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Sports Management: Key Aspects Of the Business and Governance Of Sports As India ushers into an extensive sports revolution, the entire approach towards managing the industry is becoming more organized and mature

By Dr. Nayana Nimkar

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Sports is the next big thing in India. The rise of sports leagues upgraded FDI spend, increased Union Budget for sports and a multitude of other factors have led to this resurgence of sports in the country.

The Indian sports market touched an enormous $1 billion mark in 2018. Moreover, the total spends on sports sponsorship also saw a significant boom last year. As per a report by ESP Properties, the industry oversaw a growth of 12 per cent to reach INR 7,762 crore.

As India ushers into an extensive sports revolution, the entire approach towards managing the industry is becoming more organized and mature. Organizations are relying on qualified professionals who know the sports domain in and out to oversee operations in the fields of media, administration, communication, team/league management, marketing or sports analytics.

Especially leagues not only need a substantial workforce to manage the fan engagement but also to enhance it. Moreover, the athletes themselves are recognizing the need for having certified experts to drive their career.

A governance model is essential to ensure the sport's integrity and to protect the rights of its stakeholders: the players, teams and competition organizers.

One of the crucial contributors to the sports governance and management system are the sports managers. With the increasing dependency on sports managers for the daily operations, it is unsurprising that by 2022, the sports industry is expected to need human resources to the tune of 4 million.

Today, private sports leagues operate from a business model perspective that include a lot of diverse and complex activities such as event management, sports psychology, sports mentorship, team management, merchandising management and facility management.

All these are handled/taken care of by efficient sports managers operating in various roles in the entire sports management echo system and responsible for supervising the scheduling, organizing, and the overall client management as well.

Let us take some of the leading aspects of sports management.

The governing body (organization board)

The primary liability of sports governing bodies is to establish rules for the sport, to develop/promote it, multiply the fame and represent the sport and those involved in it.

These targets can only be achieved through good governance, ensuring that the principles of democracy, transparency, fairness and solidarity and transparency are respected. Governing bodies hold power to manage their sport as trustees. This power is centrally vested in the members and exercised by them through a system of representation.

Communication and marketing

A sports manager is accountable for being the voice and face of an organization to its fans and the media. Sports managers share information through press conferences and plan how a team or programme will use social media for promotions.

They also shoulder the responsibility of initiating inventive ways and planning fundraisers to grow a team's exposure in the market. Additionally, they coordinate meetings and photo opportunities for athletes and potential donors. Sports managers recognize the need for top-notch marketing in a global and fast-paced market.


The duties of hiring within any organization can be a daunting one. Even with a bright resume and perfect references, a new hire may still struggle to find a place within an organization.

Team chemistry often plays a significant part in the success or failure of a sports team, and it is right for an organization as well. Couple that with the uncertainty of future performances, and it comes down to a sports manager's need to let an athlete, coach, or staff member go for the organization to have more incredible opportunities to succeed.

Financial responsibility

The financial aspect of sports management ensures fair and effective distribution of financial revenues encouraging the development of talent and contributing to balanced and attractive competitions.

The redistribution process must be accountable, transparent and objective. The sports governing bodies acknowledges the following general principles for redistribution of revenues: redistribution based on principles of solidarity (between all levels of the sport); and redistribution policies pursue aims that are objective and justifiable. Resources to be distributed equitably.

Legal management

Today players, professional and semi-professional teams require someone who can advise them on legal issues and possible legal pitfalls. Law often witnesses that each professional team maintains an active legal department.

Attorneys are responsible for crafting the player and vendor contracts, as well as any employment contracts.

While sports lawyers will deal in liability issues within the organization. This covers the safety and accessibility of a sports stadium and also the liability issues that arise from player contact and on-the-field accidents.

There are several diverse aspects of the sports management system. It takes strong individuals who can represent all the skills and qualities to be able to handle all that's involved in working in the sports industry.

It can indeed be a gratifying career for a person already motivated, personable, flexible, knowledgeable, flexible and is filled with a vision of his/her own.

Dr. Nayana Nimkar

Director, Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences


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