Top 5 Leading Sports Management Companies in India

We are living in an era of massive transformation in the global sports industry. An industry that has a history of evolving and adapting to societal and technological changes. It is currently navigating the rapidly growing consumer needs for sports entertainment. While also balancing the changing economies of sports with the use of emerging technologies like AI, AR/VR, Metaverse, etc. The push during the pandemic has marked a significant change in the industry. Empowering it with technological capabilities and new commercial models for sports leagues, tournaments, and sports businesses. Giving rise to the significance of sports management companies.

What are sports management companies?

Sports management is a specialized branch of the sports industry that deals in everything related to the business of sports. From organizing events, managing teams, athletes, and tournaments, to selling merchandise and equipment. Sport management companies are the ones that are in the field of business of sports and recreation. This means planning, organizing, directing, controlling, budgeting, leading, and evaluating all business activities within the world of sports.

Sports management companies are bringing sports science, technology, and management into one package, transforming the very nature of experiences in the sector. These companies are setting up structures, defining key narratives in sports businesses, and offering consumers a wide array of sports activities to engage with. And let’s not forget the diverse career opportunities they bring to the table in the sports industry. Such as team managers, marketing professionals, accountants, sales personnel, sponsorship leads, sports advertising experts, content writers, and more.

Top 5 Leading Sports Management Companies in India

1. JSW Sports

Established in 2012, JSW Sports is the sports arm of JSW Group which has a widespread global presence. The brand plays a pivotal role in furthering the sporting culture in India with its range of learning programmes under the Inspire Institute of India. JSW Sports has deep investments in some of the leading sports teams across various sports. Such as

i. Bengaluru FC (Football),
ii. Delhi Capital Women’s team (Cricket),
iii. Pretoria Capitals (South African professional Twenty20 franchise cricket team),
iv. Haryana Steelers (Kabaddi),
v. Bengaluru Phoenix, a digital-first team in the metaverse of One Future Football.

They also run a flagship programme called Sports for Excellence. This programme offers financial support to athletes while also offering opportunities to train under world-class coaches at Olympic-level training facilities.

JSW Sports also represents Star athletes like Neerja Chopra, Axar Patel, Jemimah Rodrigues, Sakshi Malik, and Shefali Verma.

Services: Athlete management, team management, sponsorship and marketing, talent representation, etc.

2. RISE Worldwide

Formerly known as IMG-Reliance, RISE Worldwide (since January 2021) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited. It is one of India’s largest companies working across the Sports, Lifestyle, and entertainment sectors.

The brand kickstarted as a joint venture with IMG (International Management Group based in New York) to promote and develop sports, entertainment, and fashion in India. Combining the efforts, resources, experience operational capabilities, and expertise of the two global giants. Both brands have successfully carved their market to become a formidable business platform.

RISE owns/ manages:

i. Hero Indian Super League (Football)
ii. Tata Open Maharashtra (ATP World Tour Tennis Event)
Their Sports Talent Management division also manages an exclusive roster of eight cricket athletes such as Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Iyer, Krunal Pandya, and more.

Services: RISE Worldwide offers services in consulting, licensing, events, talent representation, talent management, sponsorship management, broadcast production, sports tournaments, etc.

3. Baseline Ventures

Baseline Ventures is known as a sports, entertainment, and brand licensing company. The brand represents some of the leading athletes in India along with building unique sports properties.

Baseline Ventures has some key strategic projects under its name, such as:

i. A digital production division called – Baseline Studios
ii. Web series like Double Trouble, The Finish Line, The A-Game
iii. In 2019, the brand had an exclusive partnership with Chennai Super Kings to launch licensed merchandise for CSK
iv. Signed leading E-sports team, Marcos Gaming to manage its commercial interests

It represents many athletes across Tennis, Swimming, Squash, Shooting, Hockey, and more. Such as PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Sardara Singh, Smriti Mandhana, Prithvi Shaw, etc.

Services: It offers expertise in athlete management, licensing, global partnerships, sponsorships, content creation, media rights distribution, etc.

4. Sporty Solutionz

Sporty Solutionz is a full-service sports marketing company in India. The brand has a global presence across the US, Singapore, Pakistan, UAE, Bangladesh, and India.

Some key initiatives delivered by Sporty Solutionz are:

a. Their first delivered property in 2013 – a six-city-based franchisee league in badminton – The Indian Badminton League.
b. OSIM BWF India Super Series Badminton Championships for the Indian Badminton Association.
c. Handling media rights for the New Zealand Cricket, Pakistan Cricket Board, Indian Premier League cricket, Sri Lankan Premier League, French Open, and more.

At present the brand has successful partnerships with over 100 rights holders across a variety of sports (over 3-dozens).

Services: The brand services in sports marketing, programme production, event operations, license for sports events, live production, broadcast and distribution of content, athlete talent representation, organizing sports events, marketing events, and more.

5. Rhiti Sports

Rhiti Sports is a fully integrated sports marketing and sports management company. They have a global network and a deep domain expertise in sports management-related services. Over the past decade, the brand has managed an impressive array of sports personalities under its umbrella. Such as MS Dhoni, Pragyan Ojha, Virat Singh, Himanshu Rana, Ankush Bains, Mohit Sharma, Gurkeerat Singh and more.

It currently manages the following brands:

i. Fit7
ii. Golf7
iii. Seven
v. ChennaiYin F.C.

Rhiti Charitable Foundation is one of their CSR initiatives that offers sporting opportunities to young athletes from cities who otherwise have limited access or exposure to sports facilities.

Services: They lend expertise across a wide range of services like sports asset management, sports consultancy event management, media rights distribution, sponsorship, athlete representation, marketing, licensing, etc.

These companies are playing a pivotal role in shaping and developing the sports industry in India. They are building a nuanced ecosystem of professional representation for athletes in India and abroad. Offering them global opportunities for growth and development in sports tournaments as well as brand sponsorships. They also act as key initiators of strategic sports events leading to sports infrastructure development and creating new job opportunities in sports management.

Want to learn more about the leading start-ups in sports management? Stay tuned to MBA-ESG, India blog.

Author: Mankiran