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SBD Global/October 11, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

U.S. Cricket League Targets Hollywood, Gameplan Based On IPL Strategy

Hollywood stars such as Australians Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman are "among the celebrities targeted by organizers of a new U.S.-based Twenty20 cricket competition to help sell six $40M franchises," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. Cricket Holdings America "is copying the approach of the celebrity-endorsed Indian Premier League" as it builds toward the June start of the UST20 League. Cricket Holdings America CEO Neil Maxwell said, "We want to combine Hollywood and Bollywood and integrate celebrities into this entertainment product that we’re building." Twenty20 is the newest and shortest form of cricket, with three-hour games "punctuated by big hits, thumping music and cheerleaders attracting larger crowds than the traditionally longer forms." Organizers are aiming "to play the matches at temporary venues in N.Y. before setting the six franchises up in different U.S. cities." Maxwell said that attracting Hollywood, and even some Bollywood performers, "may help the league attract women and children, a key demographic for the start-up." Maxwell added: "The IPL has challenged the soap operas in India in that 4:30 time slot when a lot of women sit down and watch. It did that by integrating Bollywood into the cricket product. From that learning we’re very keen to build a similar structure" (BLOOMBERG, 10/10).
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