India Sports Sponsorship Market Could Be $4bn By 2019

India, which now has just a 1 per cent share of the current sponsorship spends market value of $40 billion, could corner more share and up its stake up to 5 per cent, provided the sports federations were cleaned up and the real stakeholders brought in to administer them.

“A survey by Ernst&Young in 2005 had predicted that going by the present growth rates, and with the Olympic Games seeing two more editions, 2012 (London) and 2016 (Rio de Janeiro) and two more Asiads (China and the one in 2019, for which bidding is still on) and one more CWG (Glasgow, 2014), the sports sponsorship market will be more than doubling across the globe by 2019,” an expert said.

At the present moment the market size is $40 billion, of which India has a share of just 1 per cent, and out of this, 90 per cent is cricket money. But with the kind of wins India made at the CWG 2010, and if the athletes do not start fagging out or get too bloated with ego, then the chances are extremely bright for other sports to hear he sweet swish of rupees pouring in.

But the federations are the major problem. The old guard is paranoid of losing their control, so they keep everything under wraps.

The Badminton Association of India is a case in point: had it not been for former aces Prakash Padukone and Pulella Gopichand, who actually run the show, the BAI would not have seen so much money coming in, an insider says. These two run the BAI and keep the president BK Verma happy in his perceived commander’s seat, insiders say.

In fact, one businessperson who lost millions of rupees in losses in a now infamous CWG deal tells SportzPower: “I am willing to put in money even now, and I have friends for whom putting in a few million bucks is not a great issue, but we need results, we need medals and we need to see that the money we give go to the pockets of the sportspersons, not corrupt officials.”

The expert says that boxing, athletics and wrestling has a direct connect to the Indian psyche, and these sports will find sponsors in droves if the Augean stables that the federations are today, are cleaned up.

The expert, who is well aware of all the negatives enveloping the just concluded Games, has a contra point to make: “You could say this was a national shame, but this is also a national gain. The corporate representatives who were associated with the Games have seen it all now, and they know how to run a multi-sport event.

“They have passed a huge learning curve. They know now, for instances, that the athlete comes first and know what the sportspersons need; they know where sponsorship can go wrong, how not to handle ceremonies, and so forth. Thankfully, therefore, we now have a huge lot of professionals who can sun sporting events.”

And the expert found an echo in Suresh Kumar, MD, Premier Brands, who has spent unprecedented sums for badminton and seen where the money has sunk.

Asked how he can still dream of investing in sports, he told SportzPower: “Well, then I did not know. Now I know how exactly to work out an unshakable contract and make it work my way for the benefit of sports.”

(The article is republished with permission from

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