Things I learnt at Bengaluru Football Club

Have you always dreamed of working in a football club? To see what it would be like to be close to the action? To be a part of the team setup behind-the-scenes and play your part off the field? Well, I was fortunate enough to have the privilege to intern for Bengaluru Football Club. A club with a lot of history, not only in the Indian Super League but also at the global level in the Asian Federations Cup.

Yes, it was an experience of a lifetime, but that’s not what this article is about. It’s to tell you about my experience and to (hopefully) give you something to take away after reading this. There’s a lot more than what meets the eye when you’re working at a football club, especially while working in operations.

So, let me tell you about five things I learnt during my month at Bengaluru Football Club.

1. Liaison officer: Perhaps one of the most important people on matchdays, the match liaison officer is entrusted with the duties to make sure everything is in place as per the guidelines provided by the league. The liaison officer not only sets the itinerary for the day but also ensures it’s followed to the ‘T’, making sure travel arrangement for the teams and referees is in place. He/she sits alongside the officials in the Match Commissioner Room and any disputes or appeals to the match officials needs to go through the match liaison officer.

2. Sponsorship boards: Another key aspect of operations, the club’s management has to ensure that the sponsorship boards across the ground are in place before the game. Along with the sponsorship boards and static brandings, the LED sponsor boards have to be checked a day before the game to ensure that each sponsor is given the time allocated to them.

3. Lighting checks for broadcasters: As you might know, broadcast rights are one of the most important sources of revenue for any league. The Indian Super League is broadcasted across 8 linear channels in 4 different languages with a viewership of 130 million across the globe. But what goes behind the scenes to bring the action to your screens? Generally, 10-14 cameras are used each matchday (depending on the venue). A night before the game, members of the broadcast team collect the light readings and ensure that they are as per the standard so there are no technical mishaps during the game.

4. Fan zone setup: Most football stadiums in India are government owned. That makes it challenging for the football clubs to setup a permanent fan-zone with activities. Bengaluru Football Club setup their fan-zone at Shree Kanteerava Stadium with their sponsors setting up stalls on matchdays, only to dismantle and reset them for the coming matchdays. Sounds like a task, right? Well, that’s because it’s probably the most important zone at the venue. It’s the first area the fans encounter and it goes on to set the tone for the rest of their matchday experience.

5. Posting signages: Well, getting the signages in place for matchdays is Operations 101. Perhaps one of the first and most basic things you learn on the job, one would be assigned the task of making sure the signages for the stands, washrooms, etc are in place a day before the game to ensure smooth operations.

Student at Bengaluru Football Club

By Pratyush Rohra, AISTS INDIA Cohort, 2023- 2024

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