Sports Management: The Next Big Thing in India

2008 was a watershed year for Sports in India. Abhinav Bindra’s Gold at the Beijing Olympics, the first-ever ‘individual’ Gold by an Indian in the planet’s premier sporting spectacle, had an inspirational effect on sportspersons and sports-lovers in the country.

The advent of the Indian Premier League in the same year was another catalyst in the rapid evolution of India’s sports industry. The annual sporting league created a new, distinct ecosystem, which demanded professional management off the field to complement the efforts being put in by the players on the field.

The IPL inspired the creation of multiple sporting leagues. This in turn boosted the concept of Sports Management. The rapidly evolving Sports industry called for professionals who could handle and manage backend operations of events or tournaments like finance, marketing, hospitality, facility management, event management, content creation and many others.

  • Did you know that the backend team or say, Managers working behind the scenes on the Indian Premier League adds up to nearly 22,000 professionals? In today’s day and age, India hosts as many as 15 multiple sporting properties, plus more than 1100 marathons, every year. Imagine then, the manpower required by this sector!

Let us look at some facts about the Sports Industry:

  • The proliferation of multiple sporting leagues and the rise in the popularity of sports like Badminton, Shooting, Football and Wrestling, to name just a few, proves that India is no longer a one-sport nation.
  • The Sports Industry is growing by 15% per annum (source: DataPOWA)
  • The nation will need four million Sports Management professionals by the year 2022 (source: FICCI’s vision document)

Some of the Sports Management verticals, where careers could be made, are as follows:

  • League / Team / Athlete Management
  • Venue Management
  • Managing Associations / Federations
  • Handling the Operations / Logistics of Team or League
  • Sports Grassroots Development – Identifying & Nurturing Talent
  • Handling Media & Communications Outfit of a Team
  • Sports Event Management – from Conception to Planning to Coordination to Execution
  • Business Development, Sales & Client Servicing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Electronic & Digital Media -Programming
  • Sports Data Analytics
  • Sports Retail
  • Sports Tourism
  • Sports Psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Sports Law
  • Coaching

Individuals who are passionate about sport and possess enterprise and expertise, will make a big difference to the Sports industry. The best way in which one’s passion can be merged with one’s profession is by pursuing formal education in sports management, which would blend classroom learning with practical learning, in the form of live exposure.

Sports Management as a career is challenging but immensely satisfying. The Sports industry, which is well on its way to becoming one of the biggest industries in the country, will accept individuals who want to make a difference either on or off the field, with open arms.

Download SMAT Sample Papers

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