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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION...........................................................................2
HISTORY OF INDIAN FOOTBALL.......................................................3
PRESENT SCENARIO AND STRUCTURE...............................................5
INDIAN FOOTBALL ECOSYSTEM........................................................................5
INFRASTRUCTURE.......................................................................................... 6
UNSTABLE LEAGUE STRUCTURE.........................................................................7
STABILITY AT AIFF LEVEL...............................................................................7
BRANDING OF INDIAN FOOTBALL.......................................................................7
RESTRUCTURING OF THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE.........................................................8
FIFA MATCH DATES........................................................................................ 8
PLAYER SALARIES......................................................................................... 9
MERCHANDISING......................................................................................... 10
BROADCASTING OF I-LEAGUE MATCHES.............................................................10
COMPARISON OF REVENUE MODELS OF EUROPEAN LEAGUES AND INDIAN
LEAGUES..................................................................................11
ANALYSIS OF REVENUE MODELS IN EUROPEAN LEAGUES........................................11
REVENUE SOURCES FOR AN INDIAN CLUB...........................................................13
HOSTING A UNDER 17 WORLD CUP..................................................15
UNDER 17 WORLD CUP HISTORY.....................................................................16
BENEFIT OF HOSTING A WORLD CUP................................................................17
Change in perception................................................................................ 17
Improvement in infrastructure.....................................................................17
INDIA HOSTING UNDER-17 WORLD CUP.....................................19
THE ISSUES IN THE INDIAN FOOTBALL AND POSSIBLE IMPACT OF HOSTING THE WORLD
CUP IN ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES.................................................................19
UNDERSTANDING POPULARITY.......................................................................22
Classification of fans..........................................................................23
STRATEGY................................................................................................. 25
Creating a successful event...............................................................27
Pre-event Stage..................................................................................... 28
Launch Stage.......................................................................................... 29
SUCCESS STORIES: SPORTS REVOLUTIONS.......................................30
SUCCESS OF US SOCCER IN 1994.....................................................................30
JAPANESE BASEBALL IN 1896..........................................................................32
IRANIAN FOOTBALL IN THE 1970'S....................................................................33
JAPANESE FOOTBALL: TOP DOWN APPROACH.......................................................33
Measures............................................................................................... 33
Success Story.......................................................................................... 35
AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL IN 2005:FORMATION OF A LEAGUE....................................36

Introduction
FIFA while conducting the world cup follows a structured approach by selecting the
top teams from the 6 federations namely AFC(Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF
(North, Central America and Caribbean), CONMEBOL (South America), OFC
(Oceania) and UEFA (Europe). All these federations organize their own respective
championships. When there is such a systematic approach towards the game, why
can't India not do it !! A country like Nigeria which has continuously suffered from
socio-economic and political factors in the last few decades performed extremely well
in the U17 world cups right from 1985 and eventually won it in 2013. Football is a
game which requires players to be fit physically and psychologically(if they have any
disease, it is worked upon through medical conditioning: Asthmatic players are given
acupunctures). It needs to be played tactfully. Youth talent needs to be nurtured by a
vibrant scouting system. AIFF needs to be aware of all this and ensure that systems
are in place which could work upon and develop youth players. U17 world cup is a
good platform which reflects the level of preparation and infrastructure that the sport
has in a country. The assumption is that the U17 players have gone through the best
coaching curriculums and would be able to perform well in the top flight of football.
As the U17 tournament is held every year, a team can assess the progress of its
players regularly. India has a great chance to make use of this platform by performing
well in the tournament so that it opens up the gate for international clubs to come and
scout from here along the lines of African nations. In Africa, people love playing the
game. Top European clubs come and scout players which seem talented to them. As a
result, some African players are playing well in the European leagues and their
national teams are performing well in world cups. This has led the African masses to
follow and play the game even more.

History of Indian Football

1800's

1900-1950

1950 world
cup

1950-1960:
Golden era

1960-1984:
Post Golden
era

1985-2000

In 1888, Durand cup was conceived. This is the oldest competition till
date. The matches are free of cost for spectators. Currently, the I
League clubs and government organization teams like Railways,
ONGC play the competition.
Calcutta, earlier being the capital became the hub for Indian football.
In 1889, the first club Mohun Bagan was formed. This led to the
formation of the Indian football association in 1893.
This period saw a lot of Indian clubs being formed, club competitions
happening and more Indian players, less British players being part of
the larger football culture. Indian team started touring Asian countries
to get an exposure of the game. All India Football federation was
formed in 1937. In 1911, Mohun Bagan defeated Yorkshire regiment
and thus the following for the game was created.
The team had the chance to play but refrained from participating owing
to the following reasons:
Cost of travel which FIFA agreed to bear partly
Lack of practice time and team selection issues
Olympics valued more than world cup
Clearly, AIFF was not able to perform its job. The national team from
1950 onwards has never really came close to qualifying for the world
cup.
Indian team won in national and international events. They won the
1951 Asian games, which they hosted, finished fourth in 1956
Olympics.
Indian lost its foothold due to poor team selections. During this time,
India won the cricket world cup in 1983 and hosted one in 1987. All
this made cricket the sport in the country as the Indian cricket team
never left the chance to play in a world cup unlike the football team.
Things certainly could have taken a different way had the Indian team
played in the 1950 world cup.
The major event that highlighted this period was the formation of the
National football league in 1996 by AIFF. This was the first proper
attempt to give structure to Indian football by creating a domestic
league.

