Sport is the Next Big Thing: Hype or Reality?


The 21st century has witnessed a radical change in many industries with the advanced role of technology. Among the different industries, one of the most dynamic sectors is sports which captivates the attention of a global fan base. Substantial evidence has demonstrated the role of sports in boosting a country’s economic prosperity is the creation of job opportunities. A prominent example is the Indian Premier League (IPL) – the biggest cricket league globally – which has played a significant role in generating jobs for people on an enormous scale. Other major sports such as football, hockey, tennis, basketball, and kabaddi, alongside their notable leagues, have also generated various employment opportunities.
Sports is a multi-billion dollar global industry propelled by enormous consumer demand. The global sports industry is estimated to be around $600 billion contributing around 0.5 per cent of the world GDP (it ranges to even 5 per cent in some countries) whereas in India it contributes only 0.1 per cent of the GDP.
In reality, the Indian sports business offers a diverse range of work opportunities in several fields, including sales, transportation, marketing, media, and finances. Players and coaches are not the only beneficiaries of the industry; instead, there is a wide range of occupational prospects. Hence, the sports industry efficiently contributes to India’s economic growth by reducing unemployment. Undoubtedly, the growth of the sports industry is unprecedented and we can expect this industry to have a positive impact on other industries in the coming years.

Global Trend:

The Sports Industry is one of the fastest-growing domains and is projected to hit $599.9 billion by 2025 and $826.0 billion by 2030. As the industry grows, so does the technology surrounding it. The key global trends in the sports industry are as follows:
• We have witnessed the blending of the real and digital worlds accelerate, with growing markets for data capture and analytics, Esports, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and immersive technologies.
• College athletics has witnessed some of its biggest changes ever, with student-athletes exercising more self-determination.
• Block chain-enabled innovations have a chance to open entirely new markets and options for fans beyond simple collectibles.
• Sports betting has entered the mainstream, and companies will continue their relentless pursuit of new customers.
• The role and duty of sports in society has continued to receive increased attention, with a focus on sustainability and mental health.

Indian Trend:

The Indian sports scene is taking a keen interest in all kinds of sports, resulting in the growth of participation, viewership and sports-related industries. India’s improving economic climate, rising disposable incomes, and changing outlook fuel the increase in demand for sports-related goods and services.

Several entrepreneurs have madefantastic models like “SportzVillage Schools” that enable schools to adopt sports education and play the role of a helping hand in carving out new faces to be introduced to the world competition.

The Indian government has made significant investments in athletic facilities and training, which will pump out more athletes and sportspersons in times to come.
Across the country, gaming has become a recreational activity and a medium of entertainment. Fantasy sports is pivoting this enthusiasm for sporting events, with the popularity of fantasy sports in India skyrocketing in the last few years. The vast fan base and high level of interest has helped India become one of the largest fantasy markets in the world. The sector is expected to be valued at Rs. 1.65 Lakh Crore by FY2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38 percent, as per a report launched by Deloitte. Against this landscape, a few major trends will shape the future of fantasy sports in India.
India’s improving economic climate, rising disposable incomes, and changing outlook towards fitness is fueling the increase in demand for sports-related goods and services. Investment prospects range from the manufacturing and retail of equipment and apparel to advertising, talent management, and training.
Brands and teams invested in digital engagement on the major platforms – Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. Digital and social influencers also played their part in helping sports brands reach audiences like never before.
This trend began once Indian sports leagues returned to the fields and on our screens. Fans were not allowed back into the stadium due to COVID safety protocols. So teams went digital. Social events and meet & greets went online. Superfans were invited to host chat rooms on apps such as Clubhouse or on Instagram live and Twitter Spaces.

Job Opportunities:

The growth and development of the Indian sport industry is creating opportunities for management professionals in a wide variety of settings.According to a FICCI report published in 2018, India would require an estimated 4.3 million sports professionals working in the industry by 2022. To highlight the growing demand, IPL over the last decade has created employment opportunities for and also created employment for over 15000 professionals. Although the sports industry’s contribution to employment in India is just 0.5% as compared to 2-4% in developed countries, the number is estimated to rise rapidly in the coming years.
Job searches for sports-related opportunities like personal trainer, sports centre manager and nutritionist have risen steadily in the country but postings for such positions have been gradually declining over the years, according to a report.
Searches for jobs related to sports have gone up by 11 % while postings for these jobs went down by 25 % in the period, according to a report by global job site Indeed.Job seekers in the age group of 21-25 years showed the most interest in sports-related jobs, making up almost half (45 %) of all clicks in the category.

Metros cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have contributed big in creating sports jobs in India. With various factors like ease of business, professional sport clubs, fitness centers,schools/colleges, events, sports infrastructure, e-commerce boom helping drive the growth.


Domain Knowledge:

Careers with a sport management degree attract professionals from a variety of disciplines who are enthusiastic about the chance to work with professional, collegiate, or recreational athletics. Sport organizations require employees with many of the same financial, operational, and marketing skills as any other business. However, an aspiring sport manager should also have a thorough knowledge of issues that are unique to the industry. In addition, a sport manager with a specific focus within the field acquired through a sport management degree could find themselves in a more marketable position.
Financial professionals in sport must draw on their understanding of concepts like athletic valuation to negotiate player and vendor contracts. For marketers, the challenge isn’t just to sell the product but to bring in attendees. Marketing professionals might also be responsible for coordinating a franchise’s external communications, like using social media to facilitate the close bond between local fans and their home team. These are issues that demand a specialized set of skills beyond the typical corporate environment.

Skills Required:

There are certain key skills which a sports management professional must possess to become highly efficient and effective at the workplace. These skills are as follows:

People Skills:

A sports professional I the gatekeeper and facilitator which means exercising people skills to make sure that everyone stays on schedule and delivers the tasks assigned to them to stay on track with respect to meeting common goals.

Communication Skills:

Sports management professionals need excellent verbal and written communication skills, considering that your job entails managing the public face, and to some extent, the personal lives of clients. You will have to read and analyze contracts, agreements and other paperwork. At the same time, you will also have to manage the clients’ various schedules and get everyone on board with what works best for said clients. Communicating effectively means the ability to provide accurate information efficiently, persuading others to change their minds when necessary and smoothing over any differences that may hinder contract negotiations, endorsement opportunities and salary issues.


Competent Decision making:

Working in the billion-dollar industry of sports management, a professional will be called upon to make big and small decisions on the go. Much like top athletes, he/she has to be able to think on their feet, read the situation correctly, analyze the options to choose the optimum strategy and communicate the decision to all parties concerned. To make these smart choices, it is important to stay on top of current events in your field especially the non-public issues that may threaten or enhance your clients’ opportunities as a sports personality and celebrity.


The field of sports is plagued with problems of morals and inopportune ethical choices. Sound judgment arising from a strong ethical foundation will help you ake the right decisions while guiding your clients to make the right choices.

Organizational Skills

Multitasking is a key skill for someone involved in sports management. You have to manage various calendars, keep tons of records and plan various events that may involve scores of people.


India has encountered many path-breaking sports moments in the past seven decades. Sports in India refers to the large variety of games played in India, starting from tribal games to mainstream sports. India is considered a bouquet of stellar performers in sports. Today, many kinds of sports are watched with great interest and respect.
We can sense that the golden age of Indian sports has just begun. From winning its first Olympic medal in 1948 to registering one of its best performances at the CWG 2022, India has come a long way in sports since its independence.
The constant efforts of the Indian government, private supporting firms, sponsors and undoubtedly hardworking players have brought India out of cricket’s shadow. It has also given India a new position on the scoreboard of International sports.


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