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The business of sports

  • Published at 02:58 pm November 7th, 2016
The business of sports
Recently Taskin Ahmed’s Facebook status titled “New Hair cut #T03” garnered more than 129 thousand likes, 6 thousand shares, and 12 thousand comments. This shows a glimpse of the immense public profile these cricket stars have. Glimpse, because not everyone who watches cricket has access to the internet. If they had, Bangladeshi cricketers would have been among the most “followed” people on social media globally. Yet, there is a lack of professional management services in Bangladesh for these public figures. And that’s where Imago, a sports management company, steps in. Unified by their love for sports, four young individuals coming from diverse areas of experience founded the emerging management company, which specialises in managing athletes, club portfolios and sports portfolios of organisations. Ahmed Raqib, Tamzidul Islam, Quazi Sabir and Rejwan Uz Zaman all separately felt the need for a professional management agency in Bangladesh. Raqib had a great deal of experience in sports journalism. He had a lot of ideas about branding and managing players with international appeal. Tamzidul's experiences in advertising and in the corporate world made him another fit candidate for being a part of a management agency. Imago started its journey in 2015. One of its major goals is to take care of profiles of noted Bangladeshi athletes, participation in international leagues, legal services, and services in the post career period; basically, providing effective management, and devising PR strategies for them, as well as creating sound financial plans for their clients. “We enable our clients to concentrate on their sporting career, while we take care of the rest. We formulate strategies to leverage the brand value of the players through partnerships and increased media presence,” Imago website reads. Currently, Imago is taking care of the profiles of professional athletes like Masharafe Bin Morataza, Mahmudullah Riyad, and Mamunul Islam. “After heading back from World Cup, Imago has been looking after every aspect of my professional career, from commercials to managing my public image. In its work and responsibility, the agency is dependable. It is such a huge relief for me - I can fully concentrate on my practice because I know there is Imago to take care of business. They are going to do the thinking on behalf of me,” said Mahmudullah Riyad, the famed national cricket star. Addressing the initiative as a unique one, Riyad believes many other organisations would soon show interest in working in the area of sports management. Being the official players management partner of the Bangladesh Cricket Board in Bangladesh Premier league (BPL), Imago has been networking with players and sports agencies beyond borders. This year, Imago will be drafting the Players Draft policies and guidelines at BPL, which they also did last year. It is currently concentrating on selecting players through consultation about distinguishing their fitness and settlement. “The work demands clear knowledge about what is actually going on around the globe. Additionally, providing an appropriate resolution in the end is essential. And you need powerful analytical skills for that,” said Tamzidul Islam, one the founders of Imago. Other than this, it is working with a bunch of sports portfolios of different clubs and corporate companies to create sports marketing strategies, sports activation, sports PR digital platform management, CSR through sports, and audio visual to achieve specific goals. All four of the Imago founders believe that working with premier sports governing authorities like Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), Prime Bank, Prime Bank Cricket Club, Heidelberg Cement, US Embassy Dhaka and Aarong Dairy, are just the beginning of their journey. As part of fulfilling their social responsibilities, Imago recently helped 32 physically disabled cricketers to participate in the Purnava First national Wheelchair Cricket Tournament. Mohammad Mohasin, founder of Wheelchair Cricket Welfare Association, expressed his deepest gratitude to Imago for their support all throughout the tournament, and their promise to be there for them in the future. The success of Prime Bank Young Tigers National School Cricket Tournament have encouraged Imago to conceptualise more sport events for the youths of Bangladesh. The team behind Imago feels that the current state of sports holds a bright future for Bangladesh on the international platform, and their only wish is to work relentlessly and professionally in order to reach there.