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Sunday, January 24, 2021
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Coronavirus and Sport Management Pedagogy Based on Participatory Sport

 

Dr. Nayana Nimkar, Director, Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences(SSSS)

We are amidst extraordinary times. The pandemic has been a global affair and has impacted billions of lives, their way of livelihood, and their way of thinking. Every sector has gone through major reforms and changes to cope up and adjust to a post-pandemic world. Sports has also been one of the impacted sectors, including participatory sports. Due to the norms of social and physical distancing, the lockdown of businesses, schools, colleges, and overall social life, people’s participation in sports and other physical activities has been hugely impacted.

The sports industry is close to 600 Billion Dollars’ worth, globally. It is an industry that employs millions of people and has various business initiatives that are a part of it, one of the prominent ones being the participatory sports business. Participatory sports is all about engaging people and families in activities on a first-hand basis. It is a prime contributor to people’s social life and leisure.

As the sports businesses reopen, a few concerns that will need immediate attention in the post-pandemic world…

Be it fitness centers, training centers, golf courses, leisure sporting complexes, football, tennis, or cricket, the whole sector depends on the participation and revenue generated by consumer spends and involvement. The overall operation of participatory sports is dependent on memberships, rentals, fees, tickets, endorsements, sales of related sports goods, and visits to each event, and hence consumer spends is critical for the business to run smoothly. Due to the pandemic, consumer participation and spends have reduced drastically towards such activities and hence bought a temporary pause to these businesses or have forced them to alter the way they operate.

Although the impact of Coronavirus has been detrimental to sports, it is not all bad and it can provide an excellent platform for valuable learning opportunities to the students who are looking out for a career in sports management. Radical situations need radical changes, and hence there are always opportunities to plan, brainstorm and implement innovative and new ideas that might have never been thought of before or might not have been an option if the situation did not call for it. For learning and growth, this is a tremendously salient time frame where businesses need to be re-built, keeping in mind the new normal. Students have more elbow room to experiment, communicate, and assist participatory sports business owners through various projects and learn about the industry from the horse’s mouth.

Since businesses are still suspended or are in the middle of creating backup plans to open up services; keeping in mind the new regulations that have to be followed, students in this field will have a challenging but interesting foundation to understand the industry thoroughly and engage customers. The whole planning and execution would need appropriate critical thinking, resourcefulness, creativity, and adaptability from a student’s end, which will lead to the overall growth of the student as a sports manager or a club manager and prepare them for the industry in full swing.

Radical situations need radical changes, and hence there are always opportunities to plan, brainstorm and implement innovative and new ideas that might have never been thought of before or might not have been an option if the situation did not call for it.

As the sports businesses reopen, a few concerns that will need immediate attention in the post-pandemic world will be getting in new customers, new patrons, sending out the right message as a sports community, keeping customer safety as a priority, and to make changes in the establishments to neutralize or minimize the effect of the virus in the premises. In these scenarios, the students can take up participatory roles as the business owners and suggest and implement the necessary changes that might bring a positive impact to the business and the sports community.

Students have more elbow room to experiment, communicate, and assist participatory sports business owners through various projects and learn about the industry from the horse’s mouth.

 

Re-imagining Sports Post COVID-19

  • Concerning the learning opportunities, the students can play a major role in creating the messages and deciding the incentives they believe would be effective in not only educating, informing, and attracting the customers but also impacting their attitudes and influencing their behaviors towards sports.
  • It is necessary to inform the patrons involved that their health is prominent and necessary precautions are in place to ensure safety. The activity will teach the students about customer loyalty, stickiness, and ways to attract customers to such events, keeping in mind their targets.
  • Since spends are less frequent, lucrative incentives towards consumers are necessary depending on the sports, but keeping in mind that these incentives do not cause any unnecessary financial strains on the business owner,. Meanwhile creating the necessary stir amongst participants is of the utmost importance.

Overall, the learning and growth opportunity when it comes to sports management is at an optimum stage right now, and it needs professionals who can work and conceptualize while thinking of the bigger picture.

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