Indian Premier League – southwell34

Professional sport in India has seen some great financial investment over the last couple of years. The most obvious being the Indian Premier League Cricket, but more recently the introduction of the Indian Super League Football and the Indian Premier League Tennis. Investment is key to start and grow these leagues and sponsors have not been shy. The link to professional sport is still a very appealing partnership for companies and investors even though there is no formula to say how successful this is.

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The Indian Premier League TV rights was sold for $1 billion a couple of years back. Pepsi and Sony are happy to pay between $10-25 million for sponsorship deals. Player auctions will quite often exceed the $1 million to gain the best cricketers from all over the world for one season. The season lasts for 7 weeks.

Indian Super League Football is a new creation and will consist of eight franchise teams. Sachin Tendulkar bagged the Kochi franchise and Sourav Ganguly took the Kolkata franchise, both for approximately $25 million each. Ganguly’s bid was also in partnership with several businessmen and most notably Atletico Madrid. Man City may have set a trend for co-owning teams in up and coming leagues, with their purchase of New York City in the MLS and Melbourne City in the A-League. The season will run from September till November.

The Indian Premier League Tennis has attracted nearly all of the top 20 players in the world. Rafael Nadal will be paid $1 million per night to play a new format of one set tennis. The league will run for 4 weeks in November and December.

There is great investment taking place on the field, but another opportunity cannot be missed. The power of sport in India, with the most obvious being cricket, can tackle many social issues such as health, education, social inclusion, disability, employment and more. There is currently no structure in place to use professional sports teams as a foundation to tackle these issues. The good news is that the Government is planning to make sport an integral part of the school curriculum. The proposal will also improve the infrastructure and facilities that are currently offered. Health and fitness have been neglected in the Indian education system and sport would link them together. This will represent an opportunity for sports education companies to develop programmes and structures to make this happen, but there is huge potential to include professional sport to tackle education and heath along with other social issues.

The English Premier League and Football League models are very successful and could be adopted. The professional football clubs have become central figures in their communities and bring together education, local authority, local businesses and charities to build strategies and programs to tackle these issues. The attraction of the local professional team, brings these partners together and engages local beneficiaries in large numbers. There will be differences in culture, the education system and some opposition, but the most important elements are there for India to adopt.

The power of sport – Sachin Tendulkar is arguably the most famous person in India and therefore one of the most influential. He is referred to as having a ‘god like’ status in a country steeped in religious beliefs. A cricket ball a tennis racquet a football are all engagement tools for young people. Once young people are engaged you can start tackling the other social issues.

Finance – The professional leagues mentioned above have attracted large investment. Investors will be attracted by the ability of the partnership to promote their product or service and also the ability to evidence their social responsibilities. A good business is also a good citizen!

The need – Over 30% of the population are under the international poverty rate resulting in inadequate access to health care and education. More than 50% of the population is aged under 25 and this on the rise.

There is great potential for sport to be more than just a game. The cricketing gods of India can bring many social changes

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