Sports in India have largely been an unregulated industry with individual federations and associations managing events and activities in India. The sector was never the focus of development and only pockets of excellence sustained growth. However, with the Indian economy systematically growing and increased demand by the domestic market for sports, interests in this area have dramatically increased. The recent success of major sporting events in India and the emergence of sports icons have fuelled greater investments by private enterprises in this area while the Government seeks more regulation to ensure transparency and fairness in this system. Sports in India, in effect, present unique opportunities.
Regulation of Sports
The Indian Government has instituted several committees to analyze various aspects of sports including issues relating to doping, selection of athletes, hosting of events and organization of federations and associations. These committees have also been provided the task of drafting appropriate bills for consideration by the Parliament. L&S attorneys have been empanelled on these committees to provide advice to the Government on many of these issues and draft relevant legislative bills.
The area of sports requires a variety of agreements to be drafted and enforced to ensure success. Intellectual property protection and, ensuring that broadcasting and advertising rights are protected, are keys to success of sports and sporting events. Further, management of player’s contracts, agent services and profit sharing arrangement between associations and organizers present unique issues that require competent and experienced practitioners. Investment in this area also has special challenges.
The niche team in this area in L&S is predominantly involved in the development of regulatory framework. The team is involved in various committees and groups involved in framing of sports law. Many of the attorneys in this area are trained abroad and have handled issues relating to various agreements and investments in this area. They also regularly advise clients on dispute resolution and appear before various fora in issues relating to sports.