Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director of Madison World, and Noomi Mehta, Chairman Selvel Outdoor Advertising, have acquired a dominant stake in sports management company Professional Management Group (PMG). Sumedh Shah, Sunil Gavaskar’s erstwhile partner who conceived PMG in the early ’80s, has decided to lay down executive office and offload his stake, but will continue in an advisory capacity with the company.
PMG has aggressive plans to make a mark in this industry and has already got a young vibrant team in place, led by Melroy D’Souza.
Shah and Gavaskar had set up PMG in 1985, which was India’s first sports management company that had pioneered the concept of syndicating sponsored sports columns in leading newspapers. Other firsts to PMG’s credit include television sports programming for all major channels from 1986 onwards including Doordarshan, Star Sports, ESPN, Star Plus, Zee, Yorkshire TV, etc. The programmes varied from the Allepy boat race to horse racing to Femina Miss India.
PMG also created the CEAT Cricketer of the Year award, which is the first international cricket awards in the world; Castrol Indian Cricketer of the Year, which is the first ever Indian Cricket Awards; and BPL Player of the Week.
Gavaskar said, “Sports management has become a totally different ballgame from the time PMG started. I am confident that the new shareholders will drive the company to greater heights with their understanding of the new environment and client needs. Sumedh was the pioneer as far as sports marketing and sports event management is concerned in India, and he was the rock for all of us at PMG. I am happy to know that he will continue to be available to the new PMG as it takes its first steps in the sporting business world.”
“Sam is a legend in the advertising world, and Sumedh and I have had absolutely no hesitation in joining with him to take our aspirations to make PMG a world-class organisation. Noomi is a sportsman first and foremost, and I have had the pleasure of interacting with him several times in the past on my many visits to Kolkata. So it is a real pleasure to join hands with a person whose heart beats for sports,” added Gavaskar.
Madison World already has 11 specialist units in communications from media and outdoor to PR, retail and mobile. Balsara added, “Sports management is now a specialist and rapidly growing field which we wanted to enter. It is indeed a good way to partner a true-blue company founded and nurtured by two fine gentlemen, Sunil Gavaskar and Sumedh Shah.”
Mehta, said, “I am a sportsman first and later a businessman, and I welcome the opportunity to partner and grow PMG.”