The sports market in North America alone reached $73.5 billion in 2019, and each year it is expected to grow more like the fan base for sports keep increasing. Several platforms in the world talk about sports, but the news is always scattered, and they cover different platforms depending on the trends. Cricket, football, and basketball are the sports that get the most attention from the whole world.
Not many platforms are out there that would cover all the sports from across the globe, and most of the publications come with a little bit of cricket and international sports. When it comes to India-centric sports, the market is not vast, and the options are limited. This was when Arshi Yasin and Shuvro Ghoshal decided to bridge the gap in the Indian sports with their sports media startup – The Bridge. Check out the platform here.
The beginning of the journey
Working hard in their mid-20’s, Arshi and Shuvro belong to middle-class families and have no business background. The beginning was tough for them as they started with a five-member team where they all worked with the assigned roles of writer, editor, designer, manager, and believer. The Bridge is a new age sports media publication that talks about Indian sports to bring a change in the sports ecosystem by highlighting issues that do not allow them to create a global presence in a wide range of sports.
With over a billion people in the country, it’s just a matter of time before they identify the right talent, and The Bridge wishes to talk about the athletes that are ignored by the mainstream media till they win a medal. The Bridge wants to give recognition to all the sports, and give all the sports equal opportunities and a platform that would help them reach the masses.
The challenges in the outset
The biggest challenge for the platform is, surprisingly, their biggest strength as well, and that is gathering an audience base. India is a nation that is not willing to follow a sport religiously until the time a hero emerges; for example, the generation had to wait until the rise of Saina Nehwal to follow badminton. People had no interest in boxing before Mary Kom, and the reason behind this is that people don’t see sports as a source of entertainment in our country, and The Bridge is on a journey to change this perspective.
The team-up by the platform
In conversation with TimesNext, Arshi and Shuvro talk about that their audience can connect with the content, and this is taking them to places with every passing day. The audience is interacting with the platform through WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook messages where they receive questions and queries regarding content and sports and several other things. According to them, it’s a community that they have formed over the years. The startup has also worked with many leagues, and they are the content strategist for corporates like HCL and Gatorade. They have produced videos for international sportswear brand Hummel among others.
The first milestone and the growth of the platform
Over the years, they have celebrated every milestone on Indian sports excluding conventional cricket since inception. They wanted their platform to be different since all the platforms talk about the success of every athlete; they focus on the struggle for the whole journey. They have a diverse category of content on the website, which has been accepted by the readers very well so far.
When it comes to the growth of the platform, the website has moved from 0 followers to an audience base of more than a million and a monthly impression of over 25 million users on all social media platforms. The revenue on the platform is also increasing as they received funding for the startup, which gave them more resources. The sports industry is growing, and they wish to keep up with other sports stakeholders.
The vision for the company
The content that is present on the website has been loved, praised, and retweeted by several sportspersons of the country, and they have built a true leadership among young Indians. In the last two years, over 2500 stories have been published on the website providing a steady increase in the traffic, which is hitting the 25 million mark every month. They have planned to make things better for them as they prepare to cover the Tokyo Olympics in the coming summer.
The website is currently operating in two languages – English and Hindi, and they are planning to make the content available in three other regional languages, which are – Marathi, Tamil, and Bengali. They are continuously working in the direction to make the platform better and bridge the gap between Indian sports stakeholders and masses.