Corporatisation of sports

Image Source: The Daily Telegraph

What triggers me to write today’s piece is some of the comments made long back by this leading Australian cricketer, who recently died in a car accident. Famous for his monkey-gate incident, this cricketer had once said about corporatisation of cricket, “I felt like I was in a cage. Always under the microscope. I wasn’t having fun anymore. I wasn’t enjoying it.” Well, that was coming from an excellent cricketer, though there was a different context to it, and that was more to his personal experience as a player.

Does corporatisation of sports help sport and the community or not can be a good question to be asked, discussed, and debated probably? What is corporatisation, how it is implemented, how it is understood and perceived by all stakeholders, what value is added to each stakeholder cumulatively, and how does it impact the society as a whole along with the key entity or the corporate in concern, all of this matters and it is important to understand the same.

Corporate involvement in any activity whether sports or cultural, has shown to give it a boost in terms of visibility, acceptance, practice, and propagation with a larger spread across multiple levels of the society, vertically and laterally. Sports have an imminent ability to bind people and bring them together. It enhances social interaction and engagement while enabling skill building at the same time for the stakeholders and bringing in entertainment for the engaged audience.

Sports have been known to be great community-building tools across the world. On one hand, it can work towards building skills at the local level, and on another hand, it can also provide a platform for enhancing social cohesion and stronger bonds at the community level. Sports can work wonders in building civic participation in various issues of concern, and also facilitate community dialogues by providing structures and mechanisms of interactions.

Corporate support in terms of funding to the sports-related activity towards communities has always seen a stronger inclination and interest of the policymakers thereby enabling a powerful ecosystem around using sports for the betterment of communities. Sports can be a great vehicle to bring in social inclusion, thereby leading to the creation of a more cohesive society rising above the taboos of the caste, creed, and religion. And corporate support can make a huge difference in building such communities.

In most of the developing countries, there are a substantial number of groups of communities, which are side-lined and marginalised. In India, it is our tribal belt, where the huge potential lies, and many corporate social responsibility programmes are working towards their development. With a meaningful engagement and deployment of resources, hidden talent, and leadership skills can be identified in such groups and a chance can be given to them for being a part of the mainstream.

Corporates can play an amazing role in bringing a positive change in society by identifying and implementing sports-related programmes in their relevant catchments or otherwise at a larger level to enhance the social engagement of the larger population. Social inclusion is a multi-dimensional concept with the potential of bridging the gaps in society. It can bridge the differences created by the social traditions, religious practices, political followings, and economic disparities.

Corporate support to sports, and not only the globally accepted well-known sports but also various lesser-known indigenous sports can be extremely beneficial for the development of any society, and the country as a whole.

Corporate communications professionals surely have a great opportunity to assess, analyse, recommend, and facilitate the implementation of such programmes that support sport in the relevant communities to their catchments or otherwise. Corporatisation of sports can certainly work more and more constructively towards nation-building!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

Be the first to comment on "Corporatisation of sports"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.