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Corporate funding vital for sports development: KPMG-CII

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MUMBAI: The global sports market comprising infrastructure, events, sponsorship, training and manufacturing and retail of sports goods is estimated at Rs 37.8–44.2 lakh crore (USD 600–700 billion), accounting for approximately one per cent of the global GDP.

According to the report titled, "The Business of Sports" launched today by KPMG in India in association with CII during the summit on "Business of Sports and Entertainment", over the years sports has evolved as a noticeable sector for all economies, presenting myriad careers as well as business opportunities. Further, sports contributes significantly towards improving the overall health and well-being of a country. Interesting trends driving the global sports sector highlighted in this report are:

• Technology has gradually made its presence felt through applications across the entire value chain of sports business

• Like in other industries, social media is acting as a game changer in the sports sector too. A large number of sportspersons also use the medium to connect with their fans and endorse their brand affiliations

• Amongst the devoted sports enthusiasts globally, 45 per cent prefer viewing sports content online

• There has been an upsurge in global women viewership for sports events. In India too, women are increasingly comprising a significant portion of the viewership pie

Shrinivas Dempo, chairman, CII summit, and CMD, Dempo Shipbuilding & Engineering said, “The last 5-7 years have been the most dynamic for the sports industry in India with some fundamental changes. Sports not only provides an active branding and marketing opportunity to investors, but has also created value for fans all across. Addition of various sporting leagues in India have invited tremendous support and presence of corporate sector."

While presenting an overview of the global and Indian sports market, the report explores and assesses the sports ecosystem in India, identifies the various stakeholders concerned and addresses their specific issues and challenges while attempting to highlight the common grounds between all stakeholders to enhance the development of sports in India.

According to Jaideep Ghosh, partner and head, transport, leisure and sports, KPMG, in India, “In February 2016, the government accorded an industry status to sports infrastructure, which is expected to attract investments from the private sector, thereby not limiting its role to just corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and non-profit organisations.”

Increasing viewership, sponsorship and participation in sports other than cricket, a rising number of sports start-ups and the growth in rural viewership numbers are key trends driving the growth of this sector in India. The report further highlights encouraging aspects of sports landscape in India, as below:

• Indian sports viewership (TV) numbers grew 30 per cent over the two year period between 2014 and 2015

• In 2015, the Indian sports sponsorship market grew 6.7 per cent y-o-y to INR 5,190 crore

• Sports consumption in India is on the rise with leagues as well international sports garnering strong support across multiple platforms. While India is a latecomer, the concept is rapidly covering ground. Of the 11 operational leagues, nine were launched during 2013–16 and two more are planned in 2016

• Regional games packaged in interesting league formats have been successful in garnering rural viewership as well

The report identifies key issues facing the sports ecosystem in India across segments of governance, sports events, and infrastructure development among others, while offering recommendations to tackle these problems. It also presents a comprehensive view of the governance structure of sports in India, outlining the roles and responsibilities of major governing entities.

“India is facing a moment of truth after its performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics. To initiate a strong foundation for the development of sports in India, the country needs to focus on three major aspects — improving governance and infrastructure, building a sporting culture and deploying a focused approach to winning medals,” added Jaideep Ghosh.

The early success achieved by league-based events across multiple sports indicates a strong potential for Indians to consume sports other than cricket. This growing popularity of the league format in India resonates across the report. The league culture is still in its nascent stages in India, in comparison to the U.S. and Europe. IPL established a successful model for packaging and marketing. 2014 saw the emergence of some potentially successful leagues, including PKL, ISL, IPTL and CTL. However, the business of leagues requires high investments and has long gestation periods. In order to drive team success in leagues, the report suggests significant focus on fan engagement and marketing, celebrity influence, geographic location and better overall management apart from on field performance.

India has a long journey ahead on its path to developing a strong sports culture. It needs to begin at the base, and that is what will build the future.

KPMG in India, the Indian member firm of KPMG International, strives to provide rapid, performance-based, industry-focused and technology-enabled services, which reflects a shared knowledge of global and local industries.

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