IIT-Madras names former ESPN V-P as CEO of Center of Excellence in Sports Science and Analytics

The IIT-Madras has appointed its alumnus and former ESPN vice-president Ramesh Kumar as CEO of its Center of Excellence in Sports Science and Analytics.

The center is being set up with support from the “Institute of Eminence” initiative of the Government of India and is envisioned as a global platform for fostering innovation in sports technology and delivering products and solutions to enhance athlete performance and also serve general fitness and health consumers.

“We are delighted that CESSA (Center of Excellence in Sports Science and Analytics) will be led by Ramesh, an industry veteran with a proven track record of impact. This aligns with our commitment to be at the forefront of sports tech helping athletes, coaches and all stakeholders,” said Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations) Mahesh Panchagnula.

Kumar, an alumnus of IIT-Madras (BTech (ME), 1992 batch), comes with more than three decades of industry experience with an initial corporate stint with the Tata Group in India and close to 24 years in the sports industry.

As global head of ESPNcricinfo, Kumar provided leadership to drive global digital leadership, innovation and growth of the digital sports brand. He also drove overall strategic leadership for ESPN India and South Asia operations as head of ESPN (India and South Asia).

“I am excited to join the Center and leverage the deep tech knowledge and domain strengths in the fields of AI, ML, data science, IoT/sensors, computer vision technology and biomechanical analysis to envision solutions and products for sportspersons, general athletes, media platforms, sports fans, sporting federations and players in the sports education domain,” Kumar said.
CESSA is already collaborating with leading institutes nationally and globally focused in the field of sports science, technology and engineering such as Sports Authority of India, National Centre for Sports Science Research, Inspire Institute of Sports, Northwestern University and the University of Birmingham. The center is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and undertakes teaching and research. It aims to incubate 25 start-ups a year and serve as a central data, insights and analytics hub to provide sports-related analytics service to various stakeholders in the sports industry worldwide.

According to IIT-Madras officials, the center will also create and deliver products and solutions across media platforms and work with sporting federations and bodies (creating their platforms and enhancing on-ground experience and working with other media platforms) to increase fan engagement.

“CESSA will also be establishing an Incubator ecosystem for Sport Tech start-ups. This will be supported by interdisciplinary faculties accomplished in the fields of modeling, data science, IoT and AI and wearables and biomechanics. The center will also deliver high-quality Sports science and education courses and sports coaching products targeted at students and coaches through various strategic collaborations,” a senior official said. (Agencies)

Share this post