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RIL arm to own a team in UAE T20 league

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After tasting success with Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians, Reliance Industries Ltd, through its subsidiary Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Ltd (RSBVL), will acquire the rights to own and operate a new franchise cricket team in the Emirates Cricket Board’s upcoming UAE T20 league.

The move is the first major overseas expansion of Reliance Industries’ cricket operations in the global franchise-based cricket league.

RIL, through Mumbai Indians, is among the eight founding members of the IPL and has, over the years, evolved as the most successful cricket club both on-and-off the field.

Entering new geography

Nita Ambani, co-owner & architect of Mumbai Indians, said, “With great pride and joy, we take our Mumbai Indians brand of fearless cricket to a new geography. I look forward to strengthening and further expanding our global fanbase, and having a longer engagement with them through this new League.”

UAE T20 League, sanctioned by Emirates Cricket Board, will be held annually. For the initial few years, the League will feature six franchise teams competing in a 34-match event.

According to a report published by ESPNcricinfo, owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, and Manchester United football team are also set to be new franchise owners in the new T20 league.

Experts said potential ad revenue for the league will be 50 per cent in comparison to IPL.

Building a sporting platform

Ajimon Francis Managing Director, Brand Finance India, said, “The media exposure and brand value generated through social media engagement around this is going to be extremely valuable for Reliance. Sports team ownership is now becoming a proper business to invest in for companies to generate a lot of brand value and good marketing. Reliance will be putting 10-15 years of sports management and experience to work with this new team that they have acquired.”

Santosh N, Managing Partner, D and P Advisory, said, “Reliance is building a sporting platform, across every genre of sport and across every geography. Therefore, acquisition of a team in the UAE league is a no brainer as it truly enables them to maximise returns. Acquisition of teams across geographies also bumps up the brand value of RIL as well.”



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