Indian leagues of various sports are unleashing the country’s sports potential and will make the field a huge employer in the future, Bollywood actor and sports entrepreneur Abhishek Bachchan has said.
Addressing the Indian School of Business (ISB) Leadership Summit here on Saturday, Abhishek said the Indian Premier League (IPL), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Indian Super League (ISL) and other leagues had shown how they could add to the whole movement of sports in the country.
The owner of Jaipur Pink Panthers in PKL and Chennaiyin FC in ISL, Abhishek believes they have changed the perception that sports is not a viable career option.
“The opportunity is not just for sportsperson but a whole community around the team — managers, coaches, marketing people, a whole army,” he said.
Stating that IPL set the standard, he said sports and sports management will provide huge employment in future.
Abhishek said India had the numbers and talent and this would not only facilitate export of India’s talent but foreign funds would come to India to buy teams.
“Even if half of India’s 1.3 billion population watch a league it will become the most popular league in the world,” he said.
He pointed out that the first PKL in 2014 had cumulative viewership of 493 million and the first match of its fifth season this year had 50 million viewers.
The 41-year-old was confident that the viewership would soon take over that of IPL.
He, however, said it would take time for Indian leagues to become sustainable.
He said it was unfair to compare them with something like the European League which were existing for over a century.