· Interestingly, the Conference was unique in its content orientation, profile of discussants and the level of participation. Newer ideations, perceptions and action plans have come up for heralding a new sports culture that touches the imagination of the people. Implicit in this scale of activity is building attractive models that can help create corporations to invest in sports, sustainable development of the sportsmen and building sport facilities across India, which can be accessed by everyone in India.
· The most preferred route for enhancing business quotient in sports is introduction of league system. The innovation that was brought about in the IPL has brought about a paradigm shift in how sports was managed, played, viewed, generated sponsorship and much beyond that. It is instructive to emulate this success in other sports like hockey, athletics and football. The quantum jump that can be brought about in the profile of these games are immense but the underlying premise is that there is a lag effect for turning around such sports events. Patience, pragmatism and learning from the experience of other tournaments are basics to the gradual transformation of these sporting events.
· Critical to the new eco sports system is the focus on coaching and coaching of coaches. Such a dispensation is conspicuous by its absence in the Indian scene today except for some recent examples wherein the world class coaches were brought in with the help of corporate sponsorships for the hockey league. The football league which is expected to kick off shortly will also have services of the world class coaches.
· Media, the conference felt, can bring about the desired mind set transformation among sports persons, sports lovers, civil society and sports administration. It is one thing to have the state-of-the -art sports complexes. But more important is optimally using them for the common good. Economics of building large stadia can be rationalized by making them adaptable for various purposes. There are international examples of larger stadia being used successfully for sports activities, social purposes and also in providing basic amenities for common man for walking, jogging and for even organizing entertainment programs. This culture could take strong roots in India. This may also herald a new eco system in sports, where everyone will have a stake in the sports and bring about a community connect.
· Resource crunch was a major impediment in sports development. In this regard, a view was expressed that the mandate of the new companies act, which stipulates corporates to spend on corporate social responsibility should be channelized for building sports infrastructure across the country to provide accessibility to promising sports persons.
· The commercial success of IPL was highlighted. But the spill over of that interest in other sports activities is conspicuous by its absence. Partly, media was responsible for that for not making heroes out of the events. For instance, PT Usha was the reigning champion in athletics for quite some time. India won the Olympics gold for several years. But those who scripted the Indian success were unsung and unheard. A new thinking has to permeate among the media to educate, package and report events and games that are perceived by the public as less important. That will help the sponsors and event managers to showcase these games.
· The best of Indian sports-cricket-fade into insignificance in terms of its brand value in comparison to revenue raked in by FIFA or even a third category football sporting club in UK or Germany. This is where a collaborative effort of the corporate, the government and the media should be forged.
· Some of the important speakers who addressed the conference include Mr Raghu Iyer, CEO, Rajasthan Royals, Mr Mustafa Ghouse, COO, JSW Bengaluru FC; Mr AmritMathur, Former COO, GMR Sports and Advisor, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; Dr Nathan Price, Personal Excellence Consultant, Australian Institute of Sport; Dr Paul Gastin, Associate Professor, Sport Science, Deakin University, Australia; Mr Erick Haskell, MD, Adidas Group, India; Ms Priti Srivastava, Vice President, Reliance Industries Ltd; Mr Virendra Kumar Mahendru, GM (Civil) and Head – Corporate Sports, ONGC; Mr Deepak Jolly, VP – Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola India and SWA; Mr Thomas Abraham, Co-founder & Editorial Director, Sportz Network Pvt Ltd, Mr Rajesh Sethi, CEO, Ten Sports; Mr Santosh Desai, MD &CEO, Future Brands Ltd and Mr Harish Krishnamachar, Country Head and Sr VP, World Sport Group.
· The proposed National Sports Development Bill 2013, is aimed at transforming the sports eco - system in the country by enlisting the support from various stakeholders. The government has already initiated interface with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in this regard to bring them on board and to take their inputs while formulating the bill.
· This was stated by Mr Ajit M Sharan, Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, while addressing the CII National Conference on Business of Sports, held in New Delhi today. Importantly, the function also felicitated sports persons from various disciplines.
· Responding to a suggestion from CII raised by Mr Deepak Jacob, Co-chair, SCORECARD 2014 and President and General Counsel, Star India Pvt Ltd that infrastructure status should be given to sports, Mr Sharan said that there should a larger role for private sector engagement in the sports development in the country. There is need for channelizing more funds for creating sports infrastructure, training of potential sportspersons and in engaging world class coaches. In this regard, he said that the Sports Ministry will put up in the website the of profiles of sports events and sportspersons that can be funded directly by the private sector under the National Sports Development Fund Scheme. The Secretary said that sports management companies and consulting companies are increasingly being engaged on a continuous basis for promotional activities. Their role will increase in the coming days.
