Sunday, March 21, 2010

Global Business of sports and Indians

Before I begin my current blog post: Waiting for an evening flight from Phoenix to SFO, I just noticed the breaking news: Democrats Clinch Win In 219-212 House Vote. Mr. Obama, way to go! I guess this topic requires a follow up of my earlier post . . But not tonight


Now for my post on the topic of Global business of sports

A couple of interesting news items this week made me reflect on the business global sports. First was Tiger Wood’s announcement of the return from hiatus, that lasted a few months but on hindsight seemed like ages. Another interesting news item was that of Indian corporate juggernaut Reliance Industries Ltd tying up with Sports-marketing giant IMG Worldwide.

If I were a betting person, and I were asked to bet between the long term impact of both these announcements, my bet would be on the butterfly effect of Reliance-IMG tieup. Why? This move has a potential to shake the Indian subcontinent off its Cricket mania, or at least give marketers and sports fans and couch potatoes an alternative to Cricket.

If this move could help produce (and export?) a few Indian Yao Ming’s in a few years, it could alter the India’s and Indian subcontinent’s mindset sports:

• Middle class parents who single mindedly get their kids to focus on studies may consier goading their talented kids towards sports . . . perhaps forcing Thomas Friedman to rewrite a chapter in the Flat World? (My parents told me, "Finish your dinner. People in China and India are starving." I tell my daughters, "Finish your homework. People in India and China are starving for your job." )
• Businesses and Advertisers who pour billions of Rupees and dollars on sponsoring Cricket and Cricketers will have an alternative
• Cricketing sports franchise (the now famous IPL, 20-20) will get some much needed competition
• Down the road, Indians and Non Resident Indians around the globe may have an opportunity to hang on to their Desi pride if Indians begin bagging proportionate number of medals in Olympics and other global sporting events

Bottomline, regardless of how Reliance and IMG fare in the short run, even moderate success of the venture will lead to at least a few more copycats; always a nice thing to happen

Blogs on the topic:
Tiger Woods Car Accident: Alleged Affair, Mistress, Wife Fight - Huffington Post
Nita & Mukesh Ambani at Reliance IMG JV
Hoopistani: Reliance and IMG to develop sports facilities . .
Tiger's return: "He is golf, he is your boss...": Editors' Blog