The global sports market comprising infrastructure, events, training and manufacturing and retail of sports goods is estimated at INR 37.8–44.2 lakh crore (USD 600–700 billion), accounting for approximately 1 per cent of the global GDP. According to the report titled The Business of Sports launched today by KPMG in India in association with CII during the Summit on Business of Sports and Entertainment, over the years sports has evolved as a noticeable sector for all economies, presenting myriad career as well as business opportunities. Further, sports contributes significantly towards improving the overall health and well-being of a country. Some interesting trends driving the global sports sector highlighted in this report are:
Technology has gradually made its presence felt through applications across the entire value chain of sports business
Like in other industries, social media is acting as a game changer in the sports sector too. A large number of sportspersons also use the medium to connect with their fans and endorse their brand affiliations
Amongst the devoted sports enthusiasts globally, 45 per cent prefer viewing sports content online
There has been an upsurge in global female viewership for sports events. In India too females are increasingly comprising a significant portion of the viewership pie.
Shrinivas Dempo, Chairman CII Summit on Business of Sports and Entertainment & Chairman & Managing Director, Dempo Shipbuilding & Engineering said, “The last 5-7 years have been the most dynamic for the sports industry in India with some fundamental changes. Sports not only provides an active branding and marketing opportunity to investors, but has also created value for fans all across. Addition of various sporting leagues in India have invited tremendous support and presence of corporate sector. Against this backdrop, CII is proud to organize the Summit on Business of Sports and Entertainment in Mumbai”.
While presenting an overview of the global and Indian sports market, the report explores and assesses the sports ecosystem in India, identifies the various stakeholders concerned and addresses their specific issues and challenges while attempting to highlight the common grounds between all stakeholders to enhance the development of sports in India.
According to Jaideep Ghosh, Partner and Head, Transport, Leisure and Sports, KPMG in India, “The country’s sports sector is going through a significant transition. In February 2016, the government accorded an industry status to sports infrastructure, which is expected to attract investments from the private sector, thereby not limiting its role to just Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and non-profit organisations.”
The Indian sports sector is experiencing a sea change with all-round developments initiated by the government, the private sector as well as non-profit organisations. Increasing viewership, sponsorship and participation in sports other than cricket, a rising number of sports start-ups and the growth in rural viewership numbers are key trends driving the growth of this sector in India. The report further highlights encouraging aspects of sports landscape in India, as below:
Indian sports viewership (TV) numbers grew 30 per cent over the two year period between 2014 and 2015
In 2015, the Indian sports sponsorship market grew 6.7 per cent y-o-y to Rs 5,190 crore
Sports consumption in India is on the rise with leagues as well international sports garnering strong support across multiple platforms. While India is a latecomer in adopting the league concept, it is rapidly covering ground; out of the 11 operational leagues, nine were launched during 2013–16 and two more are planned in 2016
Regional games packaged in interesting league formats have been successful in garnering rural viewership as well
The report identifies key issues facing the sports ecosystem in India across segments of governance, sports events, and infrastructure development among others, while offering recommendations to tackle these problems. It also presents a comprehensive view of the governance structure of sports in India, outlining the roles and responsibilities of major governing entities.
“India has a long way to go before it emerges as a serious player in the world of sports. The country is facing a moment of truth after its performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics. To initiate a strong foundation for the development of sports in India, the country needs to focus on three major aspects — improving governance and infrastructure, building a sporting culture and deploying a focused approach to winning medals,” added Ghosh.
The early success achieved by league-based events across multiple sports indicates a strong potential for Indians to consume sports other than cricket. This growing popularity of the league format in India resonates across the report. The league culture is still in its nascent stages in India, in comparison to the U.S. and Europe. IPL established a successful model for packaging and marketing a league in India. The year 2014 saw the emergence of some potentially successful leagues, including PKL, ISL, IPTL and CTL. These are encouraging trends for the future of sports. However, the business of leagues requires high investments and has long gestation periods. In order to drive team success in leagues, the report suggests significant focus on fan engagement and marketing, celebrity influence, geographic location and better overall management apart from on field performance.
India has a long journey ahead on its path to developing a strong sports culture. It needs to begin at the base, and that is what will build the future.