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KKR dives into American market with investment in Major Cricket League


What can be considered as a big boost to the Major League Cricket in USA, Red Chillies Entertainment-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have decided to mark their foray into the American market.

Major League Cricket is still in its conceptualisation phase, yet given the fact that America is the largest media market in the world, they are attracting some of the biggest players from the Silicon Valley, with the KKR being the latest entrant.

KKR are the only global brand in cricket, with franchises in IPL and CPL, with their Global T20 League service at Cape Town already dissolved after the tournament failed to kick start with Cricket South Africa’s management chaos taking over.

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Yesterday, the American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) announced the decision with Vijay Srinivasan, one of the co-founders at ACE, calling the partnership with the Knight Riders a watershed moment in their plan to make cricket mainstream in the US.

“We are hugely excited by the Knight Riders buying into the vision of Major League Cricket and look forward to working with them to bring the potential of American cricket to fruition. It is great to have them in early in the process and have their expertise involved all the way through the league’s launch.

“Moreover, their investment is a statement of validation of our plans. This is a strategic long-term investment into the future of cricket in the United States,” Srinivasan was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

KKR invests in the league, not to own a team

But this will be a different venture from the Kolkata Knight Riders with the Shahrukh Khan-owned subsidiary investing in the league and will not own a team in the tournament. KKR CEO Venky Mysore, who spent 13 years of his professional life in the USA, looks at this as a gaping hole to be filled with the Commonwealth diaspora in the USA waiting for some great rich cricket content.

“The US being the largest media market in the world and the proliferation of the commonwealth diaspora provides a unique opportunity. We believe there is a large enough market for cricket. There are brands in the US who would look at cricket as a platform to advertise and build activation plans and marketing plans around our product.

“There is also a considerable appetite for merchandising and licensing that goes with it. If we can systematically and smartly go about building an elite product and then packaging and marketing it optimally ,we may well be on our way to build something truly special” Mysore told Cricbuzz.

The league hasn’t finalised a structure yet but with KKR investment, it seems like they will get it out soon.