2000-2010:
The
reemergence
of Indian
football

2011- Present

Indian team won silver in Afro Asian games and started to win
recognition in India and abroad. Bob Houghton came in 2006 and
restructured the Indian football system by laying emphasis on youth
development programs, programs for coaches to improve the Indian
game. As a result, the Indian team won its first Nehru cup by beating
Syria.
Club wise, the national football league folder for the better to give rise
to I-League in 2007. The Indian football was growing as Goa won the
first I league season, went to the semifinals of the AFC cup where it
lost.
In 2011 Asian cup, India lost all 3 matches. After the defeat in Asian
cup, team worked hard and qualified for 2012 AFC challenge cup. The
team has not done anything at the international level. Also, at the Asian
level, they are average and are behind Japan and Australia by a huge
margin.
Presently, the Indian youth loves watching EPL and other European
leagues having international stars, good quality play. Nobody watches
the I-league.

Present Scenario And Structure


Indian Football Ecosystem

Current FIFA ranking of men's team is 150. The team won the Nehru cup in 2007 and
2009. Tata football academy, Sesa Goa's youth system coupled with those of Pune FC
and Mohan Bagan have showed a glimmer of hope in terms of youth development
programs/academies being developed. Still, AIFF has not taken a firm stance to make
youth academies for each club which could act as feeder clubs for the I-League teams.
Clubs can also bank upon the transfer fee gains by producing skilled young players
although the Indian transfer market is very dormant due to the inability of clubs to pay
exorbitant salaries to players.

Infrastructure
There are 6 stadiums pan India out of which only 2 are Astroturf. Teams from Goa
and Bengal have one stadium each.
The current business model of the I League is shown below

Future
prospects

Performanc
e

Investment
s

Crowd
support

Sponsorshi
ps

There are no club cafes along the lines of Manchester United Sports Bar. 80% of the I
league club revenues come from sponsorships.
To promote football, regional state leagues in Goa, Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab do
happen. Then there are cup competitions like the Federation cup, Durand cup and IFA
shield.
In terms of club locations, Bengal, Goa seems to dominate the I-League. Meghalaya is
breaking the myth as 2 I league clubs have come in the first division. Maharashtra
with Mumbai FC and Pune FC has also arrived on the football scene. The rest of India
in particular the Northern region seems to be devoid of being under any influence of
the game as there is almost zero representation in terms of clubs in I league, the 2nd
division and the U19 teams.
In the 2nd division, north east represents a fair portion with 4 clubs. Delhi, Madhya
Pradesh and Garhwal (North West) have one club each representing in the league.
There is one club in Kerala, which has ties with Reading FC, a second division club in
English football. Reading FC has assured the Keralite club that if the clubs succeeds
in going into the I league, it will pump in more money in making the club financially
sustainable. Currently, Reading FC sends coaches and identifies players from the
Keralite club to be trained at Reading FC's stadium.
In the national team, almost all the players come from the clubs of Bengal, Goa and
Pune.

Looking at the dismal scenario wherein only few states have clubs in India football,
we can't envision a future where the people could accept football as a mass sport.
There are no clubs in Rajasthan, UP, AP, Bihar etc.
No home grown talent for forward/striker position and bulk of the scoring done in
I-League by foreign stars.

Unstable league structure


As the number of teams in the I League change season over season owing to financial
negligence on part of clubs leading to their bankruptcy, I League as an entity was
unable to meet the criteria laid out by AFC and none of the clubs were able to be part
of AFC C league in 2012. The present league structure consists of the I-League at the
top level, a 2nd division league and a parallel U-19 league which is kind of the youth
system for the first division clubs.
The ISL is going to start this season. Since there are only 8 enterprises, it would and
should be a relatively shorter version involving higher competition in comparison to a
longer version of the I League where teams would take less risk to perform well
across the season. In order to market the ISL in a better way, make it along the lines of
Big Bash in Australian cricket. Bring the top teams from the J League, A
League(Australia), MLS and make them compete with these enterprises. That way,
following would increase as Japanese stars like Keizuki Honda, Endo and Australian
stars like Harry Kewell.

Stability at AIFF level


AIFF was built with an aim to support football development constraints. But, owing
to financial crunch, they need to agree to IMG-Reliance and all the league revenues
trickle down to IMG-Reliance group. Unlike the FA which has no control over the
EPL, AIFF has full control on the I-League clubs IMG-Reliance buys the TV rights
from AIFF for 33-35 crores, each season. IMG-Reliance subsequently sells those TV
rights to News Time Bangla and News Time Assam for 17 crores and to Ten Action
for an undisclosed amount. The clubs get nothing out of the 17 crores due to the deal
made by AIFF.
In Europe, all the money goes back to the clubs (TV rights money) in order of their
rankings in the league. There is a clear need to develop an alternative financing
strategy where AIFF is not under pressure to pave the broadcast rights money to IMGReliance.

Branding of Indian football

The basic assumption is that if football is imbibed at the grassroots, the central
government and private investors would start putting money in the sport. To attract
investments, Indians should come and watch the matches in stadia and on TV.
Almost all clubs are running in losses to the tune of 6-7 crores. Revenue from ticket
sales is meagre. Earlier, only 30% of the ticket sales went to the clubs, the rest to the
local organizing committee or state association that organized the matches. Now, the
onus to organize the game lies on the home team and the home team earns the entire
ticket sales revenue. The flip side is that a major chunk of the ticket revenue goes into
organizing the matches. So, its a vicious circle.
India also lacks in locking fan base by building fan development programs,
community based services that could build the brand image of I-League clubs. Club
websites are also a fan base tap-in which is lacking in India.
A startling fact: there was no trophy presentation in the 2010-11 I-League season.
Nobody knew how the I-League trophy looked like! Conducting a ceremony to
appreciate the I-League winning team won't cost fortunes for AIFF. It is not of much
surprise that the fan base is low! There should be a separate marketing arm which
could sell the I-league to potential investors.