· Welcoming the recommendation made by Mr Deepak Jacob to form a Joint Task Force between Government, Industry and sportspersons of sports bodies, Mr Sharan observed that the Government would be consulting the private sector and take their help in bringing in new momentum in the sports eco system in the country on a sustained basis. At the same time, he said that National Sports Federation have a greater role in sports promotion. He wanted CII to actively engage them in its strategy to get involved in the sports availing their expertise, funding and infrastructure at their command
· Referring to the underutilization of stadia built during major sports event, the Secretary observed that all over the world, despite the best legacy planning, stadia cannot be used 365 days a year. He wanted corporates to use the excellent facilities available with the stadia for their meetings. Also, the government is working out various schemes for encouraging peoples’ connect for these stadia by creating facilities for jogging, walking, cyclingetc. alongside these places. He said that in the next couple of months there would be marked improvements in the usage of these facilities.
Mr Sharan mentioned about setting up of the National Institute of Sports Medicine for which a blueprint has already been prepared. This body will provide the scientific support to sportsmen to improve their performance.
· Mr Atul Singh, Chairman, National Committee on Sports and Group President –Asia, The Coca Cola Company, in his address, suggested that the corporates should be more patient and draw up long term strategies in their engagement with the sports sector. “Sports have a strong business appeal and at the same time one should not look at the return on investment in the short and medium term. It takes longer duration of engagement to get the desired results”, he added.
Mentioning that the sports development involves active engagement of all stakeholders such as sportsmen, sports fans, the Government, corporate sector and the civil society, Mr Atul Singh observed that there would be rich societal dividends from sports development. “Sports is a teacher, leveller and can create great leaders,” he added.
· Mr Deepak suggested that the corporate sector should go beyond sponsorship and corporates social responsibility (CSR) in the case of sports development. Media, he said, has an important role in sports development by creating local heroes and triggering local passions. IPL, he said, despite the controversies, which it has created, has helped in popularizing the game and building the connect with the people. More such niche games should be identified for focussed development.
· Speaking at the session, Mr Jaideep Ghosh, Partner, Management Consulting, KPMG in India said, “It is critical to build a dynamic sporting culture through collaboration between Government and the corporate sector. Inadequate public resources for sports and less prominence of non-cricket sports impede our performance in the global sporting arena”.
· KPMG under the aegis of CII released a report titled “Business of Sports - Shaping a Successful Innings for the Indian Sports Industry”. The report identifies key issues in the sports ecosystem and explores measures to develop a private-investment led sporting scenario in the country – one that helps imbibe a sporting culture and achieve the country’s vision of excellence in sports.
· The reports states that resource scarcity in India makes it difficult for the Government to attain the above objectives and calls for collaborative efforts of both the Government and private sector towards strengthening the sports ecosystem. Long term sustainability of commercial ventures in the Indian sports sector would require sustained audience interest driven by India’s winning performances at international sporting events.
· Sports not only boost the youth and instil pride among citizens, but also facilitate social and economic development of a nation. Sports sector is seen to have a significant socio-economic impact worldwide contributing to 1-5% of national GDP. This can be achieved by building a sporting culture in the country.
· However, in India sports is not recognised as an industry yet, limiting corporate investments except in cricket and a few other leagues. Being home to various upcoming leagues and the youngest population in the world, India’s sports sector offers tremendous growth potential.
· Ajit M Sharan, Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports released the CII - KPMG report at the Scorecard 2014, CII’s National conference on Sports.
· Earlier Atul Singh, Chairman, CII National Committee on Sports and Group President (Asia), The Coca Cola Company, highlighted Industry’s role of “going beyond Sponsorships and CSR activity and the need for a policy shift to recognize Sports as an industry”. He said, “this would help actualize the India@75 vision for broad-basing sports in India, and promote excellence in Sports, by promoting infrastructure development, providing technical support for athletes, as well as grooming talented sportspersons”.
· “Corporate funding in sports may be the answer to ignite sports development in India. The gestation period for realizing return on such investments may be long, but global experience shows us that it could be potentially rewarding’, addedJaideep Ghosh, Partner, KPMG in India
· Global sports industry is estimated to be worth around US$ 600 billion and growing at a rate higher than national gross domestic product rates around the world. While direct sports revenues are dominated by gate collections, sponsorships, media rights, the sports sector may comprise several segments such as sports tourism, sporting equipment manufacturing and retail, sports apparel, recreational sports, high school and college athletics, as well as associated businesses such as sports marketing, sports medicine, venues & infrastructure, hospitality and merchandising.
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