Sportradar has opened a new office in Mumbai and appointed Prasun Bhadani as general manager of India.
Bhadani holds extensive experience in sports marketing, having managed prominent Indian Premier League (IPL) cricketers such as MS Dhoni and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, while working as head of sales, marketing and talent for the Rhiti Group of Companies.Bhadani has also worked with brands through RISE Worldwide’s sports marketing services, managing sports-related brand campaigns and sponsorship agreements.
He was also a co-founder of Rubicube Gaming, which operates the PokerStreet online poker platform in India.
In his new role at Sportradar, Bhadani will be tasked with supporting the company’s strategy in the region, by strengthening client relationships as well as forging new partnerships across key business verticals.
Sportradar general manager of India Prasun Bhadani: “India has a rich sporting culture and sports fans here have deep passion and enthusiasm. It is an exciting time for a sports technology company like ours to be at the centre of the action.”
Bhadani will report directly to the company’s managing director for APAC, Oscar Brodkin.
“India has a rich sporting culture and sports fans here have deep passion and enthusiasm,” Bhadani commented.
“It is an exciting time for a sports technology company like ours to be at the centre of the action. I look forward to supporting Sportradar in its goal to continue innovating the sports industry through impactful technological solutions.”
Brodkin added: “India is a key market and will contribute significantly to our overall growth in the Asia Pacific region.
“Prasun has the experience and ability to help us achieve our business objectives in India and at the same time prioritise the delivery of quality service and value to our partners.”
Sportradar’s Indian ambitionsSportradar commented that India’s sports industry has grown exponentially over the past decade, with support from both the government and private sectors.
With the nation’s passion for sports, more business opportunities are set to be unlocked in the region, it added, “especially through the further application of sports technology and the commercialisation of rights for sport leagues.”
The company already works with several leading Indian football leagues and state cricket associations, as well as the Board of Control for Cricket in India, to safeguard the integrity of both the IPL and the Women’s Premier League (WPL).
Sports betting in India
According to figures published in the Waterhouse VC March update, India’s online betting market is growing at a rate of over 20% per year, thanks to the more than 370 million bettors in the country.
Cricket wagering alone is estimated to be worth $150bn in the country already, with some 85% of Indian bettors placing bets on the sport.
At present, only three Indian states have officially legalised wagering: Daman, Goa and Sikkim.
India’s Information Technology Act (2000) does not prohibit online wagering activities and the country’s original wagering legislation, the Public Gaming Act (1867), long predates online wagering, meaning the legal status of betting in India remains grey.
In recognition of the potential tax revenue that sports betting could generate, however, India’s government is considering a new gambling bill to replace the Public Gaming Act, according to Waterhouse VC.
In October last year, it was revealed that ISPs in India had blocked access to several iGaming websites under orders from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).
The blocked websites included Curacao-licensed betting exchange Fairplay, Cyprus-headquartered Parimatch and Super Group-owned Betway.