Sports entrepreneurship is the new mantra among management graduates in Bangalore.
With large and small organisations alike looking for a respite from everyday routine, selling sports to them has grown into a promising idea and sports event management companies have started cropping up all over the city; not only as a means of business but also as a great way to spread a lot of awareness about the sport involved. "Sports management in Bangalore is fairly robust and has potential to grow. Lots of national sports management companies are based out of Bangalore and have grown well in the last few years," says Ashok Karanth, a sports management consultant.
Like any other event management company, sports management firms transform and package sports events into lucrative investments for a specific or generic target section. The recently-in-news IPL and ICL are splendid examples. And many general event management firms have started viewing sports as an opportunity that should not be missed. It depends on the company’s current situation and future scope. Firms that are secure will not want to try it in trying times such as these. But up and coming event management firms would explore this idea as they are really looking at alternatives now.
While a few event management companies like Ventures India and Roots Sports are into many games, some focus only on a specific sport. In Bangalore, chess and football have long been favourites.
We believe that there is nothing like sports, for a sense of individual achievement and team spirit in a single match, that gives pain and joy at the same time," says Guru Prasad J, the founder of Sports Arena and a former soccer player for an A division club with the BWSSB. Sports Arena, according to him, is not just a sports event management organisation but also a platform to play on, share and live the passion for sports. This company’s management through sports programme, also known as ‘The Captain’s Meet’, conceptualised by Guru, provides an insight into the various nuances of management via sports.
Sports Arena has ready packaged events for corporates, schools and colleges, which include ‘spot-kick events’ – team building and networking activities for closed office spaces, and ‘dug-out sessions’ – which include weekend coaching by professional sportspeople. In addition, the company holds sports tournaments within an organisation. They also conduct free kick events, with an aim to promoting sports at the grass root level. As part of this, sports kits are provided to underprivileged children free of cost, and maybe hence the name.
Sports Arena also coaches and introduces children to learning through sports. Recently one such free kick event, in association with the content support management team of Thomson Reuters, was conducted in Frazer Town. Around 40 volunteers from Thomson Reuters attended and conducted a Sports Day for Maria Nikethan Orphanage which is associated with Mother Theresa Group. Around 165 children participated and had a blast. Other companies which are regulars for Sports Arena’s events include British Airways, Honeywell, Deustche Bank, Applied Materials, VM Ware, First Source and Motorola.
With many sectors being badly hit by the wave of cost cutting, sports management professionals accept that this industry is also affected by recession, but probably, the least. "During recession, typically the first thing corporates cut is advertising spending. Hence, sports management as a sector will be hit, just like other advertiser dollar dependent businesses," says Karanth. "But the fact is that during recession, viewer ship of sports increases. People need an escapism outlet to get away from the bad news on the job front. Therefore, as a sector, sports and entertainment will not be as badly hit as other sectors."
With a young population, higher incomes, more awareness on the need to be fit, and growing infrastructure for sport, sports management as a profession has strong potential to grow. Guru Prasad of Sports Arena says, "We are coming out with a whole new sporting experience – the super five inter corporate football tournament (termed Futsal), an opportunity to meet and play in the company of your colleagues, family and friends, to be held on the 2nd and 3rd of May."
What better way to have a great time at work? If you are interested in such events, send in your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
⊕Thanks to all the professionals for their views
Pics Courtesy: Sports Arena