The league of global T20 brands

One just read how IPL brand has become ten times more valuable in just 10 years. It has not just risen in brand value but shaped so many global T-20 leagues across the cricketing world.

Firdose Moosa in this superb piece tells you about future of cricket which is unravelling at a quick pace. Just like Football, the future of cricket is more like the club cricket:

Knight Riders are not a team; they are a brand. The competitions they play in are not matches or tournaments; they are products. Their function is not to only to provide entertainment, it is also to add value.

This is new-age sports speak and plenty of it was heard at South Africa’s T20 Global League launch last Monday. If the average fan had been present – they weren’t, because the event was held in London and was by invitation only – they would have been forgiven for wondering what the hell any of it meant.

Simply put, it is what sport is becoming. In some codes, it is what sport has already become. Cricket has been late to the evolutionary process that has taken what started as a recreational pastime and turned it into a corporate entity. Football is perhaps the best example of what the new model looks like: a monetised global club game.

Take Manchester City as an example. After being bought by UAE royalty, beefing up their squad with big names like Yaya Touré and Sergio Aguero and winning the English premiership, they created an opportunity for their owners to expand the brand. City Football Group is now a triad that includes teams in Melbourne and New York, who have a common identity and share common resources, which can also include personnel.

Knight Riders are a perfect comparison. They are the best-performing team, financially speaking, in the IPL and recorded a profit of US$2.14 million in the 2014-15 season. Around the same time, they expanded into the Caribbean Premier League, with the purchase of the Trinidad and Tobago franchise, which they renamed Trinbago Knight Riders. Now they also have a presence in South Africa with Cape Town Knight Riders, and they plan on following a City-style model of sharing expertise across their different teams.

This new model might not sick well with the old timers. But the new and upcoming cricket following generation is bound to lap it up..

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