Sambhav Jain Unveils Vision for Sports Management with Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi League | NewsX Exclusive

In a recent exclusive interview on NewsX’s ‘A-List’, Vineet Malhotra, Senior Consulting Editor, NewsX, was joined by Sambhav Jain who is the founder and director of 1xsportz and Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi League.

In a recent exclusive interview on NewsX’s ‘A-List’, Vineet Malhotra, Senior Consulting Editor, NewsX, was joined by Sambhav Jain who is the founder and director of 1xsportz and Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi League. The company is well known as a one-stop destination that caters to all the sports management needs to corporates, individuals, brands, and others with a vision of enhancing sports in India. 1xsports largely aims at sports management, event management, league management, talent management & live broadcasting.

With the aim to unite people through sports, 1xsports strives to redefine the industry standards in the field of sports. It aims to promote inclusivity and reshape the sports landscape. The company stands as a dynamic and innovative sports manangement firm with a rich history of organizing more than 100 leagues that span across live and non live events. The company’s partnerships with more than 30 prestigious sports associations have established the entire firm as an influential force committed towards cultivating sporting spectacles that charm the audiences and act as inspiration and driving force for all the budding sports persons.

In conversation with Vineet, Sambhav Jain shared about himself and gave an insight into the inception of the Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi League and the journey of his company, 1xsportz. He elaborated on his career trajectory,”Being the founder of 1xsportz, I have been a part of sports management for the last fourteen years and 1xsportz is a sports marketing firm. Its functions include sports marketing, sports management TV production and broadcast as well as exit management. We even aid the federations in getting sponsorships and create our own IPs and Leagues and these combine to be the main domain of the company.”

Progessing further into the interview, Mr Samabhav elaborated on how the idea of Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi league came to him and why he chose the state of Uttar Pradesh to represent the game. “Actually, according to me, after cricket, Kabaddi is the next market in India and there are lot of viewers who are enthusiastic about events like the Pro Kabaddi League. I feel Kabaddi is a part of our country’s culture and our main aim is to find ways to promote the game of Kabaddi because there is a lot of scope in the game. And the sole reason why we targeted the state of Uttar Pradesh is because there is a lot of hidden talent in the state. Since this game is a part of our culture, it is our game, which is why our tagline also says, ‘APNA BHARAT, APNA KHEL, AB KHELEGA UTTAR PRADESH.’ So I feel that Indians are largely watching kabaddi, especially in the small towns, the viewership of Kabaddi is almost equal to the viewership of IPL and it has been noted by several news media organisations.”

Mr Sambhav, during the interview, takes the opportunity to put the spotlight on the youth of the country. He adds that the youth of the country is engaged in the game of Kabaddi in large numbers and reiterates that his company aims to guide the youth in the correct direction and offer, the youngsters, the right kind of exposure that they need to learn and build the sportsman spirit. “The kids who are unable to go for Pro Kabaddi League or other such big events, we wish to provide them a similar kind of commercial platform to give them the similar exposure that they need to build the skill for the game while also aid them financially. Commercially, it’s also very important. Today, I see that players are not getting fees or are struggling to get funds. They are worried about their training expenses. So, our motivation is to give the player a platform, financially cover that thing, and that’s our entire vision behind this.”

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Talking about his inspiration to embark on a journey to promote a sports that is part of the Indian culture and whether going into the sports statewise like the Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi, the future of cultural sports, Sambhav Jain elaborated that the regional sports have been getting promoted and owing to the large size of our population ,we will have to contribute towards the promotion of these sports, region-wise, state-wise, district-wise. Referring to sports events like the ones organised by BCCI statewise and TNPL in Saurashtra, he emphasised on the popularity and changes that came into the game of cricket when it was promoted state-wise and pressed that organising these sports events at state-levels will provide the youth with more opportunities because not everybody who aspires to play a sport professionally is actually given a chance when it comes to one big event. “You can only get a hundred players to play a game at the national level, but how would you justify the talent that is there who did not get the opportunity. And today, if someone wants to play kabaddi at the national level or go for selection, then for that, state and grassroots sports need to be promoted. We need to promote sports at the grassroot level. So, I feel that there should be high standards of competition at the state level and even at the district level.”

