Wednesday, September 28, 2011

XLRI holds Sports Marketing Symposium

XLRI Jamshedpur (Sept 27th, 2011): The Marketing Association at XLRI (MAXI) hosted industry veterans from the area of sports management and sports marketing on occasion of the second edition of MAXI Mindscapes. The symposium which was aptly titled “Dimensions of Sports Marketing” provided tremendous insight into this very nascent field of sports marketing. Not only were the discussions insightful, but they also aided the students’ understanding of the field which was previous considered to be esoteric business.

Former Indian athlete and Arjuna awardee Charles Borromeo graced the occasion by his presence. The winner of the 800m gold at the 1982 Asiad, Borromeo, who now works with the Tata Sports Foundation was a keen listener throughout and lauded the efforts of sports marketers in promoting and patronizing Indian sportspersons.

Mr. Adille Sumariwalla, an Arjuna awardee himself and the working President of the Athletics Federation of India, took to the stage to begin the proceedings. He spoke distinctly about athletics, swimming and gymnastics being the “mother sports” for all other sports and urged the corporates to do more towards these sports.

Mr.Harish Krishnamachar, Senior VP, World Sports Group and an XL alumnus, spoke about the changing sporting landscapes and new business models emanating out of Asia. He stressed on the need for sports marketing firms to become business or ownership partners with federations, events and venues. Mr.Tarun Chaudhari, Group Director – Sports Marketing at Innocean Worldwide spoke very eloquently about the mismatch between a brand’s expectation out of a sport and vice-versa.

The panel also had a very familiar face in Mr.Gauraav Kalra – the Sports Editor at CNN-IBN. Gaurav looked at the business of sports from the perspective of the media as a whole. He very strongly stated that sport needed to understand the role of television in this modern era, and that television has always been receptive to a great sporting idea. Mr.Chandradeep Mitra, an IIMC alumnus and CEO of Pipalmajik provided an academician’s view on the emerging topic. Chandradeep narrated his experiences about teaching sports management as a formal subject in school across the country. At the same time, he emphasized the need for literature, systems and processes pertaining to sports management.

Chandradeep then moderated a very healthy panel discussion which followed a quick break for tea. The discussion mainly revolved around building and developing sporting properties and models suited for television consumption. Some big, brave bets were made on the scope and possibilities of sports marketing on the whole. The panel also answered a lot of questions thrown at them by the audience with consummate ease and eloquence. The whole discussion was interspersed with a fair bit of wit and humour – all in all a very invigorating experience.

The first ever MAXI Mindscape Symposium resulted in the formation of the interdisciplinary behavioural lab at XLRI. What is the future of sports marketing at XLRI? We’re waiting with bated breath!


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