The Indian Super League (ISL) has undeniably established Indian football on the world stage. Due partly to the high-profile foreign investments and sheer attendance numbers at some stadiums. However, it is impossible to deny that the league has granted Indian football much-needed recognition.
It has also empowered Indian football fans to become involved in domestic football
This article will analyse how ISL has revolutionised Indian football.
Global strategic alliances
The ISL has garnered many notable international strategic alliances like Atletico Madrid, City Football Group and others. Although merely one year old, Hyderabad FC signed a two-year deal with Bundesliga titans Borussia Dortmund in 2020, with an extension possible until 2025. The German club assisted the Nizams with their academy system and coaching.
Bengaluru FC, a club based in the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru, has also collaborated with Scottish Giants Rangers to promote youth and foundation football nationwide.
Commercialisation and international broadcast standards
Obtaining sponsorship from large corporate companies is a sector where the ISL has particularly flourished. Formerly, they were reluctant to participate in the Indian football scene.
However, the football league has generated substantial revenue because of ISL, corporate sponsorship and even non-football personalities such as Bollywood stars and iconic cricketers. The coverage on Star Sports Network and Hotstar aided in reaching the most extensive viewership possible throughout the Indian subcontinent.
Impact of iconic footballers in ISL
During the first phase of the league, celebrities such as Roberto Carlos, David Trezeguet, Robert Pires, Alessandro Del Piero, Diego Forlan and others played in India.
Such a collection of star players was unprecedented in Indian football in the past. Even though most players were nearing the end of their glorious careers and only signed for a few months, their sheer presence established the foundation for the league, which has developed immensely.
The emphasis on health has contributed to a change in player lifestyle since the Indian Super League‘s inception in 2014. Current Indian footballers are now extremely disciplined and have elite fitness standards. Players of this era are slimmer and more muscular than ever before, owing to their weight training. This also implies that the players are now faster, more rigid and have exceptional endurance.