By- Isha Jain, INN/Chennai, @Infodeaofficial

In India, sports is yet to be recognized as an economic sector, mainly due to the fact there has been little or no comprehensive study done on the industry’s size, potential, and on the available opportunities. However, with the formation of newer leagues and successful franchises, the sports industry has grown almost 10 percent by the year 2014. New initiatives such as the establishment of Indian Premier League (Cricket), Hockey India League, Indian Badminton League, Pro Kabaddi League, and Indian Super League (Football) are indeed changing the face and identity of Indian sports.

The sports industry has indeed grown extensively — from Rs. 43.7 billion in 2013 to Rs. 48 billion ($713 million) in 2015 — mainly due to the emergence of new sporting leagues. The establishment of a

Sports industry in India can reap rich dividends in different segments. Employment and the massive market opportunities which will open up within this industry will be enormous in the years to come. While demonetization and GST hit overall ad expenditure in 2017, the sports sector has been able to ride the storm with a steady and positive trajectory. All major sporting leagues managed to bring on board sponsors at a 100 percent or more incremental value for the title sponsorship. Specifically,

IPL has emerged as one of the most valuable global sports properties in the world. It has also become a country-wide platform of scouting new talents, other than Ranji Trophy. IPL exposure has played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the game of Indian players on every parameter of the sport.

Sponsorship of other sports domains grew in 2017. India’s second biggest sport by participation and attendance, football grew by a considerable 64 percent. Since last year, ISL is a 10 team, 18+ week showcase, up from eight teams and 10 weeks in the last season.

ISL Sponsorship has grown by 22 percent from the previous year. 2017 also saw the birth of five new franchise based leagues—UTT, SBL, SFL, Cue Slam & P1 Power Boating. Major personalities like Mrs. Nita Ambani, Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Ranbir Kapoor have come forward as the flag bearers of the football community and encouraged people to become spectators.

The impact is surely visible. Indian football captain, Sunil Chhetri, urged people to watch the game of Indian football in a recent viral video and the nation sure heard his words. Since then, the average attendance of spectators at an Indian football Team game has increased substantially. The government plays a crucial role in promoting sports. The government and associated organizations constitute the public sector of the sports industry, which is responsible in making sports policies, allocating grants for developing infrastructure, nurturing talents and designing specialized programmes for overall development of sports.


The association between celebrities and sports truly took off with the Indian Premier League, when actors Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty invested in their teams, generating traction about the T20 league. A few years down the line, the situation has changed. Even as the 2017 IPL auction took place, other sporting disciplines such as kabaddi, football, and mixed martial arts could boast support from high-profile personalities – actors Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda and Jacqueline Fernandez are a few names to join the bandwagon. Some of the stars are not just promoting, but also investing. We also see the involvement of the corporate brands in the promotion of various sports. For example, the company Hero MotoCorp has been associated with a clutch of sports, including golf, cricket, hockey, and football for over two decades now.

The atmosphere of sports in India has always been exotic and with the introduction of multiple platforms for youngsters to showcase their talent, it won’t be wrong to think that the future is in right hands.


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