Header: New Challenger Sports Leagues tipped to be a USD855 billion industry: Karthik Dammu, Strategy Head, Power Sportz

Which sport makes the most money? The NFL ranked No. 1 on the list of the top-10 biggest sports leagues by revenue in the world in 2020. The NFL generated USD 16 billion last year, leading the way for the most profitable sports leagues. Sports leagues generate revenue in many ways, including TV and broadcasting deals, ticket sales, merchandising, licensing, and much more.

The Fantasy Sports Market was valued at USD 21.39 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 44.07 billion, with an estimated CAGR of 12.92 per cent over the forecast period of 2022-2027. The increasing popularity of players, the emergence of sports leagues, growing investment in digital and internet infrastructure, and the launch of fantasy sports applications as other means to connect with their favourite sports are some factors driving the market’s growth.

But, why is investment suddenly pouring into Challenger Sports Leagues?

A mindboggling USD20 billion has already been invested in Sports Leagues and Teams in 2021 and there is a lot in store for this soon-to-be USD855-billion industry, says Karthik Dammu, who has recently taken over as Strategy Head of Power Sportz.

Challenger leagues are typically smaller leagues that challenge the status quo of the existing “only for the big ones” sports market and ride more on “Passion Economy” dynamics.

The Global Sports Market is growing at an Annual CAGR of close to 40 per cent, and it seems to be paving the way for Leagues at all levels to germinate and grow. Smaller leagues across football, golf, volleyball are reportedly seeing huge capital raises in the recent past.

The most valuable challenger leagues will be the ones that uniquely leverage modern “passion economy” tailwinds to develop a differentiated value prop that appeals to the next generation of fans, says the 24-year-old Karthik, who is awaiting the release of his movie which again plays on the same youth sentiment.

Power Sportz recently conducted the Global Power Cricket League (GPCL), which targeted young Indian diaspora players residing in different parts of the world. The event was highly appreciated by the Indian diaspora community, which felt honoured to be part of the Government of India’s ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations in its 75th year of Independence.

“We intend to keep the momentum going, and hope to create more Intellectual Properties in sports, which would cater to a segment that has not been catered to as yet,” said Kanthi D. Suresh, founder Power Sportz. She was also the brain behind GPCL, and is currently working on another Global Sports League, the details of which she refused to divulge. “It’s a bit early but it’s going to be a big one,” she said.

The global OTT market size was valued at USD121.61 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach USD1,039.03 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 29.4 per cent from 2020 to 2027. This is also seen as one of the major reasons for the sudden spurt in Sports Leagues and with the Globalisation of Content, it is expected that upstart leagues will embrace the Sports Ownership Economy. It’s ultimately passion that determines the viability of any sport.

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