8 February 2010
The Rajasthan Royals IPL franchise is to establish partnerships with other cricket teams around the world to start what is being marketed as “the world’s first global sporting franchise”. The BBC reports on the development, which centres on Twenty20 cricket and was launched at Lord’s today, in this article.
Existing sides in different countries will be re-branded under a Royals umbrella (Royals2020), with various degrees of co-operation between them, including an exchange of players.
A press release said: “The founding teams will represent the major cricket playing countries of the world. India is represented by the Rajasthan Royals – winners of the inaugural Indian Premier League in 2008. From England, the Hampshire Hawks become the Hampshire Royals. In the West Indies and in South Africa negotiations are being finalized for Trinidad and Tobago, and Cape Cobras to become Royals. In Australia discussions are in the final stages of formalizing the involvement of their leading domestic team to complete the founder members.
“Royals2020 will be a dynamic partnership of leading cricket clubs around the world, with the aim of creating the ‘World’s First Global Sporting Franchise’. The Royals2020 mission is to grow our fan base; grow the commercial platform for all; provide high class entertainment for the young and families in great grounds; provide opportunities for players to develop their talents; and to entertain fans around the world through great events.
“The Royals strategy is to have a competitive team in each of the main cricketing markets around the world, and our partner selection has been based on: records and commitment to Twenty20 Cricket; commitment to player development; potential for a unique in-stadia experience; and a cultural and commercial fit with the Royals ethos. The Royals experience will be built around dynamic cricket and excellence in in-stadia experience for fans across the world.”