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    Sports Business ( Evolution of Sports Business )
Sport today, more than leisure and entertainment, is a humongous business enjoying unparalleled world attention - whether through viewership, events and media coverage or in the form of advertising, sponsorships merchandise or publications. It's as much about on-the-field athleticism as it is about off-the-field management. No wonder, Sports Marketing is today one of the most lucrative industries and corporate sponsorships in sports are growing faster than in any other field. The Sports management business is a 60,000 crore mega business.

Internationally, celebrities from the world of sports such as American professional golfer Tiger Woods, professional basketball player LeBron James and Swiss tennis star Roger Federer are making money in more ways than one. Multi-million dollar deals for endorsing and using contracted companies' merchandise, guest appearance fees and match fees are all revenue spinners for these players.

Sports marketing is finally coming of age in India, with a large number of firms out in the field, giving product endorsement contracts to celebrities in a range of sports. They come in different avatars ranging from full-service sports management companies and sports television channels to offshoots of advertising and media firms, celebrity management companies and lifestyle clubs. These include leading television networks such as ESPN, Star TV, Zee TV, Sony Television, Nimbus and NDTV, specialized sports management companies such as Mahesh Bhupathi's Globosport, Total Sports, Tiger Sports, Collage Sports Management, sports divisions of advertising agencies such as Percept D'mark, O&M, and sports administration bodies such as the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).

In India, sport stars such as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and tennis star Sania Mirza reap the benefits of their celebrity status by endorsing products and services, earning millions of dollars each year, through the endorsement deals brought to them by their respective Sports 'Managers'.

While top cricketers still lead the pack commanding around US$600,000 per endorsement, others lower down the hierarchy get around US$250,000 to US$500,000 for an endorsement. Even newcomers with good scores or wicket taking skills can earn around US$60,000 per endorsement. Increasingly, medal winners in other sports are also getting lucrative assignments. Abhinav Bindra's gold in shooting at the Beijing Olympics saw him endorsing brands such as Samsung for record amounts. Similarly, Rathore managed to get contracts from brands such as Sahara, Coke and Hero Honda. Sania Mirza, managed by Mahesh Bhupathi's Globosport, is already a multimillionaire, given her exploits from the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour. Rising badminton star Saina Nehwal, has already got deals with multiple fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands.