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Sports Merchandising and Licensing – Guest Lecture


The Sports Merchandising and Licensing master class was held between March 04, 2019 and March 08, 2019.


What first awed us was the fact that he [Mr. Christophe Rousseau] has worked for some of the biggest companies in the world and yet was able to break things down and help us understand the subject easily. He was unconventional in the way that he let students dictate discussions in the class. We were given a push and after a certain point, were left to be independent in our thinking and approach.

We were given a push and after a certain point, were left to be independent in our thinking and approach.

The most enjoyable part of his sessions was that he recognised the sports we followed and used that to connect what he was teaching. This made his sessions relatable. The complete focus on the field of sports was great. We did have a general idea about merchandising and licensing prior to his master class, but he really went in-depth about the sports industry, making it interesting.

Bookish knowledge is one thing, but being able to simulate situations, especially in the presence of an expert in that field, is better and much more engaging.


On March 08, 2019, Mr. Rousseau headlined a webinar for current and prospective students that provided useful insights on Sports Merchandising. Attendees discovered how Merchandising fits into the spectrum of Sports Management and how they can pursue a lucrative career in it.

Key Takeaways

  • Introduction to Sports Merchandising
  • Requirements for merchandising success
  • The 4 ‘W’s of Merchandising – WHAT to sell, WHEN to sell, WHERE to sell, and WHO to sell to
  • Product, Cross-Channel, and Customer strategies
  • Development of licensing partnerships
  • Use of technology in sports


You can watch the webinar below.

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About Christophe Rousseau

Mr. Christophe Rousseau has over 20 years of experience in sports marketing, sports licensing and merchandising, and retail and venue merchandising. He launched the SPORTEM conference in Lille in 2015, which is now recognized as one of the main sports marketing events in France and Western Europe. He is currently a visiting faculty member at MBA ESG, India and teaches Sports Merchandising.

5 Sports Marketing Strategies That Drive Results


Sports marketing is an exciting field that’ll always keep you on your toes. There’s always something or the other that can be enhanced to increase engagement, sales, and visibility. Sports teams, therefore, are always strategizing during and after game season. Here are 5 marketing strategies they adopt to drive positive results.

  1. Using social media

It seems nowadays almost the entire world is hooked on to social media. Everyone; from children to their grandparents; has at least one social media account which they log on to religiously. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the most popular channels through which people interact over the web. Sports teams are increasingly leveraging the power of these social media channels to engage with fans, share content, and provide updates about the team. By doing so, they are tapping into huge markets at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.

  1. Engaging female audiences

Sports has conventionally been viewed as a male-oriented sector, played by men and followed by men. But what sports marketers have come to realize is that there is a huge female fan base that watches and follows sports just as fervently. In fact, they represent a powerful demographic, both in terms of consumption and purchasing. If sports teams and marketers aren’t tapping into this demographic, they are missing out a significant market that can drive positive growth.

  1. Post-game marketing

Marketing is an all-year-round effort. It doesn’t stop when the game does. It’s quite the opposite. Marketing becomes more intense after the season. Keeping the fans engaged after the game or season ensures their passion for the team or sport is still intact. This is done by offering promotions and perks that will keep fans eager for the next season.

  1. Providing shareable content

Sports fans today are quite tech-savvy and spend most of their time online. They love to share what’s happening in their life, what food they ate, what games they watched, and so on. This is a great opportunity for sports teams to engage with them and provide content they can share with their friends. Sports marketers can also encourage fans to use their creativity to make content and share it with their friends and followers. Allowing fans to have conversations with the team and sharing that content across media channels is beneficial to both. It gives fans the feeling that teams care about them and sports teams can reach a wider audience when fans share their content online.

  1. Building smart arenas

Including technology in the stadium can be extremely effective, both in terms of engagement and functionality. Connecting mobile applications to amenities such as concessions, parking, rest rooms, seat upgrades, coupons, game replays and highlights, etc. will revolutionize the sport industry in India. While these are yet to be practically realized, the potential for their use should be explored thoroughly. It could usher in a new era of sport and sport management and change the way sports is viewed in India.

The Sport Management program from MBA ESG teaches you how to plan and implement such strategies that drive audience engagement and keep fans coming back for more.

Internship Unlocked: Double PASS

We are delighted to announce that three of our Sport Management students, Anwar Sayeed, Jasdeep Chhabra, and Bharat Narsinghani, have secured internships with Double PASS, a football consultancy agency in Bangalore, India. The students impressed the interviewers with their diverse portfolios and were on-boarded immediately after their interview. Their internships commence from March 01, 2019.

MBA ESG Sport Management students, Anwar Sayeed, Jasdeep Chhabra, and Bharat Narsinghani

Project Manager of Double PASS, Sarthak Dubey, said: “the candidates had their unique strengths and we believe they can all add value to our eco-system.”

Double PASS, a spin-off company of the University of Brussels (VUB), is a football consultancy agency that provides assessments and assistance on developing talent to sports clubs across the globe.

Marketing in Sports – Guest Lecture by Mr. Ravi Kumar


To understand Marketing in Sports.


The insightful lecture touched upon the following topics.

  • Strategy and competition position
  • Brand management
  • Price and distribution channels
  • Tools used in marketing
  • Customer lifetime value and Customer Relationship Management, ROI, web applications, and sales campaigns
  • Marketing product and sports marketing
  • Customer service, customer product/service, research, product development, pricing, distribution, advertisements, and promotions
  • Communication phase – key message, creative brief, inspiration, clarity, deliverable value, and objective of the brand
  • New ideas to target audience
  • Media strategy – the right channel to reach the target audience
  • Proper execution = ROI
  • Marketing mix: All strategies revolve around the target audience – sales, ads, promotions, personal selling, public relation, direct marketing, etc.
  • Importance of labelling – First impression of the product and the power of wilful ignorance
  • Nike is an excellent example of marketing intelligence – Understanding users’ needs and delivering value while adhering to the brand’s core principles


Sports Law and Its Application in the Sports Industry – Guest Lecture


To understand Sports law and how it is applied in the real world of the sports industry.


The world of sports is not above the law. It does have its rules and regulations, both on and off the field that is to be followed industriously. Law is essential from every point of view in the sports industry.

The primary reason law is a necessity for the sports ecosystem is because a meticulous and structured legal system protects the economy and business environment. Sports law dictates the terms and conditions of a sport because many entities plan their policy and terms within the law of the nation. Since the sports industry is exposed to international entities and stakeholders, a strong law to improve international relations and avoiding any conflict is required. For instance, double tax avoidance agreements.

Take a look at the breakdown of the sports ecosystem with respect to IPL and ISL, along with few international leagues.

  • Commercializing assets of a company and minute details behind broadcasting
  • Tax structure for players and leagues
  • How law comes into play in ICC events and what are the rights of the ICC? What can go wrong and how to tackle it?
  • What are the rules of sponsorship and players’ rights?
  • The role of media and their intervention
  • Ticketing terms and condition assessments
  • Branding and bidding in such high-class events
  • What are the rights of the franchise?
  • Laws to be considered while signing a player
  • Use of intellectual property rights in sports
  • Promotion and contest prizes
  • Merchandising
  • Displaying product/services and rules to follow to display them adequately
  • Interaction with images of the league and the rights to use them
  • Sponsorship fee, performance-based bonus, license fee, barter/in-kind, service fee and consultation fee
  • License fee for a club, including purchase and royalty
  • Difference between rights and agreement.
  • Partner’s power
  • Internal stadium threats – Streaming live, ambush marketing, etc.
  • External threats – Piracy, taping from TV, news access over footage/video of sporting event and rules for its use
  • Infringement causing money loss to the broadcasting company


  • Agreement and its clarity over events
  • Public caution notice
  • Brand and content protection
  • Advance notifications to sponsor/partner competition
  • Venue access and various accompanying aspects such as,
    • Ticketing terms and condition
    • Media accreditations
    • News access regulation for India
  • Rights protection and awareness with modern changes to rights and law

Contest monitoring and enforcement

The Dynamics of Sports and Sports Business – Guest Lecture by Mr. Mohit Raina And Mr. KNS Murthy


To understand the dynamics of sports and sports business in the last two decades.


Mr. Mohit Raina provided a number of insights into the sports business and how it has changed to become more beneficial for sports consumers.

In the discussion, he took students through the various changes taking place in the media over the last 20 years. For example, earlier, there used to be a single camera capturing an entire match. Now, with the advancement in technology, there are various cameras to capture all the action, at different angles and positions, providing an intriguing viewing experience for viewers and fans.

Private leagues such as IPL, ISL, Pro-Kabaddi League, etc. have added a new dimension to players’ careers. They have also created new job opportunities across the country. Many specialization-based job profiles, such as Performance Analyst, Pitch Inspector, and others which never existed before, were developed over a period of time.

Companies like JSW and Tata are investing in players and other sport-related facilities to provide quality training platforms to improve performance in major tournaments. States like Odisha are investing heavily for the improvement of Hockey in India. Media companies like Star Sports Pvt. Ltd. and Sony Networks have helped in highlighting non-cricket sports like Kabaddi, Volleyball, Badminton, and Wrestling by broadcasting them on their respective channels and promoting them as mega-events.

Mr. Raina also discussed a case study based on the development of Football in India. It showed how Team India’s performance dipped post the 1950s in football. It also showed the lack of resources and the Football Federation’s negligence to develop the sport. However, private leagues such as the ISL are imbibing Football culture into the Indian psyche. As a result of ISL’s growth, people have displayed their craze for Football with them fervent support for the AFC Asian Cup 2019. This clearly shows India is warming up to Football in a big way.


Sports Management professionals play a critical role in the growth of the sports ecosystem in India. They have to hone their passion and channelize it into that particular area of interest. They can initially start with small projects and internship opportunities to be a part of the current sports ecosystem, which will help them gain valuable insights into the work that’s cut out for them. It will also help them understand the areas of improvement that can make the industry efficient and thus, better.

Recruitment Drive: Decathlon

Students of our MBA Sport Management program attended a recruitment drive organized by sporting goods retailer, Decathlon. As a leading sports retailer, Decathlon designs its own products and is a well-known brand across the globe. Thus, it is one of the preferred employers for sports management graduates.

Students were vying for a regular/part-time position as Sports Leader at Decathlon’s new store in Koramangala, Bangalore. Prior to the recruitment process, all candidates were requested to bring their resumes and the interview sheet provided by Decathlon.

Selection Procedure

  • The process started with a warm-up session followed by a presentation, which provided valuable insights about the company as well as an overview of the role for which students were being recruited.
  • The second round was a physical test, which involved a beep test and team sport test.
  • The next round was Group Discussion.
  • Post the physical and group discussion rounds, selected candidates moved on to the personal interview round. This round saw two of our students getting qualified for the next round.
  • Lastly, students got into salary negotiations to confirm their selection for the role of Sports Leader at Decathlon.

Learning Outcomes

Decathlon looks for candidates who have a never-give-up attitude. Enthusiasm for sports is one of the key factors to becoming a part of the Decathlon team. Based on their project-based performance, employees can grow within the company and take up managerial and leadership positions.

The recruitment drive at Decathlon was an excellent opportunity for students to discover the company’s culture and business.

There are numerous career avenues in various sectors of sports management and the sports industry as a whole. As the number of retailers and manufacturers of sports goods and services increases, so will the demand for qualified graduates in these fields. And MBA ESG offers the ideal platform for sport enthusiasts to hone their passion and carve a rewarding career path in sports management.

The Indian Sports Ecosystem – Guest Lecture by Mr. Richu Paul


To understand several untouched constituents of the Indian sports industry which are not symbiotic with the Indian sports ecosystem and opportunities or entrepreneurship in the sports industry.


Mr. Richu Paul provided the following insights during his lecture.

  • Take up more individual projects to gain experience in the industry.
  • Apply different tactics than what you would normally.
  • Cross-sell yourself rather than selling yourself in a single direction. Find a creative way to draw consumers.
  • Attend sports and related events to connect and create a solid network.
  • Have a contributing nature so recruiters will want to invest in you/hire you.
  • Launch a start-up. Don’t worry about success or failure. See it as a job created by you, for you and sell it as work experience. There are few start-ups which are successful and only Sportskeeda among them is commercializing so far.
  • Ensure your LinkedIn profile looks like your brand. There are a lot of things you can do – freelance, work in an NGO, be a content writer, join a start-up, etc. Show that you did something.
  • Start collecting data and information about your field of interest. This will not only show that you have potential but can add value to your profile and eventually get you paid more. All you need is data and then infrastructure and technological requirements and finally, capitalize on talent. For example, there is an eco-friendly problem/solution in badminton that racquet wires are created by feather and shuttlecock by plastic, also another opportunity.
  • Be the change you want to see in policies and the system as a whole.
  • Create your own team, work as a team player, and be a problem solver.
  • Be realistic and leave the project if it’s not working out. Change the project to increase your versatility.
  • Apart from having knowledge of data and information, which is key to be your part of profiling, you can sell the extremity of sports anywhere.


  • Star Sports is the leader when it comes to TV and media
  • DNA and IMG take the top spot in event management
  • The app market is still available for takers

Besides these areas, work in the direction of creating opportunities rather than waiting to get one.

You can create a sports movie club, which will create short movies or regular cinema create awareness among audiences. Not only will this create opportunities in the media sector on a large scale, but this will also be an untouched genre of Indian sports movies. And who knows? Your next sponsor could be Netflix or Amazon.

Video can be a good means to commercialize as well. You can start a YouTube channel as there are few sports video bloggers.

You can also organize an exhibition for the sports ecosystem where every leading stakeholder, retailer, infrastructure, technology companies, foundations, federations, coach crew, wholesalers, manufacturers, top corporates, policymakers, sports leagues, sport management companies, and industry stakeholders under one roof. Consider the scope of luxury management mergers, which could be in sports such as high-speed boat races, Golf, Tennis, and Boxing.

By the end of the lecture, many students, who said that they wanted a job in a company, were motivated to pursue entrepreneurship.


