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SBU Ep15: Bharat Pe and TCS sign global sponsorship deals and Sehwag becomes a tech investor

The nexus between Sports and Business.

Hello and welcome to the fifteenth episode of Sports Business Updates, my weekly podcast featuring the biggest sports business news from India and the rest of the world.

This week’s episode includes updates on Indian corporate brands partnering with a global sports association and mass participation event. Yes, I will be talking about Bharat Pe and Tata Consultancy  Services and their recently announced global partnerships, I will also follow up on the registration numbers for Battle Ground Mobile in India and wrap up the updates with news about ex-Indian cricketers who have turned into tech entrepreneurs.

To know more listen to the podcast. The link to the podcast is in the post and the profile.

So, let’s get into the details…..  

We begin this week’s update Tata Consultancy Services replacing Virgin Group as the title sponsor for the London Marathon.

Indian IT services and business solutions company Tata Consultancy Services has signed a major deal as title sponsor of the London Marathon for six years, from 2022 to 2027. 

The new sponsorship deal means TCS upgrades from the technology partner (since 2016) to the title sponsors. However, TCS will continue to provide technology to support participants, spectators and sponsors under the new deal.

TCS already has a strong sponsorship presence in major marathons around the world. 

In 2014, TCS signed an eight-year deal as title and technology sponsor of the New York City Marathon.

TCS has built an interesting portfolio around marathon sponsorships globally. 

They are the title sponsor of the Amsterdam Marathon and a technology sponsor of the Singapore Marathon. Parent group Tata is the title sponsor of the Mumbai Marathon.

Our second update follows the same theme as our first update. Another Indian company signing a sponsorship deal with an international sports property, this time it is Bharat Pe and ICC.

BharatPe, the financial services company, has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with ICC. The agreement will ensure BharatPe’s involvement and integration at all ICC events starting with ICC World Test Championship in Southampton.

During their agreed term of the association, Bahrat Pe will get an opportunity to integrate their brand with 5 ICC Men’s tournaments, 2 Women’s tournaments and 1 Under-19 tournament.

BharatPe has extensive plans to promote the association across broadcast and digital platforms, as well as execute in-venue brand activations at all the ICC events. BharatPe will also take advantage of this partnership by rolling out campaigns to connect and engage with millions of cricket fans and shop owners across the country.

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This week’s third update is about Battle Ground Mobile India pre-registraion numbers.

Battlegrounds Mobile India (BMI), the remodelled version of popular game PUBG, has clocked in 20 million pre-registrations within two weeks. Pre-registration for the game went live on Google Play Store for fans in India on 18th of May and has received 7.6 million pre-registrations on its opening day, crossing 20 million pre-registrations in two weeks, Krafton said in a release on Thursday.

Our fourth and final update is about Virendra Shewag and Sanjay Bangar taking their first steps towards becoming tech entrepreneurs.

 Cricketer Virendra Sehwag has teamed up with his former India Cricket teammate and coach Sanjay Bangar to create Cricuru – a sports training startup that brings cricket training over the internet. Cricuru is an online platform for cricket coaching, which is delivered through a repository of video tutorials by professional cricketers and an artificial intelligence-powered tool for improving basic techniques. This is a first of it’s kind training product in India and is available on the web, and as an app on Android and iOS and their main target audience is 9-23 year-olds, school and college students, and 30-45-year-olds who are revisiting the game as hobbyists. 

It’s good to see cricketers making a contribution to the fans through tech investments. Besides Shewag and Bangar Yuvraj Singh holds stakes in Healthians, Holosuit, JetSetGo, EasyDiner, Wellversed, among a few other through his vehicle YouWeCan (YWC) Ventures, while sports commentator Harsha Bhogle has investments in Chqbook and Fantasy Akhada. We hope many more cricketing legends should become active investors especially in cricket talent related tech products.

This brings us to the end of this week’s episode of Sports Business Updates. 

I just wanted to let you all know that I have joined Clubhouse last week and I have set up a club called Sportsnexus where I will be creating conversations around the business of sports, internet culture and will be conducting quizzes and inviting sports business professionals to discuss topics around Indian and International sports marketing and more. So, do follow me on Clubhouse @nileshd14 or search for Sportsnexus and join the conversations.

Don’t forget to listen to all the episodes of the Sports Business Updates podcast on Spotify, Anchor, Google and Apple podcasts and pocket casts.

And have a great week ahead and see you all on the next episode of Sports Business updates.

Thank you and bye-bye!  

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Nilesh Deshmukh
I am passionate about sports and passionate about marketing. As a sports marketer, I have built significant expertise in successfully delivering medium to long term digital marketing strategy for global sports entities and brands like Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC, Major League Baseball, Formula E, and AELTC, etc to engage with their fans in India. I am currently based in London and lead India business at Engage Digital Partners.