Restructuring of the football league


Goa has a league structure where there are only 8 teams in the first division. A player
gets only 14 games which is very less in his overall development as a player. Top
players playing in the I-league get overburdened due to excess fatigue and burnout.
The lower-rung players in the fringe warm the bench. As soon as the Goa league ends,
the I-League starts. The same set of players play in both the leagues. AIFF however
has done a good amendment by putting a cap of 40 games for any player in a season.
A better solution would be to let clubs loan out players which are not getting enough
playing time in the original club. That way, the developing player could get playing
time in a second division club.
However, the second division is played at the end of March. So, players playing in the
state league play till November, then wait till March to play again in second division.
The trio of State League, I-League and I-League second division needs to work in
collaboration to ensure that each player gets enough games in his kitty to play. There
is a need of a state league where every team has 13-15 matches and then a second
division league where there are at least 10 teams playing on a home and away basis. If
a 2 leg option is not feasible in 2 nd division due to financial constraints on AIFFs part,
2-3 venues in a single state only could reduce the costs a lot. Enormous talent in the
north-eastern region is not justified the only club representation of Shillong Lajong. A
strong state league is needed in these parts.

FIFA match dates

Our league is structured in an abysmal manner. The Indian team is not able to play
international friendly matches (also known as friendlies) with European nations and
clubs because when European clubs have a window to host friendlies, our players are
pre-occupied with the I-League. Indian football is unable to develop its skills partly
because we are not exposed to the style of play of European clubs. Our league
schedule should be structured in a way so that our players can get an opportunity to
play friendlies with European clubs. Federation cup is similar to the FA cup in
England. Unlike the FA cup, which happens throughout the EPL season, the
Federation cup gets over in a month. Our league should be structured along the lines
of EPL i.e. start in September and end in May. The FA cup also happens
simultaneously with the EPL.

Player Salaries
The salaries of players in I-league are exorbitant. Out of the operating budget, 75-80%
is spent on player salaries whereas in European clubs, 65% is the ideal amount.
The graded salaries to football players in India

The high operating costs of players and the low ROI in Indian football has forced
owners of clubs to shut down the clubs. Below are the average yearly salaries of ALeague (Australia) and MLS (North America) players.

Merchandising
Since most of the money is spent on player payments, no money is left to spend on
community development programs, fan-base creation. Inactivity on this front has led
to lower gate collection and merchandising revenues as the club is not popular among
people or is not branded in any way.

Broadcasting of I-League matches


None of the matches should be aired or played in the primetime slot of 8-11 pm in
India as EPL is primarily watched in India on weekends. 5-8 pm slots would be the
ideal time to broadcast the matches to avoid conflict with other popular European
league matches.

Comparison of Revenue models of European Leagues and


Indian Leagues

Analysis of revenue models in European leagues

For European clubs, they earn their major revenue from sponsorship deals. They get
huge sponsorships because of their display of high quality football and partly because
the kind of visibility and fan-base that they have created by leveraging their highquality football.

English league
revenue breakup

Commercial

Broadcasting
28%
35%

Matchday

37%

Italian league
revenue breakup

14%
25%
Broadcasting

Commercial

Matchday

61%

German league
revenue breakup

Commercial

25%

Broadcasting
53%

22%

Matchday

Revenue sources for an Indian club

None of the Indian clubs own their stadium and cant gather sponsorship or rent the
stadium for revenue generation, as they dont own it. A major portion of the Gate
collection revenue goes in paying the stadium rent. Clubs get the following revenue
from AIFF.

Investments would reap in the long term. Expecting that Indian football would do
wonders in a short time is a big shot. Time is of the essence to realize the vision of
seeing Indian team qualify for the FIFA world cup.

Hosting a Under 17 World Cup


The FIFA U-17 World Cup, founded as the FIFA U-16 World Championship, later
changed to the FIFA U-17 World Championship and known by its current name since
2007, is the world championship of association football for male players under the age
of 17 organized by Fdration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
The first edition was staged in 1985 held in China and tournaments have been played
every two years since then. It began as a competition for players under the age of 16
with the age limit raised to 17 from the 1991 edition onwards. The most recent
tournament was hosted by the United Arab Emirates and won by Nigeria, with the
next edition being hosted by Chile in 2015.
Nigeria is the most successful nation in the tournament's history, with four titles and
three runner-ups. Brazil is the second most successful with three titles and 2 runnerups. Ghana and Mexico have won the tournament twice.
A corresponding tournament for female players, the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup,
began in 2008, with Korea DPR winning the inaugural tournament.
Performance by continental zone

Africa is the most successful continental zone with 6 tournament wins (4 for
Nigeria, 2 for Ghana) and 5 times as runner up. Notably the 1993 final was
contested by two African teams, the only occasion when the final has been
contested by two teams from the same confederation.

South America has 3 tournament wins and has been runner up three times.
Additionally Argentina has finished in third place on 3 occasions and Colombia
twice in fourth place, but they have never appeared in the final.

Europe has 3 tournaments wins (1 each for France, USSR and Switzerland) and
has been runner up 5 times. Spain has been runner up on 3 occasions. Additionally
Portugal and Netherlands have won third-place medals in 1989 and 2005
respectively.

The CONCACAF zone has 2 tournament wins (for Mexico in 2005 and 2011),
this confederation has reached the final three times (with Mexico).

Asia has 1 tournament win (for Saudi Arabia in 1989), the only time that a team
from this confederation has reached the final and the only time an Asian team won
a FIFA tournament in male category. (Australia was runner up in 1999 but at that
time was in the Oceania Football Confederation).

Oceania has no tournament wins and 1 occasion as runner up (for Australia in


1999). Australia has since moved to the Asian confederation.

This tournament is peculiar in that the majority of titles have gone to teams from
outside the strongest regional confederations (CONMEBOL and UEFA). Out of
the fifteen editions held so far, nine (60 percent of the total) have been won by
teams from North and Central America, Africa and Asia.

