Mumbai, May 1 (IANS) Two-time Olympics gold medal-winning American basketballer Chris Paul, NFL players Larry Fitzgerald and Kelvin Beachum on Sunday were unveiled as the new investors of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals.
The trio are now minority investors in the franchise owned by Emerging Media Ventures, a venture completely controlled by Rajasthan’s lead owner Manoj Badale. “We are extremely pleased to have Chris, Larry and Kelvin join us as investors who have seen the vision of the Royals as a truly global brand,” said Badale in a statement.
Paul, who served as the former President of the National Basketball Players Association and recently took the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals, said, “I am excited to have become one of the first US athletes to see the value and scope for growth in the IPL. With a variety of components, including stadium experience and fan engagement still left to fulfill their course, I see myself contributing world-class experience through this strategic investment.”
Fitzgerald, who played with the Arizona Cardinals for 17 seasons and received countless accolades including 11 Pro Bowl appearances and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2016, expressed happiness in over-investing in Rajasthan.
“I love the idea of building a professional franchise with a clear social purpose and look forward to working with this team to challenge the realms of possibility by expanding to new horizons as a franchise. India has a passionate sports culture and I’m excited to invest in one of the most sought-after teams in the country.”
Beachum, currently playing for the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL, said, “I am keenly aware of the popularity of cricket internationally and am thrilled to join the Rajasthan Royals franchise as an investor. I respect the global reach of the IPL and am committed to supporting the Royals.”
In addition, as part of the recent transaction for the Royals to acquire the Barbados Tridents, CMG Companies, has joined the Royals ownership group. Manish Patel, Principal of CMG Companies in the U.S., stated, “We are extremely excited about the partnership with the Rajasthan Royals family. We believe this collaboration with the Rajasthan Royals will further advance cricket in Barbados and the region. This is a dream come true for all of us at CMG Companies, a team of Indian-origin entrepreneurs with strong connections to India.”