It is probably the best time to invest in sports. The country’s performance has been touching new records (courtesy of Youth Olympic Games, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games) and new leagues keep cropping up (Hockey, Volleyball, Badminton, and Tennis being the newcomers). It is not a big surprise that India has taken the centre stage in sports, with the country doing a phenomenal job on all fronts. On the business side of sports, there have been very encouraging signs as well.
Last year, Indian Premier League’s total valuation rose over $6.3 billion, taking it in the club of renowned international leagues like EPL and La Liga. India’s poster boy, Virat Kohli signed a bumper endorsement deal of ₹100 crore with Puma, the biggest such deal in India so far. Dream 11, India’s first big startup in the ‘Fantasy League’ domain, registered a turnover of over ₹100 crore last year. All these facts point to only one- Sports Business is no more a niche sector in India but a highly profitable one.
If you are the one who is seriously contemplating to enter the Online Sports Sector, here are three important pointers for you to gain a successful start.
Rule 1: Identify a Domain and the Market Opportunity
This is without a doubt the most important aspect to consider before commencing with not sports business but any business for that matter.
In fact, this is the most rudimentary and universal business rule. Always identify a clear niche and market opportunity. You could start out with a vague idea and build upon it over a given period of time.
This stage can be considered as the foundation of your future business. The clearer you are with your business proposition, the better you’ll be aware of its viability and be prepared for future outcomes.
But most importantly, it helps you to evaluate your opportunity’s true nature, its potential and its risk factor. It won’t give you an exact ROI at this stage but will help you to at least roughly know what scale the returns would be.
Some of the domains popular these days are Fantasy League, E-commerce, Player Agent Agency, and Influencer Marketing are some of the hot domains in the Sports Industry these days.
It is advisable to take as much time as one needs in order to do the research and seek consultation in this stage, for there would be no looking back from there on. Once you are clear with your research, you could utilize the information into your business plan and present it to investors. Know that the content in the proposals may be different, but the core idea would be central to both of them.
Rule 2: Get Acquainted With the Legal Requirements
Having a high potential business proposition is one thing and its compliance with the current legal system is a completely different ball game.
It is futile to keep working on a product that won’t be allowed to manufacture, exercised, or sold in the country, isn’t it? Take Dream 11’s example for instance. The startup ran into a legal wrangle when a person named Varun Gumber filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court under the Public Gambling Act, 1867.
It is thus necessary to understand the legal terms before you go on to work further on the project. In the sector of sports, both commerce and law are intertwined with myriads of regulatory frameworks, which could be out of one’s grasp.
Thus, it is always recommended to seek the help of a legal specialist who has a long history of working with startups on this matter.
The trip to a legal specialist would not only be helpful in knowing your business plan’s legal viability but also to know if you could protect the end product with some sort of Intellectual Property Rights like Patents, Copyrights or Design Patents.
Consulting a proven and knowledgeable legal service provider can help you set your business for a successful and guaranteed long-term compliance.
Rule 3: Device a Marketing Strategy
The third and the equally important pointer is to plan out your business marketing strategy beforehand. Any business entity, big or small, definitely needs a marketing strategy to get noticed by the consumers and possible clients. Marketing is essential to create and elevate your startup’s brand value, the image of your business entity.
With the marketplace getting competitive and thriving by the passing day, startups have to stand out among a bigger audience in a relatively short amount of time if they are to survive. However, effective marketing requires heavy investment. With most of the initial phase startups running on a shoestring budget, it becomes to scrupulously plan and device your marketing strategy beforehand.
In an ever-changing world, there have emerged newer avenues for marketing. Startups today are utilizing upcoming technologies such as VR/AR content, Micro-Influencers, Video content or Digital Marketing to create an identity in an innovative manner.
Different forms of marketing strategy demand different investment and have a different impact on audiences (both in terms of quality and quantity). Thus, it is of utmost importance to spend a substantial amount of resources on the correct marketing route to boost the chances of your newfound company’s long-term success.
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