Under 17 World Cup History

U17 world cups have produced contemporary football stars more recently being
Neymar (2009), Tony Kroos(2007). There are others as well with the likes of
Figo(1989), Ronaldinho(1997) and a lot of others who shined at this event and were
subsequently worked upon to excel at the international level. This is ample evidence
that a nation's U17 football team is reflective of either the love for the game among
masses which makes them to play the game in numbers(which is the case for nations

like Nigeria, Cameroon in Africa, bottom up approach) or the football facilities in the
nation(USA, top down approach).

Benefit Of Hosting A World Cup


Change in perception
Football players in the I-League are earning big salaries. It is not a poor man's game
anymore. Like cricket, one can work hard to reach the pinnacle. And unlike cricket,
the supply of footballers is less. So, competition at present is less and a teenager has a
better chance to become a footballer than a cricketer if he has the physique and
relevant skill set.
Improvement in infrastructure
Improvement of stadiums is under process in India. Fans would also like to watch
matches in stadiums with good facilities. Pitches would get improved which to an
extent improve the quality of play.
India has just 2 FIFA approved stadiums to conduct international matches, one in
Chennai and the other one in Delhi. There are instances of water logging with no
proper drainage system plaguing the condition of football grounds in India. And to top
it off, parties are being held in football stadiums. The level of professionalism that is
being shown towards Indian football is indifferent to say the least.
Also, AIFF has issued a club licensing criteria whereby every club needs to have a
stadium of its own. Building stadiums with a capacity of around 15000-20000 could
cost around 15-20 crores according to a study done by Transtadia, a leading sports
infrastructure building company. This cost can only be covered if the Indian
government pitches into covering a part of it. Cricket visibly gets the highest amount
of funding from the Indian government. To host the FIFA U-17 world cup, India needs
more FIFA approved stadiums!!
The financially weaker clubs should be helped by local authorities and the AIFF in
terms of aiding their infrastructure. Football is a game which can give a good ROI if
money is invested for the long run. Government should realize this facet. The
Amsterdam arena was built by the local municipality and was leased to Ajax FC.
Most of the stadiums in Japan and Italy are built by the government. Make the
government realize that putting money in infrastructure for Indian football can reap
the same profits as those of European football nations. Investing in infrastructure is
the start to build and develop the quality of Indian football players.
Also, infrastructure is not about building football stadia only. It is also about building
technical talent in football players. Letting U9's and U11's play on full field is not
logical. In an early age, the players need to play under pressure. Playing on half fields
where they need to control the ball and do accurate passing is the need. Cruyff courts
were one alternative which was devised by Johan Cruyff, a famous Dutch player.
These courts were half of a full field and were artificially developed in cities where

there was not enough space to build full fields and the cost of acquiring land was too
much to build a stadia. Below is the picture of a Cruyff court.
Cruyff Court

TV Viewership
Since international teams would be playing and their football followers would feel the
need to watch and support their team, TV viewership could go sky high. Sony Six, an
Indian company has bought the rights to telecast the game, which is an added
advantage.
Sponsorship
Like the U17 UAE world cup where Abu Dhabi tourism, EMAAR, Etisalat sponsored
the tournament to encourage the event, Indian tourism ministry with the corporate
houses can go along the same lines.
Youth development
Since India's team is participating in the tournament, efforts would be done to
improve the game at the grassroots. Tournaments could be conducted at school level
to scout talented players.
National pride
If India is able to successfully deliver the tournament to its completion, it would
surely be recognized at a global level in the sports community. Investors could start
investing in the game. Foreign coaches( from European, MLS, A League, J League)
after getting a glance that there is a potential market for the game in this country, they
would come here, conduct training camps and probably scout talent to their clubs.
Opportunities are galore if the event is a success.
Knowledge transfer
Hosting an event of this magnitude helps the nation to know the nitty-gritty of
conducting a global event. The event management company would get to know the

protocol to adhere to while conducting a FIFA event which would increase the
knowledge about what FIFA wants from India right from the organizational basics to
the infrastructure requirements(of football stadiums). To make football a success in
India, we need to be first cognizant of the problems.

India Hosting Under-17 World Cup


The issues in the Indian football and possible impact of
hosting the world cup in addressing these issues

Segment of the
ecosystem

Issue

Lack of football culture in India

Overall
Limited funding avenues in
football

Sports
governance

Talent scouting
and training of
players and
trainers

Lack of transparency
Limited community-level
engagement in football despite the
Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel
Abhiyan (PYKKA)
Limited commercial focus of
AIFF
Lack of coordination among the
concerned bodies affecting
professional uptake of football
Lack of coaches and technical
know-how on football in India

Can India hosting Under


17 world cup solve the
issue (Direct and Nondirect impacts)
Yes. To an extent, this event
can help in not only
popularizing the sport in
India but also increase
participation levels in the
country
Yes. This event can boost
the relevance of football to
the Indian audience which
in turn can help in
generating funding avenues
as the scenario will attract
more private players
No
Yes. This event can be a
milestone in increasing the
participation level of
football
No
Yes. The popularity,
increased participation and
increased private sector
involvement can bring a
change in this scenario
Yes. Can be non-direct
impact

Scarcity of playing spaces and


high capital expenditure required
to establish private training
academies
Imposition of customs duty on
training equipment imported by
private academies vs. duty
exemption on the same import by
the Government
Inadequate support to former
footballers launching private
academies
Lack of awareness on
opportunities for football coaches
Lack of specialized courses in
nutrition, football medicine and
psychology
Limited implementation of
existing schemes

Infrastructure

Limited corporate investment in


football infrastructure
development

No

No
Yes
Yes. Can be non-direct
impact
No
Yes. The popularity and
increased participation can
trigger new business
avenues for private players

