Thursday, June 30, 2005

Adv. of globalization - Indian Sports?!

After my Indianapolis trip, I could not stop thinking about the effect of India’s globalization. Hundreds came from far by places to support Narain & wave the Indian flag proudly. Jordan & Narain were disappointing from the start of the season, but that did not deter any of the Indians from turning up to Indianapolis. And in what style, did they turn up! The yellow of Jordan & the saffron, white & green of India were proudly displayed for all to see.

I couldn’t stop wondering if ‘sports’ has been the silent beneficiary in the liberation of the Indian economy. Is it just a mere coincidence that the last 15 years has seen an emergence of a lot of sports stars in varied fields apart from Cricket? Or is there a correlation with India’s liberalization? Have the Baichung Bhutia (played for second divison club in England), Gopichand, Jeev Mikha Singh, Rathore, Anju George, Sania Mirza, Narain Karthikeyan…etc benefited due to India’s new found economic importance? Would all this be possible 20 years ago?

Corporate honchos have also realized the potential that sports and are hoping to cash in on the untapped Indian sports market (apart from cricket). From the support that Narain received in Indianapolis, it looks like their bets are paying off. F1’s popularity is spreading in India like wild fire and it is becoming a big market that sponsors can hardly offer to ignore. There is a lot of money to be made. When the F1 team managers sit & decide their team for next year, Narain Karthikeyan (and thousands of Indian F1 fans) will be hoping that they see/judge him as India’s fastest man & not as ‘One of the top 20 drivers in the World’!

Updated: 7/1 benefactor with beneficiary ;-)


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