Ahead of SportEX Asia, the biggest sports conference in India, which will be held at the Lalit Hotel, New Delhi, India on 26 and 27 February, 2018 – the Marketing Director of SportEX Asia, Suryavir Madhav speaks exclusively to The Sports Journal on his passion for furthering the sports industry in India and his motives to expand the SportEX Asia brand.
SportEX Asia is connected with ‘all things sport’as soon as we mention sports, its about Passion. I have myself been a former sportsman and played basketball at the National Level in Under 19 and for me it is a privilege to be talking about SportEX Asia brand to the various stakeholder and so that the cause of Sports in our region and in India in particular can be furthered.
The SportEX Asia brand is a neutral platform and we passionately try to ensure that there are no biases whatsoever, What this means is that the Platform is open for all sporting assets to talk to the various stakeholders in sports including investors, sponsors etc across geographies.
You were a former state level basketball player, talk to us a little about your experiences as a player and did you ever envision being a professional basketball player or investments and management in the sports industry were more like your calling?
I played basketball at the national level in the under 19 category for my state and unfortunately ten years ago there were not many avenues to build upon the skills within India to reach international levels. I proceeded to do my Bachelors and then the degree in Business Management. In the last couple of years, the sports sector is expanding out phenomenally and we established the SportEX Asia brand. It is wonderful to see how the sports sector is exploding in India and SportEX Asia is right in the center playing the pivotal role. This also is a matter of great privilege for me.
How do you see the sports marketing industry in India at the moment and what you expect for it in the coming years?
Sports marketing has come of age in India. Given the 20% growth in the Sports Sector and the launch of various leagues, there is a huge need to market the sporting assets appropriately and to tie in long term sponsorships etc. We are clearly seeing the induction of the top management talent in the sports sector and especially in the marketing area.
As an example the Media rights for IPL Cricket were auctioned for USD 2.5 Billion. Other rights would head north as well. The need for sports marketing is going to grow exponentially. This is also because the teams in the various leagues would also be building up there fan bases and that would create value for them and this would be leveraged through Sports Marketing.
Is there anything new you guys are working on that you can reveal to us?
Yes there are two major initiatives that we are working on and we will be able to give you more information on it in couple of months. One of these is a Sports Leadership Initiative as we believe that talent and skills would need to be seriously augmented so as to take advantage of the rapid growth of the sports sector.
You recently organized a curtain raises in Spain, how was the event received in Spain?
This year for SportEX Asia, the country focus is Spain and we had a very significant curtain raiser event in Madrid on 1st of February where over 55 Top end Spanish corporates, sports federations and sports clubs among others participated. We had the likes of the director of Santender Bank [Spain’s largest bank], the top officials of La Liga and also the senior represntatives of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid Etc. Several Fedrations including the Spanish Basketball Federation, Spanish Futsal Federation, Boxing Federation, Frontball were present.
There was great Interest shown by several people to see how they could participate in growing sports sector in India. Equally they were keen to explore how Indian Corporates could advertise and Sponsor Spanish Teams and Sports.
SportEx Asia is the one of the biggest conferences in Asia, what do you envision for the brand to achieve in the coming years, are there plans to expand the conference and give it another dimension like exhibitions of TV rights and other sports rights happening within the conference?
SportEX Asia seeks to be a thought leadership for the sports businesses across Asia, for this SportEX Asia merely acts as a critical catalyst to these sports Leaders. As mentioned, we clearly see taking SportEX Asia to different countries at 1 level, through this various Leagues and Sporting assets across the geographies can leverage each other strengths to build value. Further, multi national corporates would be able to get an opportunity to associate their brands across territories.
With Regard to TV rights and other rights, SportEX Asia 2018 will provide the platform for these asset owners to talk about their plans and to start interacting with the various distribution platforms including TV Platforms.
We value our association with The Sports Journal, Because in many ways we try to achieve the same end objective i.e. the proliferation of Sports and the Sports Business. We hope to expand on this relationship so that SportEX Asia and The Sports Journal can address the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and middle eastern markets in a significant and meaningful manner. We Believe eventually there will be several synergies between the middle East and the Indian Sports Market – is Only a two to three hours away by flight.