Lack of a unified representation


for the football equipment
industry

No

Lack of transparency in the


governance of leagues

No

Poor monetization of leagues


Limited engagement of franchises
with local communities
Leagues and
tournaments

No

Low spectator attendance at the


stadiums
Low investment by the owners
Limited marketing of events

No
Yes. The perception of
franchises for more
participation of local
community can change with
increased popularity
Yes. To an extent, this event
can help in popularizing the
sport in India
Yes
Yes. With an increased
popularity of the game,
mass marketing of events is
bound to increase

Fans

Media

Lack of interest in the sports

Yes

Lack of consumptive objects in


football for fans to identify to

Yes

Low performance level in


comparison to European leagues
and other leagues Indian
spectators identify to

No

Limited media coverage to


national tournaments and leagues

Yes

Limited marketing of events and


tournaments
More focus on Cricket
Limited coverage of football icons
and players of the country
Low financial security in football
low recognition
Lack of support from the
governing bodies

Players

Clubs and
Franchises

Yes
Yes. The media aspect is
deeply linked with the
popularity of the game.
Yes. Can be non-direct
impact
Yes. To an extent

No
Yes. The popularity would
result in formation of better
platforms in terms of
Limited platforms for participation
number of tournaments and
leagues are bound to
increase
Limited monetary value in
running a club
No
Yes. The popularity will
Low level of recognition unlike
lead to more awareness
cricket
among the masses
Lack of sponsors
Yes
Low spending on training and
medical facilities
Limited role of clubs in engaging
with local communities

Broadcasters

Yes

Availability of other high


profitable broadcasting options
like cricket

Yes
Yes
Yes

Sponsors

Low interest of companies in


Indian football for advertisements
and marketing campaigns due to
low viewership
Indian football is considered a
sport of limited spectators which
is of very low importance to
sponsors

Yes

Yes

This analysis of the issues of the Indian football helped in understanding the fact that
most of the issues concerning various segments of the ecosystem can be solved if the
game gains popularity among the masses in India.
The main objective of hosting this event is popularizing football in India. To do this,
identifying the target segment for creating awareness and fan base; and increasing
participation becomes immensely important.

Understanding Popularity
Popularity is the state or condition of being liked, admired, or supported by many
people. In sports, the popularity can be measured in terms of awareness among the
masses, participation and number of fans created. It is immensely important to
understand the kind of fan base can hosting this major tournament can create.
Accordingly, a strategy can be laid out to increase the impact of hosting this event and
making the sport popular in India.
Who is a sports fan?
A fan is someone who can relate himself/herself to a particular sport, alternatively, an
enthusiastic devotee. More specifically, a fan devotes himself/herself to some
particular sports consumptive object. The sports consumptive object can be a range of
things that a fan feels attached to. It can be a sport, in general, or a particular
tournament or league, or a team. This can also refer to certain personalities too, like a
famous player, a coach, a celebrity who has strong affiliation with the sport or a team.
There is an interesting theory called halo process that explains the reasons of a person
developing into a fan. According to the halo process, a reservoir of memories feeds
fans' enthusiasm and passion for sports and links them to the sports institution,
interpersonal relationships, and experiences. This reservoir of information is termed a
schema, and it contains expectations, beliefs, and perceptions associated with the
schema target (Hunt and Bashaw, 1999b; Keaveney and Hunt, 1992; Fiske and Taylor,
1984). The target of the schema is the sports consumptive object.
According to their findings, when a fan identifies himself/herself to a player or a
sport, it subsequently leads to identification with the team. Stadium attendance, game

behavior and purchase of team products are a result of this identification. Hence, halo
process defines the path of becoming a fan as a sequential one, though it can vary
from person to person what leads to what. One might become a fan of a player first,
then a team, and then with sport or vice versa for any other person. All the possible
permutations are possible in this sequencing. The pieces of information that makes
this schema, or more specifically, the factors that are responsible for making a fan can
include the following, but not limiting to

Ability to play the sport

Exposure to specific sports elements

Parents and Siblings preferences

Friends preference

TV, Internet, newspaper and media attention to the sport

Social Media attention to the sport

Geo-political and social environment

Classification of fans
Depending on the sources of motivation and behavior exhibited, the fans can be
classified into five major types, namely, Deep, Temporary, Local, Fanatical and
Dysfunctional. The following table describes the characteristics of each of these types.
It also provides the relevance and prevalence of these types of fans in Indian scenario
and determines the kind of fan base can be created/increased using the FIFA under-17
World Cup as an instrument.
Fan Type

Characteristics

Relevant to
present
scenario of
Indian
Football

Temporary fan

Yes. This is
due to the fact
that most
Indian viewers,
mostly

The interest of this kind


of fan is time bound.
There is no motivation
for this type of fan once

Likelihood to
create/increase
this kind of fans
using Under-17
World Cup as an
instrument
This is one of the
most important fan
bases that a
tournament like
under-17 World

Local fan

the phenomenon of
interest is over. The
phenomenon of interest
can be a favorite
tournament/league, or
form of a favorite
player, or
competitiveness of the
matches, or volume of
matches.
The interest of this kind
of fan is geographically
constrained.
The identification with a
geographic area.
The local fan operates
under a constraint: if a
local fan moves away
from the city where the
schema target is located,
the devotion of the fan
diminishes.

Devoted fan

Initially, the devoted fan


probably started as a
temporary or local fan.
Their motivation toward
and attachment with the
consumptive object
(personality, team,
league, or sport)
increased, thus breaking
the boundaries of time
and place.
The devoted fan remains
loyal to their team or
player even if either the
specific, short-term
event that captivated
their temporary attention
has ended or if they are
removed from the
context of the original

European
cup can create and
league viewers, enhance for Indian
have shown
football.
interests of a
temporary fan
over the years.

Yes. Since the


league
structure in
India
encourages
creation of
local fans, it is
highly relevant
to Indian
football
scenario.

No. Since the


tournament is a
national event,
creation of this
type of fans does
not come under
the objective.

