SPORTS PR

“What’s PR got to do with sports!” was my initial reaction, when I first came upon Sports PR.
I too was confused like the rest of us and questioned its relevance. Sure, Sports and PR is a pairing unheard of. It tempts me to draw a comparison to mixing spice with ice cream.

But hey!
Spicecream
exists and people absolutely love the unconventional pairing! This is one odd food pairing I do not knock Instagram for!

As I dug deeper, I found there is much more Sports PR than we comprehend.
Sports PR is essentially building relationships between the Sports fraternity and the media, especially sports journalists.

Olympian & Indian Ace-shuttler P.V. Sindhu
in interaction with Tamil actors Suriya,
Jyothika and their family.
Image credits: scroll.in

Through Sports PR, PR professionals can help athletes, teams, and even sports franchises to build and manage their reputations.
They can also help forge healthy relationships internally at hierarchical levels. Also across interactions with the media, governments, fans, co-athletes, regulatory bodies, and businesses.

Apart from media interaction, Sports PR professionals can step in the shoes, (sneakers, if you will!) of a site manager, travel advisor, game-day manager, data manager and so on. Simultaneous management of several activities and regulating information flow is indeed a tall order. PR professionals need to be holding and controlling all ‘chess pieces’ at once.

Unlike a few decades ago, sportspersons, trainers and coaches are expected to frequently interact with the media owing to major sporting leagues and franchise sports models. Counsel from PR Professionals is a good way to ensure ease of interaction for players on camera or on record to regulate information flow, and dodge any intrusive or confidential questions without spinning but facts.

BCCI: Board for Control for Cricket in India,
headed by former ace-cricketer Sourav Ganguly
Image credits: Sports India Show

Sports PR is an up-and-coming field in India, owing to the leagues and tournaments emerging. Since 2007, the Indian Premier League (IPL), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Indian Super League (ISL) and the likes have gained widespread media coverage and attention.
Such leagues contribute greatly to the Indian Sports Industry and its regulatory bodies. Another reason why Sports PR as a field has taken the front seat at the pavilion!

HOW PR CAN BENEFIT INDIAN SPORT?
Sport in India and players, especially at grass root levels suffer greatly due to the lack of infrastructure, financial irregularities, nutritional deficiencies, lack of adequate investment, and even nepotism allegations. (Source: Jagran Josh )
There are adequate regulations and government initiatives like the Fit India Movement, Khelo India Youth games surrounding the issue, but compliance remains grossly inadequate. Emphasis on active sports is still lacking in parts of the country and has fewer career options for players.

India is often referred to as the “Diabetes Capital of the World”. Our country is home to around 17% of diabetics globally. Giving impetus to active sports and physical activity can help solve such issues and help build public health, fitness and agility.

Public Relations has the capacity to shape positive public opinion, backed by well-researched facts. It surely is about building reputations, connecting brands, shaping values, and transforming communities. But, simply put – It is storytelling!
And, Indian Spirit of Sport is a story that definitely needs to be told! More power to the Sports PR professionals for hustling every day, to bring this story into our homes and lives!

For, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much!”
Hellen Keller


Additional Read: PRWeek- Deep Dive: Changing PR tactics to win at the Sports PR game.

Author: Digital Onca

Digital Onca is a blog that documents the concepts of Digital Marketing and Public Relations. Digital Onca is the effort to stay with the times, understand more deeply, more closely the working of a digital space that is steadfastly emerging around us.

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