India has started looking beyond cricket! Now, whether it is a positive or negative development is a matter of debate.
For decades, Indians have been crazy about cricket and only cricket, some would say, weighing it more than bread and butter or rather their staple roti and sabji. Hockey may be the national sport, but cricket was the closest to their heart. Sachin was their God.
But things are now slowly changing. It is just a start but the focus is shifting towards other sports.
As per a report prepared by the ESP Properties and SportzPower National, sports sponsorship grew by 12.3% last year to Rs51,854 million ($763 million) in the country and even as cricket continued to rule the roost, other sports had been the growth drivers.
According to the report, the sports sponsorship amount was 10.4% of the total Indian advertisement expenses in 2015.
The report discusses the success of non-cricket leagues, fan engagement and how brands can maximize value from association with sports.
Match-fixing scandals and an overdose of cricket could be cited as possible reasons for the wane in interest of late.