It is often seen that purely sports based news portal or journals are missing from the mainstream media in Bangladesh. There are the cricket fans and then there are fans of European football clubs who have a daily demand for such news but often get aggregated news from the mainstream media in Bangladesh. Top of that, we have an ever evolving local sports culture including local football and various other games. Interesting things are happening everyday in these areas but there are very few places where you can go and find news about all these things.[su_note note_color="#f9fbfe" text_color="#000000" radius="15"]This story is part of the Promoting Bangladesh 2016, an initiative to honor and promote excellence on the Bangladesh Web starting with Websites & Mobile Apps. Promoting Bangladesh is a collaboration between G&R and Future Startup. [/su_note]
As the co-founder of Pavilion, a Dhaka based sports news portal, Priyom Mozumdar said “We found that there were no quality Bengali language sports portal although we love sports as a nation, Pavilion was founded to solve this problem. We thought there is a demand for Bengali sports news and there is a demand for local sports news”. Born out of this missing link in the media, Pavilion provides purely sports news in Bengali about local sports and also from around the world, gauging readers interest in the sports they are covering.
Started in February of 2014, Pavilion found its niche in the sports that have the largest following in the country; which are Cricket and Football. They also cover other sports like Tennis sparingly while allocating most of their resources to the former.
Mohammad Rashed Alam, Fuad bin Naser, Mostakim Hossain and Priyom Mozumdar started Pavilion with a vision to serve Bangladeshi sports fans with information, news and stories about local and international sports that are not available elsewhere. The startup is now a small team 15 and everyone is working hard to give interesting news and carrying out their duties in various capacities. This small tightly knitted team consists of graphics designers, content writers, business development and marketing team along with the web developers.
The recent U-19 Cricket World Cup that took place in Mirpur Stadium was of a particular interest to Pavilion, as they covered the matches and went in depth in covering the upcoming prospect for the national team in great detail. As Priyom states “We are looking towards creating a platform for amateur players, providing information and statistics regarding their performance on the field in school, college and university tournaments”. This is a very interesting space to work.
The mainstream media outlets in their 24-hour news cycle cannot go in-depth due to various factors, Pavilion being an entirely sports based portal has the time and resources to go in-depth and seek out these alternative takes on stories like the exemplary amateur players trying to break into the national squad.
As Pavilion moves forward, they plan to launch sports blog section in their portal to provide analytical and in-depth overview on issues pertaining to the sports world and the players. This blog will also diversify the contents for Pavilion as it will provide varied perspectives on stories which provide the readers with all-encompassing view of the sports news.
As a nation we love sports. To understand our passion for sports, you don't need to be an expert just look at how people react when our cricket team wins a match! It also illustrates that sport isn’t just for die-hard Bangladeshis, but something that is part of our very fabric as a nation. Despite our passion for sports, it is sad not to have a local sports news portal that covers all these happenings, documents our passion and be the home to everything we want to know about local and international sports.
Pavilion, as an initiative, is interesting and critical because it fulfills a need that we have in this country. At the same time, it will be a challenging job to build a dominant Bengali sports news portal given the fact that nobody has monopoly on news nowadays. Then and again, there is an opportunity, as team Pavilion already showed, covering and documenting stories of local sports and turning it into a hyper local sports news platform.
Going forward Pavilion aims to expand their reader base and eventually push towards a bilingual platform while also strengthening their hold on local sports scene.