Through the years, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has evolved into an all-encompassing entity that attracts viewership from across the globe.
This interest is best illustrated by the recent addition of the two new teams that were sold for a cumulative ~$1.7bn. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the champions of the inaugural edition, Rajasthan Royals, have attracted investment from US elite athletes Chris Paul, Larry Fitzgerald and Kelvin Beachum
The trio have come on board as investors in the Rajasthan-based franchise. Investing through Emerging Media Ventures, the vehicle 100% controlled by Manoj Badale, Paul, Fitzgerald and Beachum will become minority investors in the franchise.
Paul is one of the greatest defenders to have graced the NBA court with 11 NBA All-Star team appearances, two Olympic Gold medals, and more recently taking the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals.
The 36-year-old defender has chosen to invest in the Royals. “With a variety of components, including stadium experience and fan engagement still left to fulfill their course, I see myself contributing world-class experience through this strategic investment,” said Paul, who served as the former President of the National Basketball Players Association.
NFL’s legendary wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said, “I love the idea of building a professional franchise with a clear social purpose and look forward to working with this team to challenge the realms of possibility by expanding to new horizons as a franchise. India has a passionate sports culture and I’m excited to invest in one of the most sought-after teams in the country”
Kelvin Beachum is a 10-year NFL veteran who currently plays for the Arizona Cardinals. “I am keenly aware of the popularity of cricket internationally and am thrilled to join the Rajasthan Royals franchise as an investor,” he said.
The alignment with US athletes promises to be productive. “We are extremely pleased to have Chris, Larry and Kelvin join us as investors who have seen the vision of the Royals as a truly global brand” said the owner of the franchise, Manoj Badale.