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Global football giants target India’s bullish market at RCB Innovation Lab’s Leaders Meet India

Global football giants target India’s bullish market at RCB Innovation Lab’s Leaders Meet India

November 30, 2023

Global stakeholders from the world of football have expressed their optimism regarding the emergence of India as a rising sporting market at RCB Innovation Lab’s Leaders Meet India on Wednesday in Bengaluru, Karnataka. 

Nic Coward, former General Secretary of the Premier League and CEO of UK Athletics, is one of the many global football experts attending this first-of-its-kind summit that promises to offer a panoramic view of the present and future of the Indian sports industry, advocating and providing insights into the elements that are propelling India into a new era of sporting excellence and business innovation.

By bringing together titans from the international sporting world, RCB Innovation Lab, starting with Leaders Meet India, is creating a participative platform where influential dialogues and the exchange of innovative ideas become centre stage.

Talking about the economically burgeoning sporting industry of India, Nic Coward stated: 

This (India) is the single greatest sports growth economy story anywhere in the world and will be for a considerable period of time. I think one of the great advantages that (India) has is that a lot of this entrepreneurial spirit can go from an idea through to execution pretty quickly. ISL doing what they did in order to grow and to develop created a compelling entertainment product. As things have progressed, there can now be greater coming together of an entire ecosystem.

Will Brass, Chief Commercial Officer of the Premier League, cited Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh as a key figure in expanding the popularity of the league in India and said: 

Ranveer Singh has been really critical for us in understanding the market. We have been working with him since 2017. He is an authentic fan of the game, an authentic fan of the league, and has delivered a great deal, growing the India-specific social media audiences that we have via the PLO India, social tags here.

According to a YouGov survey last year, India boasts a total of 160 million football enthusiasts.

Former Italy international Alessandro Del Piero, who enthralled Indian football fans during his stint at Delhi Dynamos, also shared his thoughts on how India can become a football powerhouse at the event. The 2006 FIFA World Cup Winner had this to say:

In order to become better, you definitely need to start from the grassroots. If you want to create something big and long-term with real value, you need to invest in facilities and the teams and, of course in coaches. Grassroots is the key, to everything because children learn so fast and much better than us. If you build the academies then you can teach them the right things because talent is everywhere, in India and in every country in the world.

Kalyan Chaubey, President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and a part of RCB Innovation Lab’s Leaders Meet India on the first day, spoke about the growth market of Indian football:  

India has opportunity business-wise because we have 1/6 population in this world and also the largest population. I have spoken with FIFA several times and the President of FIFA and myself, are on the same page that India has huge potential to develop.

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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