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How many times have you passed a gully in your neighbourhood and been drawn to throw a glance to that same old alley with some chalk marks on the walls here and some there — denoting boundaries for fours and sixes or even stumps. Suddenly that mundane and always-the-same look of your neighbourhood takes the look of a mini cricket field, batsmen getting ready to step in and smash a six. An unexplained happiness fills your heart though you may not be a part of the game or too busy to even watch the gully heroes playing. Your pleasure might be to relate your past with their present.
Not just cricket, the football craze is no less. Sometimes an open plot turns into a football field. Indians are always enthusiastic about playing and watching these mini local tourneys, especially cricket.
Given the mania, sports is donning the business hat. Start-ups, too, haven’t shied away from the game with many of them focusing on being a discovery platform or marketplace for sports.
On #NationalSportsDay, Entrepreneur India takes a look at the sports start-ups that are hitting the ball out of the park.
One of the most popular concepts that sports start-ups have been using is to be a discovery platform as well a booking site. Many a times when you want to pursue a sport, you start looking for training centres and more nearby.
Even for a friendly match at work or among friends, you look at booking a ground with infrastructure facilities nearby. Solving this problem, start-ups function as a discovery platform and even help you book these sporting venues. Start-ups like Gosporto.com, Playyoursport.com, oyeplay.com or bookmysports.com have venues listed on their apps and websites also help you find partners and create teams.
Get Out and Play
Living in the concrete jungles that our cities have become, finding an open space to play is also a tough task. But there are more and more start-ups now that are organizing outdoor sporting activities for people to get out of their homes and play. Diving into the adventure sports scene, Xtreme Zone has a variety of sports that one can play. From bungee jumping to canoeing, the start-up even helps you organize these activities as a package for your workplace.
The Sports Masters
With parents often pushing their children towards learning and playing different sports, start-ups have also tied up with coaching centres to provide the same facility. Be it badminton or cricket or swimming, start-ups are looking into all kind of games that a child would want to learn. Kooh Sports, a start-up, even has programmes for children in schools to professional-level coaching facilities. Another start-up TenVIC, too, looks at providing “structured coaching” to kids for sports like badminton, chess, table tennis etc. They too have forayed into schools to offer coaching to students. TenVIC also looks at providing branding support to businesses in sports, thus offering a wholesome approach to the business of sports.
Start-ups with all their data and AI, help you manage your teams well and while they are at it, they help you maintain a scorecard for your game. Start-ups like CricHeroes helps you build a team and then broadcast the live match on their app as well.
The Bazaar of Games
Many ardent sports lovers often complain about the lack of proper equipment or lesser number of sports shops in their cities. Tapping into this huge market, start-ups like Sports365.in functions as a marketplace for sports. From accessories to fitness equipment, it acts as a one-stop platform for sports. While the Amazons of the industry, too, deliver sports products, having a marketplace dedicated to just sports gathers the interest of many.
Social Media Platform for Sports
While you might be one interested in playing a sport, if you are in a new city, it often gets difficult to find others who would love to play the game you are interested in. Considering the 9-5 job rut that most are stuck in, it becomes even more difficult.
Building on the idea of virtual social networking, start-ups have come up with platforms that help you discover people who could play with you. Startups like Playo, along with having many similar facilities like booking venues, also help you connect with other sports enthusiasts or professionals in the area. They also build a profile for you where you can earn “karma” points (can be used in booking venues or other in-app purchases).