The story of the Indian sports ecosystem reflects the globalization of the economy with all its opportunities and challenges. It requires leadership which recognizes sport as “more than a business.” It fits into the age we live in today – the age of entrepreneurship. And this will transform the globe, with sport playing a major role that will provide enthusiasts with a more sustainable future.


Mr. Richu Paul is the co-founder of Purple Salt, a media consulting company based in Cochin. In 2017, after understanding the need to uplift the unexplored potential in the Indian sports sector, he started focusing on building a community to bring Indian sports under one roof. What started as a small group has now become a vibrant community called positive sports vibe, with the active participation of over 5000 people from both India and abroad. Currently, he is working towards connecting people in the field of sports to make a positive change in the ecosystem.

After his post-graduation diploma in event management and photography, Mr. Paul joined the Sahara group as a celebrity manager in 2005. He later joined the Getty family which opened up opportunities in photography in London. He worked with numerous South Asian celebrities from the art and sports industries and initiated fashionstylologer, a fashion news platform to uplift Indian fashion profile in Europe. In 2015, he returned to India and co-founded Purple Salt.

Mr. Paul had a deep passion for sports from his school days. He had represented the state in football (under 16) and had represented the district in inter-state table tennis (under 16). Currently, his passion for sports has helped several struggling sportsmen in getting closer to their dream.

You can connect with Mr. Paul via Instagram or LinkedIn.

Sports Management Workshop 2018 – “Sports Sponsorship Game”

A first-hand account of our MBA students’ first week in college and the visit of Mr. Benjamin Sorge, Professor and Head of the MBA Sports Management program.

After our orientation and induction concluded on September 6, 2018, we had a workshop about “Sports Sponsorship Game” by Mr. Benjamin Sorge on September 7, at the Jain University campus. Mr. Sorge is the CEO and founder of CooliD Consulting – a consulting firm in the fields of marketing, e-commerce, and business development and heads the Sport Management program at MBA ESG, Bangalore.

We were divided into 6 teams namely Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC, Air France, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airways, and the agency. Throughout the game, we learnt the minute details about how sponsorships work in professional football, the importance of activation fee, visibility, and branding, CSR activities of clubs, clauses, terms, and conditions in transfers and also about the involvement of agencies.

Regular classes commenced from Tuesday as there was a bandh across the country on Monday. We started with our introduction followed by sharing our ambitions when it comes to the sports industry. We came across the analysis of the Indian sports industry as well as looked at some key insights of sports broadcasting and media. The next day we looked at some of the key stakeholders in the sports business and how the respective sports federations, government bodies, media as well as private sector and fans play a key role in shaping the sports industry. We discussed some case studies and examples such as how Olympique Lyon benefits from having their own stadium, key analysis about the Mumbai marathon, etc.

On Thursday, we had to give a presentation about current trends in the running industry in Bengaluru as well as propose a unique idea about hosting an event on our own in the same field. We were evaluated on the basis of details such as sponsoring, marketing, activation, target audience, security, and revenue generation to name a few. Overall, it was a great learning experience and gave us some sort of belonging with the career we have chosen. Every team came up with a variety of unique ideas and we were thoroughly appreciated by Benjamin sir. The next day, being the last day of his stay in India, he arranged for pizzas and coke for everyone during lunch. We also learnt about different organizational structures present in different leagues across the globe. Comparing the NFL structure and the IPL structure along with few others, gave us a proper idea about how these big-money leagues unfold.

To sum up the week, we were privileged to get hands-on experience from an industry insider and expert such as Benjamin sir. It was the perfect head start to our new life as sports managers.

Paris Visit of Students of MBA Sports Management, Bangalore

MBA ESG has a policy of opening up internationally and has been on its strategy for several years now. It has been almost a year since the MBA ESG Sport Management program was opened to students in Bangalore, India.

The first class, made up of a dozen Indian students, is currently enjoying its study trip in Paris accompanied by Benjamin Sorge, Pedagogical Manager of the training, and Ashvin Gutti, Head of MBA in Bangalore.

The goal of the 2-week Paris trip is to discover the French capital, its traditions but also and above all, its culture of sport and its growing market for the Paris Olympics 2024.

Over the next two weeks, students will discover Stade de France, INSEP, U Arena and other key venues of the Paris 2024 bid. They will also have the privilege of having fifteen or so leaders of the companies that make the sport of today and tomorrow such as Bein Sport, Lagardère, PSG, Tremplin, the Professional Football League, Nielsen Sport,, Lacoste, etc.

The last three days will be dedicated to the visit of the Palace of Versailles and other breath-taking monuments of the beautiful Parisian city.

Paris Study Trip

Benjamin Sorge, Head of MBA Sport Management in Bangalore: “The sports industry in India is booming. Through this study trip, the goal is to offer students the keys to reading a mature sport market to help them participate in the development of Indian sport.”


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