involvement of celebrities, and you have glamour and allure of national and international brands. The reach and visibility of these events make it very lucrative in terms of earnings and popularity. So whether it is the racing Grand Prix at The Buddh International Circuit or Pro Kabaddi League, if you’re an expert in sports management then you have a scope to earn big while the biggest names in sports will depend on you.
– Sport Means Business too: Sports Management is still mostly unorganized in India. As per a detailed study by National Skill Development Centre (NSDC), by 2022 India would need close to 4 lakh skilled professionals for overall team management. Just like any big business, sport teams and associations also need managers. This is evident from the fact that BCCI (World’s Richest Cricketing Body) has a full time CEO and All India Football Federation (AIFF) is making it obligatory for all Clubs in the National Football League to have a full time CEO to manage these Clubs.
– Professionals in Demand: There is a positive boost towards sport in India, which reflects in the total budget of sports development & education in India which currently stands at a staggering Rs. 3,118 crores. However the industry has a dearth of skilled professionals to cater to this demand.
A sports manager is someone who, apart from understanding the technical aspects, will also have an understanding of domain specific sports marketing, applicability of law, finance aspects, facility management and remain up to date with latest developments in sports research, healthcare, leagues and team management.
A sports manager is required mainly by various Sporting Associations, Academies, Federations and League Franchisees. In addition to this Sports Marketing firms also need them (eg: Procam) as do channel broadcasters like Star Sports, Sony Set Max, Sony Six, Neo Sports, and many more.
You don’t need to be a player to know the game inside out. All you need is the passion and love for the game and knowing what’s best for the brand. Like any other business sports also works on bottom lines. So companies seek employees with knowledge and experience to match their passion for sports. The following are the major steps needed for this career:
– Step 1: Knowledge: Educate yourself with the game and the players. A degree specialized in sports management helps because apart from the common areas like marketing, law, finance, and business management one needs a sporting perspective to apply the same in the management area.
– Step 2: Experience: This career demands trainings beyond classroom learning. Internship and industry exposure is essential to get ahead in the game. Every job will help you gain invaluable insights to understand the industry better and build a formidable resume.
– Step 3. Networking: Social media is your best friend in this area. Talk to people, build professional relationships, join fan clubs, attend industry conference, bottom line- circulate! At the end of the day – the more the better.
– Sport Management Companies: The biggest and popular names in sport management are Decathlon, JSW Sports, DNA Networks, Kooh Sports, PMG Procam International, to name a few.
– Federations: Apart from these there are close to 52 approved National Sports Federations and many more state & district level federations looking for these skills in order to promote the industry on the whole. This helps them achieve their core purpose in a seamless manner.
– Branding & Merchandising: Branding is almost essential in sporting events, and has always been considered a concrete way of connecting with end users. Merchandising today tells the stories of the sport and its icons and helps fans across globe connect with it. A Sports Management graduate will have the requisite skill set to excel in these areas and bring out the nuances of the game.
– Talent Management: Prominent names in this arena are PMG Sports, Percept India & Rhiti Sports. They specialize in managing player portfolios w.r.t. contracts, endorsements, renewals and associations on national and international levels.