The ongoing FIFA World Cup has proven yet again how crazy fans can be when it comes to following their favourite sport. People from across the globe have travelled to Brazil to see their favourite teams in action. But with so many fans vying to get to the sporting destination, planning the trip well in advance is a must. For those who don’t have the time or the expertise to make the bookings, but want to join the fun, here’s what can help you. Fanatic Sports offers bespoke sports tours that sport fanatics look for. The company is a brainchild of Anant Roongta (Director), Raghav Gupta (Founder and CEO) and Anshul Dhawan (Business Development). Fanatic Sports is a sports travel company for official match tickets, bespoke travel plans, luxurious accommodation and a whole lot more. They specialise in adding that little extra something to your trip. After having successfully delivered sport tour packages for sporting events like FIFA Football World Cup, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, IPL 2014 and IPL (Mumbai Indian matches at Wankhede Stadium), the company has even bigger sporting events lined up. Anant shared his view on the trend of sports tourism and their plans for the future.
How big are sports tourism and sports tours abroad?
Countries like the US, Australia, UK have a very organised sports industry. But things have been shaping up rapidly in India too. The Indian Premiere League is very prominent in India. But in other countries there are various sports with private leagues that are followed by people across the globe. But now, in India, there are various leagues being formed like the badminton league, football league and kabadi leagues. These leagues are getting exposure as they are being telecast at prime time. People with disposable are definitely going to be looking for tours to ensure that they don’t miss out on all the action.
How do you plan a tour?
For us at Fanatic sports, this is a passion. We have watched many games around the world and understand what is that people look for when they travel to another country to watch a game. These places are full of euphoria and adrenalin. They also serve as a great medium for corporate tours.
Are these more men-only holidays because of sports?
Sports, as an industry, is more appreciated by men. However, we plan out tours in such a manner that there’s something for everyone to do. For example, if you are in Australia for the Cricket World Cup next year, along with the main event, we can make the trip interesting by adding things like an excursion around Gold Coast or a game of cricket at Sydney beach. Similarly, if you pick the matches in New Zealand, we plan the tour in such a way that you get a feel of the country’s culture and local life.
So what does a tour package include?
Our package includes flights, different categories of match tickets, city travel passes, different categories of accommodation (including breakfast), 24-hour concierge service and a dedicated ‘Fanatic Recommended Travelogue’ for corporate as well as individual clientele. Our team has experienced live sport in different countries and we know what it takes to create such an experience for others.
The cricket World Cup will be held next year, are people already booking for it?
Yes, there have been corporates as well as individuals making inquiries. The World Cup is in New Zealand and Australia in February and March. This happens to be a great time to be in these countries. Adding to the tourist season, there’s the World Cup. Flight tickets, match tickets and accommodation all are in great demand.