This fort­night...

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL / CONTENTS - Ash­wini Gan­gal ash­wini.gan­gal@afaqs.com

A`16,347.50 crore bid. Dan­gal. In­dian Premier League. Dhoni. Me­dia rights. adi­das. Star In­dia. PV Sindhu. Ama­zon Prime Video. Kabaddi. Sil­ver medal. Sul­tan. In­side Edge. Mithali Raj. Live stream­ing. Saina. BCCI. Vi­rat. En­dorse­ment. Da da ding...

That right there is a quick sports mon­tage in words, spread across the in­ter-con­nected worlds of me­dia, brands and pop­u­lar cul­ture. If one care­fully goes over all the movies, ad­ver­tise­ments, and tele­vi­sion and dig­i­tal prop­er­ties that be­came pop­u­lar over the past year or so, a com­mon theme that will stand out like no other is sports.

There is no doubt about two things: One, in In­dia, the spot­light, lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional – (just days back, Face­book bid a whop­ping Rs.3,900 crore for IPL’s dig­i­tal rights!) – is on sports. And two, this is more than a pass­ing phase; sports is the next big thing.

Which is why, this fort­night, we de­cided to speak to three pro­fes­sion­als, Vinit Karnik, In­dranil Das Blah and Je­hil Thakkar, who rep­re­sent very dif­fer­ent spa­ces but are equally clued into the busi­ness of sports. We spoke to them about this boom. What makes sports such a lu­cra­tive busi­ness in In­dia? What are the de­ter­mi­nants of this phe­nom­e­non? What makes me­dia ex­perts con­fi­dent that a broad­caster can not just re­cover `16,347.50 crore within five years, but also make prof­its by then... all on the back of sports?

The role that pack­ag­ing, pre­sent­ing and pro­mot­ing sports con­tent in an at­trac­tive way has played is lost on no one. Pri­vati­sa­tion of sports is an­other big fac­tor; the fed­er­a­tion game, as our ex­perts point out, is over.

More im­por­tantly, where do they see the arc headed in the fu­ture? How will ad­ver­tis­ers ride this wave? While all three in­ter­vie­wees gave us dif­fer­ent opin­ions, coloured by their re­spec­tive pro­fes­sional lenses, they’re unan­i­mous in their view that tak­ing this boom to the next level and sus­tain­ing it in the long term, will re­quire ef­fort at the grass­root.

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