Yes. Football
would be a
popular sport
in India if the
number of
devoted fans
were increased
substantially as
they not only
contribute to
business
ecosystem of
the sport but
also enthuse
their passion to
others.

Yes. The ultimate


objective of any
sport is to create
devoted and
fanatic fans. In
short term,
creating devoted
and fanatical fans
through an event is
difficult but this
event can surely
convert a few
already temporary
fans to devoted
and fanatical fans.

geographical location.
Fanatical fan

Dysfunctional
fan
(Hooligans)

The fanatical fan uses


being a fan as a very
important part of selfidentification, yet there
remains at least one
aspect of their lives
(family, work, religion,
etc.) that the individual
uses for identification
that is stronger than
being a fan.
This primary difference
between the devoted fan
and the fanatical fan is
manifested through the
actual behavior toward
the schema target or
sports object.

Yes, but only


Yes, to an extent.
to a very little
extent. There
are a few
fanatical fans
of Indian
football in very
small
pockets/region
s of the country
where football
is very popular.

The dysfunctional fan


uses being a fan as the
primary method of selfidentification.
The dysfunctional fan
uses the sports team,
player, or whatever the
schema-target is, as the
primary method to
identify his or her self to
others and to his or her
own self.

There are
always a few
dysfunctional
fans. In Indian
context, they
are very few in
number.

No.

The primary target for this event is to create new temporary fans. This would not only
help in creating interest among the masses but will also help in transferring this
success to other leagues in the country.

Strategy
The following figure demonstrates the target segment for the event.

Adult
football
participant
s
(players/fa
ns/officials)
Schools in
the
organizing
cities

Competing
teams

Core
Target
Segment
(Age
group 916)

Parents of
kids aged
9-16 years

General
sports fans

The aspects that will make this event a stepping-stone to popularizing at mass level. It
has two following parts1. Making the event a success at Generating mass interest level
Viewers participation level
Administration level
2. Sustaining the hype Translating this hype to promote other tournaments and leagues both at
participation and viewership levels.
Transferring this temporary fan base to Indian football events a move
towards creating local fans with leagues
Efficient use of infrastructure developed during the event

Making
the
event a
grand
success

Success in
popularizin
g football
in India

Sustainin
g the
hype
after the
event

Creating a successful event


Making the event successful has three defined stages
Pre-event creating the hype
During the launch
During the event holding the hype

During
the
launch
stage

Successf
ul world
cup
Preevent
stage

Pre-event Stage

During
the
event
stage

One year from the eventTV Football Reality Show


Select 30 under-16 from the auditions from across the country and winner to
be awarded a direct inclusion in the India world cup under-17 team or,
5 a side football reality show - Select 32 under-16 teams from the auditions
from across the country and lay out a knockout tournament to decide a winner
team gets some cash prize and the player of the tournament gets the direct
inclusion in the India world cup under-17 team
Six months before the eventAddressing primary target (Core target primary and intermediate schools) venues
only
Venue Marketing Managers to visit School Principals in host cities with
standardized presentation in order to obtain their commitment for the
following:
o To give pupils (preferably the whole school) a FIFA World Cup
experience by sending them to a game in their venue.
o To provide a time slot for the visit of a Domestic Ambassador
Schools that commit to the field trip will attend the first game of the first
round in their venue
At these matches, children can be provided with promotional flyers that allow
them (subject to availability) to return free of charge to the following two
round games if they are accompanied by a paying adult.
General Promotions
Organizing a 4 match and 3 teams tournament with teams including a mix of
footballers, cricketers and Bollywood celebrities
Social Media campaigns
Football flash mob all across the country
Voting for the team jersey among the 3 or 5 shortlisted ones
Television ad campaigns with theme song Cheer for India and
Meet your heroes with celebrities (Bollywood and Cricket) introducing a
team member each with one ad running for a week
Create the World Cup app and market download of the app with the TV ad
campaign
E-mail campaigns partner with a major e-commerce player to use their
extensive customer information

Launch Stage
Grand Opening Ceremony like the IPL

Associate with the leading music and dance reality shows to feature the
winners of those shows along with the celebrities in a performance each
during the opening ceremony

Success Stories: Sports Revolutions


For every success story, we would look at the problems plaguing the sport system in a
country, the measures that were taken to correct them and the success story that
catapulted the sport. In all the stories, the sport that we would be talking about was the
2nd or 3rd most sport on the list in terms of popularity/acceptance in the nation.

Success of US Soccer in 1994


US is known for Basketball, Baseball and NFL. Soccer had been a distant fourth in its
incumbency.
Problems
National American soccer league (NASL) was a success in the 1970's. But,
international player salaries reached new heights which were not viable enough to be
covered by the existing fan base which were flocking stadiums to watch matches. This
ultimately led to the demise of the NASL. There were other factors as well like
TV rights money not going to teams as there was no contract inked by NASL
The national team was almost non-existent and there was no fan following
No lower division league or college soccer which could supply homegrown
players. This led to fans not becoming ardent followers of teams as the
international players used to switch sides every 2-3 years.
But, the bringing of international starts led to college goers and youngsters to
watch and play football.
At this time, indoor football was flourishing in US. The Continental indoor soccer
league drew family crowd. The indoor league had a lot of showbiz like fireworks
displays, playing music in the stadium, live announcers during play, which made the
game into a multi-media entertainment experience as opposed to a simple athletic
contest.
But, it was clearly found that US had a thing for soccer as people watched it in huge
numbers.
Measures
US Youth Soccer Association(USYSA) and American Youth Soccer
Association(AYSA) banked upon the soccer fever that had started and soccer
participation skyrocketed. This happened because soccer as a sport was inexpensive
compared to hockey and NFL in terms of equipment cost. Parents saw soccer as a
viable professional opportunity for their children.
However, by the end of 1990, most of the stars played in the Indoor league. US soccer
officials felt that the only hope to revive outdoor football was by hosting a world cup.

