The Emerging Media IPL Limited (EMIPL), which owns the Rajasthan Royals franchise, has sourced fresh funding round from the UK to become the leading investor in the Royals with over 50% stake. Meanwhile, the Royals have also announced Mike Fordham, former IMG official, as the Group CEO.
After winning the league in 2008, Rajasthan Royals’ fortunes have swung in multiple directions but their value has remained intact thanks to Manoj Badale’s left-field solutions to the process. With the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League prepared to take off, EMIPL has sourced a fresh round of funding from the creator of the Laver Cup in tennis, the CEO of British Telecom, the founder of Betfair among other global entrepreneurs.
“Funds were raised from a small number of new individual investors, including Ian McKinnon, one of the founding partners of TEAM8, a leading sports and entertainment company and the creator of the Laver Cup, UK business leaders including BT CEO Phil Jansen, FutureLearn, and Network International Chairman Ron Kalifa and Betfair founder Ed Wray have invested, as well as Arizona-based tech entrepreneurs Kal Somani, Simer Mayo, and Mihir Patel,” the franchise said in a media release on Friday.
While Kal Somani focused on the huge potential that the Indian Premier League possesses to become a global giant, Badale stated that the tournament having its own free window for nearly two months in the Indian summer makes it a lucrative exercise.
“Investors are now recognizing the value of sports franchises. EMIPL’s increased ownership of the franchise and expanded network of US-based, value-add investors presents an exciting opportunity to drive the growth of both the Rajasthan Royals and the IPL.”
The Royals have also announced Mike Fordham as the Group CEO who will be taking over immediately. Fordham was a member of the International Management Group (IMG) team that helped the IPL kick-off in 2008 with Lalit Modi. Later, Fordham also helped ECB in the “development” of The Hundred, which is scheduled to start this summer.