Vishal Gurnani, ProSportify on Pro Wrestling League, TGIR and the recipe of a successful event IP

Entertainment | March 28, 2016 | Interview

Pro Wrestling League

The recently released ‘Make Experiences in India’ Paper by E&Y and EEMA reveals that event companies are increasingly focusing on creating intellectual properties to capitalize on the growing demands for quality events in the country. Out of 88% respondents who took the survey, majority are planning to build between 1 and 3 IPs in the next two to three years in attempt to generate stable cash flows. 

But is creating a successful event IP easy? Most event organizers who have created these would suggest otherwise as events IP’s take a lot of time and continuous investment over a sustained period of time to turn profitable. Interestingly, ProSportify is an exception to the above described scenario as the company recently churned out the Pro Wrestling League which in its first year itself managed to make profits. 

ProSportify now looks forward to encourage the country to put on their running shoes with The Great India Run, a 1480 km run that starts of in New Delhi at India Gate and culminates in Mumbai at the Gateway of India. In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS, Vishal Gurnani, Director, ProSportify talks about the recipe of creating a successful event IP. 

Q- What are IP's launched by ProSportify recently and how were they conceptualized? 
A-The 2 IPs that ProSportify is currently building on are Pro Wrestling League & The Great India Run. The Pro Wrestling League's first edition just concluded in December 2015. The Great India Run (TGIR) first edition kick starts in July 2016. ProSporitfy has been set up with a vision to create non-cricketing sports IP's in India as we see enormous potential in other sports. 

With TGIR we want to create a sporting property that revolves around athletics which is “By sportsmen” “For sportsmen” and at large to champion a sporting cause every year. Like for its first edition, TGIR will champion the cause for India at Rio Olympics. India has great potential in all sports and with TGIR the motto is to celebrate sports, health and lifestyle and also to bring forth the unsung heroes of the country in lime light. 
Talking about PWL, Wrestling is historically from India, it’s a combat sport & has a huge potential. It’s a sport that has brought country the maximum laurels in International events like Olympics. We were looking for a right opportunity and PWL came at the right time. Also, we are happy to announce that in season 1 we were the second most watched/viewed sporting property after cricket. We are looking ahead to next year, where we are expanding this to eight teams from the existing six.
Q- What is the revenue models of these sporting properties?
A-The revenue models are predominantly around sponsorship-both on air and on-ground, ticket sales & broadcasting revenue. we are working towards changing the way brands derive ROI from sporting properties and the way they want to get value out of sports.

Q- Why are IP's so important in the events industry today? 
A-An IP is the only sustainable business model in the event space, Event management is glorified contracting, owning an IP & the ability to monetize the IP & build it sustainably is what is the pillar of the industry. The organization of sport competitions has positive effects over other economic sectors (e.g. employment, infrastructures, tourism, etc).  

Q- Most IP's are in losses in their first few editions. How has ProSportify managed to churned out profitable ones? 
A-By having a very dynamic and robust business model, and by being extremely careful on costs, and by pulling in excellent sponsorship revenues in first season itself of PWL. All put together its created magic & will continue to do so. We have always believed in first putting in efforts and right investments towards a successful beginning and we will continue to do so without thinking of ROI. The key factor is to sustain, leagues can be successful or fail, but they won't go away if the thought process is right.  
Q- What is the investment a brand should be looking at to create an IP or associate with it?
A-It varies, basis on the size of the IP, basis it media outreach, basis of the amplification opportunities of the brand, the sheer audience space that it is targeting. A sporting IP today requires a brand to come in as low as at 3 -4 Cr to even 35-40 Cr, so it depends on level of association a brand is looking at deriving from the property, the level of sponsorship they are looking at.
Q- What are the ingredients of creating a successful event IP?
A-The Ingredients revolve everything around entertainment, exposure & engagement. It depends on what level of entertainment quotient, what level of exposure & what level of engagement is involved in the IP.

Festivals, Lifestyle, Sports, Business...Click here for the full list of categories in Event Intellectual Properties at WOW Awards Asia 2016.

In conversation with EVENTFAQS, Vishal Gurnani, Director, ProSportify spills the beans on the success of Pro Wrestling League and the ingredients of creating a successful event IP.

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