Also, by hosting the world cup, the national team would also come into significance
as it would get a direct entry in a global competition. FIFA had an apprehension that
looking by the state of outdoor football in US, the hosting of world cup would likely
pan out to be a failure. However, the US Soccer Federation(USSF) president gave the
assurance that a superior and fully functional first division outdoor soccer league
would be there by the start of 1994 world cup. US got the approval from FIFA as there
was a potential fan base in the country and a superior infrastructure in terms of
football stadiums.
But, a lot of measures needed to be taken so that US players could compete in the
world cup. They were as follows
Most of the players were on the bench as international stars flooded the team.
In order to reverse this, USSF developed a national team training program
where all players in different leagues were contracted full time to the national
team as salaried members. This way, the players could get an year long
exposure that too at a competitive level.
Salaries were slashed so that the leagues could be financially stable.
Scheduling of outdoor and indoor league was done so that there was no
conflict and players could get more games to hone their skills.
By 1992, there were a lot of regional leagues happening like in the east, west and
south coasts. So, football was growing at the grassroots level but some soccer officials
felt that there was a growing need of a proper first division league as the bottom-up
approach would take too long.
Surprisingly, from 1992 onwards till the world cup in 1994, the US national team
started winning friendlies with competitive football playing nations. Outdoor soccer
was rising. At the same time, there was increasing rivalry between 3 factions of US
soccer officials: one wanting a top-down commercial league, the other a bottom-up
grassroots approach and the third of having an indoor league. Finally, it was decided
that the top down approach would be the best and MLS(Major League Soccer) was
christened. Claims of investor capital were made.
Meanwhile, the indoor league teams owing to the huge number of international stars
were going into bankruptcy due to burgeoning player salaries. The league finally
folded in 1992.
Success story
The national team went beyond the first round since 1930 which catapulted the
acceptance of soccer in US.
Post world cup
With the improved success of the US national team in the 94 world cup, a proper
league structure was formed. MLS(Major League soccer) was the first division
league, APSL(American Professional Soccer League) being the 2nd division league
and the USISL(US Inter Regional Soccer League) being the third division league.
USISL had 4 subparts being the North, South, East and West conference much like the

Basketball structure. The leagues were not fighting with each other. USISL was
involved in the grassroots development with 85 teams being part of it divided into
professional and amateur divisions. Soccer at college started to grow as women's
college soccer started to spread. MLS was a separate legal entity with all player
signings and allocations done by it. Salary caps per team of $12,50,000 ensured that
teams would be constrained in signing a lot of star players and that American players
would get ample playing time(this was done to combat the failure of NASL).
Some of the US National team players owing to their good performances in the 94
world cup landed European spots.
In the end, the top down approach trickled the acceptance of football at the grassroots
level as the masses loved watching and playing the game.

Japanese baseball in 1896


History
There were only individual sports like Sumo Wrestling. Baseball was the first team
sport in Japan. It all started when Ichiko(the best high school in Japan) defeated the
"all-whites" Yokohama from US(Yokohama refused to play Ichiko because Ichiko
were non-caucasians) in 1896. Japanese universities adopted the sport quickly after
this event.
Measures
The common thing between US and Japan was the strong baseball culture. Both the
countries leapfrogged on this and exchanged students/players from each other so as to
strengthen the ties(the Pacific war created problems between the 2 nations) and also
the culture of baseball. American players have helped a lot in improving the Japanese
baseball game. American baseball teams come to Japan for exhibition games as they
see a good market for popularizing the game.
Japanese baseball officials strengthened the grassroots by creating two nationwide
baseball tournaments which are organized at a grand level in Japan, one in summer
and the other in Spring. Parents flock the stadium to watch these matches.
Success story
Japanese-American baseball ties served as a good socio-economic and entertainment
bridge for Japanese ethnic groups which indulged in criminal and violent lifestyles.
Since Japan had a lot of strong communities because of the varied ethnicities, support
for the local baseball team sprung up. What we see in Japan is a bottom-up
approach towards developing baseball. People have a strong liking towards the
game. College universities are forming their own league. Then there are the amateur
baseball league(school level), the high school baseball league and the professional
league(division 1).

Iranian football in the 1970's


History
Iran was occupied by American army. In 1910, principal of an American school in
Iran made football part of physical education curriculum. Other Persian modernists
accepted football as they thought the game would inculcate cooperation in the
community which the traditional wrestling sport was unable to fulfill. This led to
formation of Association for development of football in Persia in 1921.
Measures
From 1962-1974, it was a period of transition for Iranian football. A lot of
international games/friendlies were played.
However, Iran failed to qualify for 1974 world cup. This led to changes in
administration of Iranian football. Youth program at national level was established.
Football expanded to areas other than Tehran which was the hub of Iranian football.
Education of domestic coaches was done through adequate coaching development
programs in 70's. Because of all this, Iran dominated in Asian competitions
particularly in the 70's.
Success story
All the restructuring done in the 1970's acted as a base for the development of Iranian
football. A professional league got formed in 2001. It took so much time because Iran
had to go through a war with Iraq between 1980-1988. The entire nation was shaken
up. Coming back to the football roots in itself says that the game has impacted at the
grassroots level and up the ladder. We can see a bottom-up approach here. And it all
started at the school level.

