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. Paul’s investment portfolio includes a stake in the minor league baseball team Winston-Salem Dash, and with an eye on enhancing the fan experience in the IPL, the 36-year-old defender has chosen to invest in the Royals. “I am excited to have become one of the first US athletes to see the value and scope for growth in the IPL. 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.
The NFL’s legendary wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who played with the Arizona Cardinals for 17 seasons and received countless accolades including 11 Pro Bowl appearances and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2016, is also known as a serious investor and philanthropist. His position gives him a unique perspective that aligns with Rajasthan Royals’ vision of expansion. “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,” expressed Fitzgerald.
Kelvin Beachum is a 10-year NFL veteran who currently plays for the Arizona Cardinals. In addition to his professional football commitments, he is an active investor, especially in technology, and a board member at NFL Players Association. “I am keenly aware of the popularity of cricket internationally and am thrilled to join the Rajasthan Royals franchise as an investor. I respect the global reach of the IPL and am committed to supporting the Royals.”
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 Manoj Badale, the lead owner, as he welcomed the US trio as investors in the franchise.
In addition, as part of the recent transaction for the Royals to acquire the Barbados Tridents, CMG Companies, has joined the Royals ownership group. Manish Patel, Principal of CMG Companies in the U.S., stated “We are extremely excited about the partnership with the Rajasthan Royals family. We believe this collaboration with the Rajasthan Royals will further advance cricket in Barbados and the region. This is a dream come true for all of us at CMG Companies, a team of Indian origin entrepreneurs with strong connections to India.”