With the IPL, Formula One racing and marathons gaining popularity in India, sports management can prove to be a lucrative career.

Consider these figures: At the Summer Olympic Games in 2008, the number of medals won by India was 0.003 per million, according to the reports published by National Skill Development Corporation’s Skill Gap Analysis Reports for Sports for 2012 – 2017, 2017 – 2022. The U.S. with almost one-fourth of India’s population had a tally of 0.361 medals per million. Our first reaction would be to blame sportspersons, but in reality, this number is only a reflection of the absence of structure and professionalism in the sports industry in our country.

Every sportsperson’s performance does not affect just him but a whole host of people working behind the scenes — right from the sportsperson’s agent, his sponsor, merchandisers to event organisers. They all collectively come under what is today one of the most lucrative fields — sports management.

A huge demand

Earlier, a career in sports only meant being a sportsperson on field, track, in the ring or a race car. Today, time has come for sports management and marketing to take off, coinciding with a time when cricket is forced to make some way for other sports as well to share a spot in the spotlight.

Therefore, the demand is more for quality labour force but unfortunately owing to lack of awareness and institutions the supply does not match up. This is the findings of the Skill Gap Analysis Report. The report zeroes down the reason for such incongruence to: Information asymmetry among the job seekers and employers, lack of institutional supply of skills (matching the quality and quantity demanded) and undefined (non-standardised) skills in the sports sector.

“Do you know the size of our sports industry?” asked Nilesh Kulkarni, Founder and Director, International Institute of Sports Management, at the Edutainment Show 2013. “No, because there is no statistics available anywhere. That is the state of our sports industry.”

He went on to add, “India needed an annual sporting entity which other countries have for the sports management industry to kick off. And now we do — the IPL, Formula 1 and even the Mumbai Marathon to an extent. But then the execution contract for the IPL is with a foreign firm. What happened to local talent?”

Where to study?

As a meek solution to the problem of institutional supply. There are only two colleges that are known to offer a specialised course in sports management.

The Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management in Kolkata has on offer a Post Graduate Diploma Course in Sports Management (PGDSM). Its curriculum features courses in sports law, science, marketing, finance and wellness management, besides others.

The other is the International Institute of Sports Management in Mumbai which has a one-year full-time Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Management (PGDSM).

It also has courses like Sports Marketing, Sports Finance and Business, Application of Law in Sports, Sports Management Policy, Sociology of Sports and Physical Activity, Sports Facility Management, Sports Event Staging and Sponsorships and Applied Sports Marketing Research.

The future

Once you graduate, it is the sporting bodies and sports management companies that will be your potential employers. These companies offer a variety of services. These are:

Consulting: Offering brands suggestions on ways to engage with the audience through sports events or branding through sponsorship of events or talent.

Events and Activations: Help ideate and organise events right from working out the logistics, ticketing to merchandising.

Talent development and management: Identifying promising talent and sourcing sponsorships and opportunities— forging a deal that works out for both the sportsperson and the brand; or managing the contracts, interactions and other commercial deals of an established sportsperson.

Sponsorship/ licensing services: Seeking/ managing rights, licenses and sponsorships for individuals, teams, companies and events.

Going by the PWC 2013 report, published in the India Sports Forum 36 website, 145 billion USD is the estimated global sports market revenue in 2015 and India will constitute 1.3 per cent of this global revenue at 1899 million USD.

Now that’s success waiting to happen!