India Inc needs to invest more in sports at the grassroots level: Neeraj Chopra

Indian corporates need to invest much more at the grassroots levels to promote sports in the country, Olympic javelin gold medallist Neeraj Chopra told ET in an online interaction on Monday.

“There is a good amount of interest and sponsorships from corporate houses for athletes and sports players who have reached the top levels. But if there is a lot more corporate sponsorship at the grassroots levels, too, it would be more beneficial to promote sports in India,” Chopra said. He was speaking at the launch of beverage maker Coca-Cola‘s lemon drink brand Limca Sportz‘ new campaign, for which Chopra recently signed an endorsement deal. On the comparison with cricket where a majority of sponsors are still skewed, Chopra said; “There is a lot of interest in sports other than cricket, too, and this will increase”.

India won 61 medals in all in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games in

across diverse sports such as badminton, weight lifting and boxing. And in July this year, Chopra became only the second Indian to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships in .

While brands leverage the athletes when they win, industry executives say sponsorships need to be long term and start with beginners in the form of academies and specialised training to benefit both athletes and the sport.

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