Elaborating on his reasons for specifically choosing Kabaddi as the sports that he wanted to promote largely, Mr Sambhav explained that, Kabaddi is a part of the Indian culture and he believed that people these days are forgetting their culture, which was his biggest reason. Secondly, he pointed out that Indians liked sports like kabaddi very much and while for cricket, viewers have a lot more options to watch content related to the game with around fifty to hundred leagues accessible to people, there are no such shows, games or content related to Kabaddi available to people besides the Pro Kabaddi League. He emphasises that the Pro Kabaddi league runs for merely around forty-five to sixty days after which there is content related to Kabaddi for the rest of the year. Therefore, listing out his three major reasons for choosing Kabaddi to promote, he highlighted that the sport was very stratigically chosen, keeping in mind the viewership in the country, the promotion and exposure for the youth as well as the popularity of the sport.

Advancing in the interview, Sambhav Jain, addressed his supporters and partners that made the vision and mission of the company and the project possible. “The first thing we did was to take the proposal to the Uttar Padesh Kabaddi association because no league can function without the support of an association or the recognised bodies of the various sports. I believe the collaboration between a league and an association builds the event’s credibility and creates a wider spectrum for the promotion of the event. So, Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi League has been organised in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi association and the brand ambassador for the sports event is Rahul Chaudhari, who is the face of the sport and also belongs to the state of Uttar Pradesh. There is a huge population of youth that follows Rahul Chaudhari, so through Rahul Chaudhari, as our brand ambassador, we want to send a message that if an individual works hard and works on their skill in the sport, they can also earn a name like Rahul Chaudhari.”

Moving further, he mentioned that the Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi league is an entirely franchise model in which they are attempting to incorparate several other different kinds of franchises and corporate owners. He adds that the company is also tying up with many big brands, including Patanjali Ayurveda. The director of Patanjali, he shares, Baba Ramdev also willed into the organisation of the event since the sport is essential to Indian culture. Mr Sambhav asserted that along with Patanjali, they have also been in negotiations with several other brands, for instance, Red FM is in negotiations with them being a part of the event as their radio partner.

Towards the end of the interview, Sambhav Jain elaborated on why he particularly chose Uttar Pradesh to begin with this venture aimed at promoting the sport of Kabaddi. “We don’t just aim at organising the event in Uttar Pradesh, but we want to organise it pan India. After Uttar Pradesh, we will organise it in Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana and other states as well. We have created a vision to take this concept around India state-wise, however, I belong to Uttar Pradesh, which is why I decided to start with my own state. Besides this, if I analyse the market, the state of Uttar Pradesh houses a very large population, so in terms of media and marketing, there will be an increased viewership as well as we will get to find a wide spectrum of talent which exists in this state. Looking at all these reasons, we decided to commence this venture from the state of Uttar Pradesh.” Mr Sambhav also shed light on his rendezvous with the secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, who urged him to organise such leagues in the state of Jammu and Kashmir as well, amongst other states.

While concluding the interview, Mr Sambhav also addressed the question of how the youth will be motivated to engage in the sport of Kabaddi instead of cricket, which is loved by so many. He highlighted that the youth, in the present time is more attracted towards the idea of fitness and all these sports like Kabaddi and wrestling are a symbol of fitness and the youth is sure to be inspired by the sport because Kabaddi has itself achieved a glamour and it has even developed commercially. He asserted that Kabaddi has seen a comparatively higher growth rate as a sport and offers career opportunities to the youth in great amount. He additionally remarked that Kabaddi as a sport is not just being played by the people belonging to rural backgrounds but people from metro cities are also engaging with the sport and including it into their fitness regime.

“We are also attempting to encourage corporates to engage in the sport of Kabaddi as they have previously engaged with cricket, since it is central to our culture and we want to remind the youth of our country’s cuture and encourage them to be a part of it and celebrate it” Sambhav concluded.

Anchor Vineet Malhotra concluded the interview by expressing his gratitude to Mr. Sambhav Jain  for taking time out to talk to NewsX and wished him well for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi league.

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