Business of Golf
NIKE JOINS TEAM SHUBHANKAR
asserman, the Los Angeles-based sports marketing and talent management company, signed India’s No. 1-ranked golfer and Asian Tour top money winner Shubhankar Sharma and negotiated a long-term shoe and apparel deal for him with Nike. Ian Keenan, Wasserman’s director of golf for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, is leading the team representing Sharma. The 21-year-old was previously without representation. Sharma, who competed at The Masters last month, became the fourth Indian to play in the prestigious tournament. “As a first order of business, Sharma has penned a multi-year agreement with sportswear giant Nike as a global golf ambassador, which will see him wearing Nike apparel and footwear,” said Keenan, who is based in Wasserman’s London office. As of now, Sharma does not have a club
deal. “He uses a mix of brands and is in no rush to change at this point,” Keenan said. Prior to the Masters, Sharma was ranked 72nd in the world – a result of a string of successes on the European and PGA Tours. He won two European Tour events, the Joburg Open in South Africa last December and the Maybank Championship in Malaysia in February. In March, Sharma tied for ninth after being in the lead at the WGC-Mexico, a PGA Tour event. According to Keenan, Sharma — who leads the Asian Tour money list and is second in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai (behind The Masters winner Patrick Reed) — aspires to play on the PGA Tour. Not only does Sharma have global appeal, Keenan said, he has the personality to be a great brand ambassador. “Shubhankar is incredibly engaging and is good company to be around,” he said. “He is mature beyond his years.”
Golf Inside Flipkart’s swanky new office
Tech firms are known for their stylish offices with several amenities for the comfort of employees. Joining the bandwagon now is India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart, which recently moved into a large consolidated campus in Embassy Tech Village, Bengaluru. The campus has all basic amenities including a gymnasium, day-care and food courts. It also has indoor recreation rooms with VR games and a golf simulator. Conceptualized, designed and created by Bengaluru-based Tee Time Ventures — leaders in niche recreational and sports infrastructure solutions — this action-packed terrace features
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some innovative recreational solutions. The outdoor space on the terrace has a multi-game playing surface for futsal, basketball and cricket. Human foosball, mini-golf, climbing wall and bocce ball are also available for recreation. Spread across 8.3 lakh square feet, the new office premises comprise three buildings interconnected by bridges. There are 30 floors in total that can house 7,387 employees. The launch event of the new campus was attended by all Flipkart employees along with the leadership team, including Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal.
SPORTS MINISTRY DERECOGNISES INDIAN GOLF UNION The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports decided against renewing its recognition to the Indian Golf Union (IGU) with effect from April 1, 2018. The decision, which followed the IGU’s failure to implement the National Sports Code and conduct elections, comes with the Asian Games less than four months away. T h e m i n i s t r y h a d re n e w e d recognition to several NSFs (national sports federations) for the year in January but in the case of IGU, as reported by Hindustan Times, the recognition was till March 31, 2018, “which would be reviewed depending on the action taken by [IGU] to comply with various provisions of the National Sports Development Code of India 2011”. As a result, the IGU is ineligible for receiving funding and cannot send teams for international tournaments either. Furthermore, given the current time frame, it seems extremely unlikely that fresh elections will take place and that the body will become Sports Code compliant. It therefore seems inevitable that Indian golfers aiming to compete at the Asiad in Jakarta will have to do so under a banner other than the IGU’s. Besides the ministry, the Indian Olympic Association had — back in September — also urged the IGU to fall in line with the policies. Golf Digest India’s request for a comment went unanswered by IGU.