Who will be the Khelo India Programme Partner?

Who will be the Kehlo India Programme Partner? -InsideSport

The Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs is on a lookout for a Programme Partner for Khelo India School Games. A Request for Proposal to invite bids for the Programme Partner has been floated on December 12. The bids are scheduled to be decided on the day after the Christmas.

The bigger question is are there any takers for the “charitable” partnership?

There is little to gain for the prospective partners than the pride of association with the grass roots level mass movement that is being tipped as an initiative to make India a sporty nation.

The first edition of the much ambitious project to change the grass roots landscape for sports development in the country is scheduled from January 31 to February 2018, now. In fact a reschedule after the initial plans to host the mega show featuring school children in the under-17 age category from 29 States and seven Union Territories in December 2017 have to be deferred in the wake of hazardous air pollution levels in the Capital.

The inaugural edition is scheduled to feature 16 sporting disciplines – archery, athletics, swimming, gymnastics, judo, wrestling, boxing, badminton, football, basketball, kabaddi, kho-kho, shooting, weightlifting, volleyball and hockey – across five stadiums in the Capital.

The partner will be tasked to raise / fund a minimum of INR 20 crore and conduct the event to the satisfaction of the Organising Committee, conforming to all norms defined in the FTP.

The clause that determines a partner’s financial responsibility states that “the Program Partner is supposed to undertake the delivery of the games. Also, it is supposed to exploit the Rights granted under the RFP and generate sponsorship revenue. The surplus revenue shall be invested in the National Sports Development Fund”, a senior official in the Khelo India School Games Organising Committee has told insidesport.co. “There is a financial obligation to raise and spend a minimum of INR 20 crore.”

A company will only qualify to bid after meeting the high business and commercial parameters laid in the RFP. “The company must have a marketing spent of INR 10 crore, or a sponsorship revenue of INR 10 crore in one of the last two years as well as an annual turnover of INR 50 crore turnover,” the official said. “An earnest money of INR 50 lakh has to be furnished with the bid documents.”

The tender document makes it mandatory for the company to have a five-year commitment.

But, for what commercial viability? The partner, according to source, will neither have a stake in events’ IP, nor a right to make profit as the terms of the RFP categorically define “the surplus revenue (any in addition to the financial commitment made in the tender document) shall be invested in the NSDF”.

Insidesport.co has learnt from the sources in the OC KISG that there has been no response to the RFPs floated prior to the rescheduling of the event.

The Khelo India COO John Chandy approached declined to comment on a phone call from insidesport.co, saying that the Sports Authority of India Deputy Director General Sandeep Pradhan is the competent authority to speak on the subject. Insidesport.co has written to Pradhan and the office of the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. The response is awaited.

For the prospective partners, who will take up the challenge more as a CSR than a business opportunity, there is precious little time in hand to deliver and the task list is really long.

The partner will have to procure grants and sponsorship, create sponsorship architecture and identify event sponsors. The Commercial Partner will have to further look out for the logistics, food and beverages, hospitality, ticketing, digital payments, wellness, nutritional supplements, medical, official apparel, official kits, merchandise, design, public relations, social media and technology partner for services and monetisation.

Opportunities like travel partner, accommodation partner, official time keeper, catering partner and broadcast sponsors are retained by the OC KISG, which will also hold the 25% of the total inventory for field of play, on ground and event back drops.


The scope of work for the Program Partner in the span of a mere 35 days includes long list of deliverables in a massive quantum.

Administration and event operations include a long list of deliverables, from accreditation, housekeeping services, logistics, accommodation, catering services and transport management to ticketing. The partner will be responsible for the delivery of around 8,000 games apparels, playing kits and staff uniforms.

The other services include a complete 360° delivery of communication, medical and dope control services, opening ceremony, procurement of thousands of medals, certificates and trophies, technology, spectator services; maintenance and update of games’ official website, social media management, hospitality and catering, venue overlays and designing and volunteer operations to the satisfaction of the OG.

“Delivery of the event on a par with Asian Games/Common Wealth Games or world class events of similar stature will be the bench mark for the partners’ performance,” the official shared.

The Program Partner shall further be responsible to “use all the available assets of the programmes including the powered by and co-powered by sponsorship categories, other sponsorship categories and on ground elements of the event to create pool of sponsors and generate enough revenue to develop the Games into a self-sustaining module.

This is a clear indicator that it will be a 24x7x365x5-year commitment for guaranteed no monetary gains.

Will there be any takers? If Yes. Who? That is an intriguing as well as interesting question