How Sports Startups Have Contributed in Creating a Sustainable Sporting Ecosystem in India?

Gone are the days when the Indian audience only preferred watching cricket. With the introduction of multiple sporting leagues like the Pro Kabaddi League, Indian Super League, etc. there has been an upsurge of people who have shown interest in other Indian sports.

The growing interest of the Indian audience has also helped pave the way for several other sports like cycling, marathons, and even eSports.

The reason for such an upsurge is because the on-field matches were either cancelled or were played on empty grounds, during the pandemic that forced the audience to watch other sports.

Having said that, the sports industry has cleared the turbulence and is now flying over clear skies and the proof that the sports industry has seen a 62% growth compared to the previous year.

The Rise of Sports in the Indian Ecosystem

You would be surprised to know that despite all the grandeur and fame, the sports industry’s contribution to the Indian GDP is only 0.1%. The contribution is small, but the changing dynamics towards fitness is the catalyst that helped to increase the demand for sporting merchandise.

There has been an increase in investment in areas like manufacturing, and retail of equipment, apparel advertising, training, and talent hunting. Khelo Indian is a great initiative that helped shape the minds of people with regards to various sports. This initiative motivated numerous students from their school days that they can excel in their field with proper guidance and care.

The rise of sports in the past couple of years has prompted several entrepreneurs to develop their idea and execute it with perfection, which assists in creating a sustainable sporting ecosystem.

Famous Sports Startups of India

Over the years, India has emerged as the startup hub and has created numerous startups across all domains. Sports startups are the ones that primarily focused on providing services, and products to the audience who show interest in sports.

Here are the famous sports startups in India: –

● Dream11– This renowned sports startup is headquartered in Mumbai, is an online sports platform developed by Bhavit Sheth and Harsh Jain. In Dream11 the users can create leagues, compete with their friends, and also invite them to play games.

 

● Aethleti Circle– Aethelti Circle was founded by a former IISM student Diksha Chillar. The objective of this startup is to support national and international sports players by getting them sponsorships, legal help, PR, etc.

 

● GetSetPlay- GetSetPlay is a sports company that encourages the Indian audience to undertake an active lifestyle through fitness and sports. The users can join sports communities, book sporting events, signs up for several camps, etc. This startup was co-founded by Soham Patil, a former Alumni of IISM.

 

● Rent a cycle – Varun Singh the former Alumni of IISM is the co-founder of Rent a Cycle, a startup where the company will offer users cycles round the clock. The cycles can be rented at a price as low as Rs.280 and complimentary helmet bookings can also be made.

 

● Games 24×7 – Games 24×7 was established in 2006, and with a handful of employees, they have come a long way in paving the way to creating an immersive gaming experience. Over the years they have launched several online games that have attracted the Indian audience.

 

● MPL – Mobile Premier League (MPL) is a startup straight from Bangalore. MPL was founded in the year 2018, and in MPL the users can play in several sports categories such as eSports tournaments, Fantasy sports, etc. Over the years, MPL has become a household name in sports startups that the Indian audience have liked.

 

● Global eSports – Global eSports is an online gaming startup with several teams across the globe playing in numerous games like CSGO, DOTA 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Apex Legends, etc.

 

How have fantasy sports companies contributed to the sports industry?

Fantasy sports companies have tremendously helped the sports industry, as they have contributed over INR 3,000 Crores in various segments in the previous year. They managed this by buying media rights, sponsoring players and teams, leagues, etc.

The conglomerates of these fantasy sports wish to invest in new startups that assist in making the sports industry better than its current state. One such example is Dream Sports Foundation, a fantasy sports conglomerate supports 6,000 athletes in India.

With the increasing demand for fantasy sports, India has also seen a massive surge in the number of teams competing in eSports.

 

How eSports has helped change the dynamics of the industry?

The sudden interest in eSports after the pandemic has really helped several local players and teams make a name for themselves on international platforms.

 

For example, our team ranked third among 60 countries who participated in the event.  Though they missed to qualify for FIFA eNations Cup 2021, it is an incredible achievement nonetheless, considering it was India’s debut in the West Asia and Africa Zone of the FIFA eNations Cup.

It is now estimated by experts that the count of viewers of such eSports events would shoot up to 130 million by 2025. Not only the views count has increased, but the prize pools have also seen a 25% to 30% growth across all championships.

 

Who are the stakeholders in the sports industry?

For the success of any sport, it is crucial that stakeholders enter the arena and contribute to its smooth function. The stakeholders range from the players to coaches, and event managers to fans.

The success of the event is directly proportional to the contribution from the stakeholders. One major stakeholder that everyone seems to forget is the government. The governmental bodies ensure that the events are carried out successfully without any hurdles.

Another major stakeholder that has been actively supporting the sports startups is the conglomerate JSW, who in April 2022, announced that their partnership with India Accelerator is aimed to mentoring sports startups in India.

One major way that these stakeholders make the most money is by selling merchandise, and tickets to these games. This is where the sports tech market comes into play.

 

Why should you start your own sports startup?

With the launch of IPL, the sports and the entertainment industry has drastically changed over the past years. The initiative to launch IPL as sportainment gave several sports enthusiasts a chance to work on their startups and make a name for themselves.

You might have heard about several famous startups like Dream11, MPL, Rent a Cycle, GetSetPlay, etc, but today we will shift your attention to a few reasons as to why you should create your sports startup.

The biggest advantage of starting a startup is that you are your own boss, and managing the sporting events will give you more exposure about handling the management side of sports, and you will find innovative ways to face the hurdles when organizing and executing a sporting event.

With proper research and development, you and your team can also create technological advances that create better sporting equipment.

You get the flexibility to start the business from the comfort of your house. You need not rent a place, nor invest in office supplies. Your entire focus will be on growing your sports startup, and ensuring that it has reached the heights you had imagined.

Starting your startup can be a rewarding experience. You will constantly be bombarded with new problems, and it will be a challenging time for you to find the right solution. You and your team will explore new ways that will guide you in finding ways that will attract and redirect the traffic to your website.

Last words

This was an in-depth view on how the sports startups have contributed to the growth of the sports industry in India. If you also want to learn more about the business side of sports and discover the joys of entrepreneurship, then you must also enroll in the specialized Bachelor, Master, and Autonomous PG programs provided by IISM, Mumbai.

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