Japanese football: Top down approach


History & Problems
Before the inception of J league in 1993, there was the Japan soccer league(JSL). In
the late 60's and early 70's, the game attracted huge crowds to the stadiums as Japan
won bronze at the 1968 Olympics. However, the crowds began to dwindle in the 80's
as the grounds were not maintained to the highest quality but most importantly, the
Japanese team was not at par with other the Asian national teams. To address all these
problems, the Japan Football Association (JFA) decided to form a professional league.
Measures
1) Formation of J League in 1993 seemed to be the turning point for Japanese
football. The league attracted big crowds in the first 3 years. However, in early 1996,

the attendance reduced drastically. In 1997, average crowd strength of 10,131


observed in comparison to 19,000 in 1994.
2) Change in infrastructure and league format(1999-2004)
Two solutions were envisaged.
A J league 100 year vision was thought of which was that by 2093, 100
professional clubs would be formed in the Japanese football association. Japan
being such a small country, vision like this would be a big leap in Japanese
football if realized. The league motivated clubs to interact more with the local
community in terms of promoting football
and increasing the fan base. This way, clubs could get support from local
government, its citizens and corporate houses. This way, there won't be a need
to depend upon national sponsors.
Restructuring of the leagues happened. A 3-tier league system was formulated
with the J League being the first division league followed by J2 and third
division Japan football league.
Also, until 2004, J1 was a split league divided in 2 halves. To encourage more
competition and increased playing time, the split-season system was abolished in
2005.
3) More focus on AFC(Asian Football Confederation) Champions league in 20052008
Japanese teams did not take the AFC Champions league seriously. The Japanese teams
thought that they had to travel great distances that too to play with less competitive
teams. However, inclusion of Australian league(A League), FIFA club world cup and
a potential market to tap in the Asian continent made the Japanese realize that they
should take this competition seriously. They started performing competitively. The
result was that from 2009, AFC awarded 4 Japanese teams the right to play in AFC C
league every season. This posed a very good opportunity for J1 to sell TV rights to
other Asian countries.
4) Modern phase(2009-2014)
The major happening was that an AFC player slot was opened starting 2009. A
maximum of 4 foreign players could be there in a club in which one slot would be
fixed for an AFC player not hailing from Japan. This special slot was thought with an
aim to improve the J League level, promote international exchange of players and
advance the level of football in other Asian countries.
Starting in 2012, J League made partnerships with professional leagues of other Asian
countries like Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The aim was to disseminate football
knowledge with other nations and create a market to exchange good players

Players Registered with J. League Clubs as of 15th February


Japanese
Asian
25

Foreign
Other
40

Total
Sub-Total
65

J1

466

531

J2

563

32

31

63

626

Total

1,029

57

71

128

1,157

Foreign players in J-league by federation

As we can see, majorly Latin American players and AFC players participate in the J
League.

Success Story
The criteria for becoming a J2 club was not strict in contrast to a J1 club. This meant
that J2 clubs could be successfully maintained without investing in them as
exorbitantly as in J1 clubs. An example of a club is Mito HollyHock which attracts an
average audience of 3000 a game with minimal sponsorship and still continues to play
competitively in the J2 league.
Clubs in J2 aim to get promoted in J1. At the same time, they need to develop their
youth programs, home stadium, financial viability and relationship with local
community. Clubs like Oita Trinita, Kawasaki Fronttale managed to do this
successfully and got promoted to J1. These 2 clubs have managed to increase the
average turnout per game to be around 10,000.

Second-tier football is improving as clubs are competing at the professional level with
low budgets. This attracted many amateur clubs across the nation. A survey done by
the league showed results that most of the non-league clubs were interested in joining
the professional league, that too in the next 30 years. This reflects a positive direction
for the J. League 'Hundred Year Vision' plan.

Australian football in 2005:Formation of A League


Problems
Football long started in 1906 but the requirement of a professional league was felt in
1974. National soccer league was formed(NSL). The NSL flourished through the
1980s and early 1990s but then plummeted into decline with the increasing departure
of Australian players to overseas leagues, a disastrous television deal with the Seven
Network and the resulting lack of sponsorship.
Over the past 30 years barring the last decade, Australian football fell in ruins
primarily due to the politics played within the football administration, the
involvement of ethnic races(European communities migrated to Australia and cultural
conflicts arose) and financial instability. The migrants brought football to Australia,
which the native Australians didn't like as Rugby was the primary sport in Australia
then. Also, soccer Australia and NSL worked as a single entity with conflicts of
interest clearly apparent. All this led to numerous administration changes and the
demise of NSL.
Measures
To solve all this, government introduced an inquiry to re-brand football by bringing a
new administration. There was reduced involvement of ethnic groups. In entirety, a
government can do anything to further a sport in its country if it is hell bent on
doing so. Also, the inquiry recommended that NSL should operate under a different
license primarily for the following reasons:
Separate board would be able to cater to the needs of the game in a better and
professional way
To solve the problems of football, the board members need to have relevant
skill set which can only happen if an entity separate from government is
formed
Also, soccer Australia would be shielded in case NSL board is not able to
perform its functions and duties
The A league was named as a "football" competition to move away from the shame
that the National " soccer " league brought to Australia. There were only 8 teams in
the league to let them play in Asian and international competitions to further their
skills. The league was very much structured in a way like the ISL(Indian soccer
league). To make the clubs financially viable, a minimum capital requirement was

enforced which relegated the ethnic based clubs to the respective state leagues in
Australia. A 5-year city exclusivity deal was ensured to each club as part of the "onecity, one-team" philosophy to allow clubs to grow and develop an identity in their
respective region without local competition.
To take care of regional leagues as well, FFA has 9 state federations working under its
regime which take care of organizing the matches in regional leagues.
Success story
Because of the above restructuring done by the FFA(Football federation of Australia),
the A league turned out to be a huge success as attendances in games increased in
contrast to the dwindling numbers in NSL. The trio of the success of the A League ,
World Cup qualification(2006,2010) and shift to Asia(participation in Asian
competitions like AFC C League) garnered commercial interest in Australian football
from corporate houses. This was visible when Football federation of Australia struck a
$120 million dollar deal with Fox Sports. Part of this deal included the broadcasting
of matches held at Asian level. Australian football flourished because of a systematic
top down approach taken by the FFA.