Market Updates

Indian Sports Industry - On a Growth Trajectory

October, 2018

Sports industry in India is booming and the high growth is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. India offers interesting investment opportunities and variety of sports for international sports businesses, with its sports fraternity moving beyond cricket. Increasing campaigning and advertisements for a variety of other sports is resulting in an increased participation and viewership, which correspondingly bolsters future opportunities for the sports industry in India.

The reasons for booming Indian sports industry are government initiatives towards sports, increased interest in sport events, and rising income from sports commercials and ad-campaigning. Thus, sports like hockey, soccer, kabaddi, and badminton are becoming more popular. This has also led to an increase in the demand for sports related goods and services, resulting in proliferation of several ancillary regional businesses. The government has also started focusing on developing the sports sector for attracting foreign investments into the country, for generating revenue, nurturing sports talent, and increasing employment.

Cricket, badminton, tennis, hockey, kabaddi, and football (soccer) are among the few top sports with huge commercial viability in the country. However, cricket remains the most preferred sports in India in terms of sponsorships and viewership, while the other sports are gradually gaining more participation with increase in sponsorships, much needed for athlete training and infrastructure development.

Various initiatives for enhancing Indian Sports Industry

  • KHELO INDIA is a national programme for development of sports and is set up under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

  • It is a pan- India scheme to provide annual scholarships of Rs 5 Lakh to 1000 of young athletes for eight years.

  • This programme promotes sports by using technology such as mobile apps, to reach out in rural areas and has various other features and facilities for enhancing sports sector.

  • Indian sports industry has a huge untapped potential and realizing that, well-known Indian sportsperson have established training academies and centers. Badminton player, Prakash Padukone’s Badminton Academy, Tennis player, Mahesh Bhupati’s Tennis Academy, Football player, Baichung Bhutia’s Football Schools among others.

  • Increasing foreign direct investments in India, for example: Decathlon, a French sports company and largest sporting goods retailer in the world was the first MNC entered in Indian sports retail market.

  • More than 30% of their products are sourced from Indian manufacturers and by following India’s FDI rules are having more than 60 stores across India.

Growing Indian sport leagues are attracting investors

With the continuous advancements in major sporting leagues such as Indian Super League for football (soccer), Indian Premier League for cricket are creating options for investments from domestic as well as international and shows promising future for Indian Sports industry. Foreign companies like Vivo, Adidas and Nike are providing funds and sponsorship in the growing sports like hockey, kabbadi and football.

– Sonam Chawla,
Research Analyst,
Infoholic Research