Discussing the contribution of Sports IPs in transforming L&M industry
Indian market's evolution apropos sports IPs

Siddharth Chury, Associate Vice President, Global Partnerships, NBA India talks about the transformation of L&M industry in accordance with increasing fad for sports IPs. 


The licensing business in India has witnessed a lot of growth in recent years which can be attributed to the increase in exposure & aspiration - Not only are consumers more exposed to global brands & IP's, but even licensees & retailers are more & more aware of the potential of licensed merchandise. Similarly, consumers, licensees & retailers, all aspire to associate with premium official global IP's, because that adds an inherent premium value to themselves.

The NBA benefits enormously from the fact that not only is it premium, aspirational & cool as a band, it also has a huge influence on overall popular culture [music, fashion, entertainment, etc.], well beyond the boundaries of the court & the sport. So, our consumers are not limited to fans of the sport, but span a wider group that are fans of "NBA Culture".




While the NBA continues to be active in traditional licensing categories like apparel, footwear, headwear, bags, socks, watches, sporting goods, etc.; in recent years we've seen the maximum growth in newer categories like gaming for example - be it NBA Fantasy gaming with Dream11, our console games with the NBA 2K series, our mobile games, etc. We're also actively exploring establishing a stronger presence for NBA's physical destinations - whether flagship stores, cafés & sports bars, experience centres, etc. This is of course a more long-term approach.


That's true. Earlier, licensing in India used to be limited to only entertainment & character licensing. Over the last few years, 体育牌 has emerged as another strong pillar and has grown by leaps and bounds. This is especially true with the youth, as they are often early adopters to new & emerging trends. We believe it's been spurred by exposure to a lot of international sports properties in India. Football leagues, basketball leagues, sports properties from the US & Europe; they've been exposing India to their content across multiple platforms, building their fanbase, and eventually have started establishing their licensing programs. So that's what's led to the growth in sports.


Cricket deserves its due respect, being ahead of any other sport in India in terms of fanbase & viewership. However, there has been quite a visible shift in the landscape since the past decade. Indian youth, especially in urban India, are keen to adopt sports other than cricket, not only to play but also to consume across a variety of platforms. Leisure time, recreational spaces, and attention spans are all shrinking in the country; kids are looking for fast-paced sports which can be played in a smaller place in a shorter amount of time. Which is why basketball and turf football are the fastest growing sports these days. Even if you see examples like the Khelo India initiative by the government of India & the national games, that's also promoting the concept of playing multiple sports. India is no longer a cricket-only country, and hence it's no longer a challenge to sell the NBA here.

Also, interestingly in the merchandising space, we tend to have some advantage over cricket. Global leagues & teams across football, basketball, tennis, etc. have a much bigger licensing program in our country than our home-grown local sports leagues. We believe on one hand this is due to the higher aspiration & "cool" factor of the global properties among consumers, and on the other hand due to their more robust licensing processes & guidelines built through years of experience.


Sports fandom is built primarily on two pillars - inspirational/unforgettable moments and star players. Sports stars not only influence the game, but often also the prevalent culture & society overall. I'm sure you remember, in the 90's everyone wanted to be like Michael Jordan; in the 2000's kid wanted to flaunt an attitude like Kobe, dress like Iverson, entertain like Shaq. While LeBron & Curry have been the most recognized faces in this decade, there are new stars beginning to shine on the horizon. A lot of these stars have massive personal endorsements & licensing deals. However, the real magic happens when the players, teams & league all come together as a package.


The NBA brings current players & legends to India every year. Seeing the active fan following they have here, a number of them are also looking to build stronger direct ties with India & pursue endorsement/licensing deals of their own. So overall, this space is only going to keep growing.


I'm not sure there's a standard list of strategies that deliver success; to me it seems like different 许可s have different game plans. For me personally, it's been an ever evolving & learning process. We've needed to be iterative as well as opportunistic as the situation demanded. We've also taken a leap of faith from time to time, which has often resulted in great success. For example, the NBA was the first global league to license an official fantasy game with Dream11 in India. Today, that partnership has grown into one of our top success stories.

One of our relatively new partnerships is the NBA Fanwear apparel range with Suditi Industries. Due to their awesome collection & great relationships in retail, in just a few months NBA Fanwear apparel is selling is more than 110 outlets among premium department stores.

Also, this season we've transitioned our official ecommerce destination NBAStore.in to Myntra.com. There's a lot of potential to grow this partnership to engage with millions of consumers & deliver a very lucrative year for both partners.

Also, on the sponsorships side, having NBA Games in the market helped us bring on board & activate many partners, including Reliance Foundation, ACG, Dream11, Gatorade, Harman International, JIOSaavn, Myntra, Nike, Tissot, Visit California.


.           Build the fanbase, create demand - 牌s should invest the time, effort, and money in first building their fanbase & creating a demand for their brand & product, especially in a new territory. Only once they've reached a critical mass, should they look to start monetising in the market. Patience & long-term vision is important; not everyone has this though.

.           Storytelling - Even once a brand has the fanbase & the demand, merchandise won't fly off the shelves without storytelling. You need to give the consumer a compelling reason to buy & buy now. Themed collections, popular athlete/team inspired collections, collaborations, marquee event-based ranges, products celebrating key moments . all this goes a long way in driving sellthrus.

.           牌 value & fit - When selecting the right licensees to partner with, it's important to first ascertain the right value & positioning of your own brand, and then align with partners & categories that reflect the same value. Eventually from the consumers lens, it should look like an ideal match, not some odd misfit.

。分割 - 这导致关闭从以前的点。自觉用不同的合作伙伴,创造最适合您不同的消费群体预期不同的产品范围。分割可以基于各种因素 - 消费人口,地域分布,零售业态等。一个尺寸适合所有人的方法很少奏效。

。不要超卖 - 这可能是最困难的元素。当一个品牌是成功的,共同的趋势是,试图奶市场。我见过ESTA往往导致混乱的市场,过多的产品试图让同一钱包的份额,远远盐超出预期的需求;最终,然后持牌人及遭受一样,你的品牌。最好使用在你的扩张战略可度量的方法。