IIT Madras appoints former ESPN vice-president as CEO of Sports Science Centre of Excellence

Ramesh Kumar, an alumnus of IIT Madras, has over three decades of industry experience and close to 24 years in the sports industry.

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IIT-M's CESSA will be establishing an Incubator ecosystem for Sport Tech start-ups. (Image: Official press release)IIT-M's CESSA will be establishing an Incubator ecosystem for Sport Tech start-ups. (Image: Official press release)

Anu Parthiban | February 19, 2024 | 02:37 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has appointed Ramesh Kumar, former ESPN vice president, as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Center of Excellence in Sports Science and Analytics (CESSA).

Ramesh Kumar, an alumnus of IIT Madras, completed his BTech in Mechanical Engineering in 1992 batch. He has over 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. “He also drove overall strategic leadership for ESPN India and South Asia operations.”

On his new position as CEO, Ramesh Kumar said: “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.”

The sports science centre at IIT-M was established for fostering innovation in sports technology and delivering products to enhance athlete performance. “It 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,” the institute said.

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IIT-M’s CESSA: Initiatives

The CESSA will also be establishing an Incubator ecosystem for Sport Tech start-ups which will be supported by inter-disciplinary faculties accomplished in the field of modelling, data science, IoT and AI and wearables and biomechanics.

It will also take up tasks to launch sports science and education courses and coaching products for students and coaches through “partnership with IIT Madras’ credibility, expertise, content and certification”.

Currently, the CESSA is collaborating with top institutes, including Sports Authority of India, National Center for Sports Science Research, Insipre Institute of Sports, Northwestern University and University of Birmingham. The partnership is focussed in the field of sports science, technology and engineering.

The Centre also undertakes teaching, and research and aims to incubate 25 start-ups a year, and provide sports-related analytics services to stakeholders in the sports industry.

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