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Wizcraft International sets foot into sports marketing with Sports One

The venture is promoted by the co-founders and directors of Wizcraft Entertainment - Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari and Sabbas Joseph - along with Ashok Rajgopal, former partner of Ernst & Young's media and sports consulting practice. Rajgopal will now function as CEO of Sports One.

In a bid to establish a holistic and 360 degree approach to sports marketing and sports management, Wizcraft International, an event management company, has finally set foot into the Indian sports market with Sports One.

Ashok Rajgopal

The new sports venture aims to raise the quality of sports in India by developing Indian talent on an international platform and working to create fresh and novel sporting properties. With this launch, Sports One will now contend with other sporting ventures such as IMG Reliance, Nimbus Sport and Twenty First Century Media.

The venture is promoted by the co-founders and directors of Wizcraft Entertainment - Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari and Sabbas Joseph - along with Ashok Rajgopal, former partner of Ernst & Young's media and sports consulting practice. Rajgopal will now function as the CEO of Sports One.

Timmins says, "We have long wanted to venture into sports in a big way and Sports One is an ideal step in that direction that will specialise in the field of overall sporting excellence in India."

Some of the Indian sport leagues and federations that Wizcraft has worked with include the Commonwealth Games, the Indian Premiere League and World Series Hockey.

Rajgopal says, "Today, the size of the sports marketing industry in India, which is at a nascent stage, is estimated to be over $1.6 billion and is expected to grow exponentially. We see ourselves as a catalyst of change for Indian sports, with a focus to support existing leagues, create new formats and develop sport at the grass root level."

Interestingly, in a country where cricket is still the ruling sport, Wizcraft is seemingly also betting big on football. The venture has created a sub-division to cater to the game under the banner, Football One.
"We are in the process of entering into strategic alliances across various sports, including our soon-to-be-announced international partnerships in football through our venture, Football One," adds Rajgopal.

According to the 2012 KPMG report, while cricket continues to account for over 80 per cent of the advertisement pie, broadcasters are also targeting committed audiences for other sports. Sports like football and golf may help the advertiser target the upwardly mobile premium consumers, attracting good advertisement rates while the acquisition cost for these sports remains as low as 10 per cent of the cost of acquiring live cricket telecast rights.

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