BRICS| Getting in the Game? A Rising India and the Question of Global Sport

Erika Polson, Erin Whiteside


One of the most visible examples of the growing importance of BRICS economies is their emergence as hosts of the world’s top sport mega-events. These countries have become the frontline for the “global sports industrial complex,” which, furthering the mutually beneficial interests of sports organizations and governing bodies, media corporations, and transnational brands, has transformed global sport into a cultural and economic force. India is alone among the BRICS countries in that it has not hosted—or bid to host—an Olympics or Fédération Internationale de Football Association World Cup, and is the least athletically accomplished in such venues. This article situates India within the wider political economy of global sport by analyzing media debates around the country’s potential to host a mega-event. This case demonstrates how global aspirations are articulated through sport, and addresses commercial and development implications stemming from the adoption of sport as a global benchmark.


BRICS, global sport, Olympics, emerging middle class

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