Sport is big business. Yes, for die-hard supporters it’s all about results, trophies, winning, and bragging rights. But for those in the commercial operations side of sports clubs, franchises, teams, and organizations, money is king and marketing is key. From the Superbowl to soccer world cups, the gilded World Series finals to the glorious NBA finals, the historic phenomena that is the Olympics, not forgetting the apex of club soccer, the UEFA Champions League Finals. Of course, they all have one thing in common: they’re money-makers. And now cricket is joining the ranks. And how.
Since the game was first played back in the nineteenth century, it has been an established, well-regarded, and popular sport. But today, with global sporting networks, online coverage, and new countries emerging as cricket-playing nations, the game is reaching new heights. It’s on the up. Marketing the sport is done on so many levels, and so many platforms, and engagement with audiences is too. From fantasy cricket leagues to visiting gambling websites that provide sports odds dedicated to cricket, sponsoring youth leagues to champion grassroots clubs around the world, the cricketing authorities are transforming the leather on willow landscape. And what a transformation it is turning into.
So just how commercialized has cricket become? How has it reached this lofty new position as a global powerhouse in terms of finance? Are the new global leagues and formats a sign of things to come? It’s hard to predict, but easy to discuss. From the new USA-based Major League Cricket to the profusion of other short-form competitions, cricket is on people’s radar. Everywhere from the Caribbean to Australia, Sri Lanka to the greatest financial behemoth of them all, the Indian Premier League (IPL), this is a sport ripe for commercial growth and augmentation, and those at the top are seeing this.
Stars, Sponsors, Strategies: Cricket Forces Combine To Deliver Growth And Success
When the stars align, things happen. In cricket, it’s fair to say they are currently aligned…
on a global scale. From the million-dollar stars bid for in the IPL to the money being pumped in to promote the new Major League USA Cricket, this is a sport that is attracting big dollars. With popularity comes sponsors, with sponsorship money comes investment, and with investment comes growth. You see how it goes. But what is driving this? Is it the star players? Is it the pure quality of the product on the pitch? Or is it a wonderful combination of these things?
Well, let’s take a look. As the IPL grew to the billion-dollar industry it is today, other leagues were playing catch-up. That said that league alone brought cricket to an even larger global audience, which made the money grow too. Add to that the online coverage available around the globe, and around the clock, and sports networks and cricket information and stats websites now everywhere and you will begin to see where we’re going with all this. By that, I mean growth is now exponential.
Already a commercial success in terms of domestic leagues, cricket world cups are also major global events. When it comes to making money, they certainly are. From sponsors to star players, these tournaments are a marketing and marketers' dream. Moreover, the global fanbase is growing in less traditional cricketing nations, a genuine sign of commercial potential for any sport. It’s this combination of star player power, sponsorship dollars, and ever-evolving marketing strategies that has catapulted cricket to its current apex, with more to come, it seems.
Leading Leagues Driving Every Aspect Of Cricketing Ascendency
Whether it is the money earned by major players, the growth of global audiences, the number of leagues around the world, or even the amount of money generated by betting on cricket matches, the ascendency of the sport is hard to deny and impossible to ignore. Driving this, at least in part, are the most important leagues in the sport. Not only are the audiences on the up, but the money that is now being generated by these leagues is challenging other financially successful global sports.
Led by the IPL, backed by the UK T20 Blast, and joined by Australian, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and South African versions, these leagues are leading the charge as cricket becomes ever more commercially successful. Money has followed marketing. That’s axiomatic. But now the leaders have inspired and, in some ways, ensured new leagues. Perhaps most importantly in terms of money-making, the USA is now starting to embrace cricket. Yes, it has a long way to go stateside. But then again, it’s from tiny acorns that great oaks grow.
Returning to the overarching article theme, the USA is a symbolic cricketing market. It’s now just an emerging league, it’s an emerging league in a country not known for the sport, but a nation that is sports-mad. And thereby lies the potential. Think NBA, MBL, NFL, and even NHL. Think how ‘soccer’, as the Americans call it started off as a fringe sport before the genesis of the now massive Major League Soccer. We’ve been here before with new sports, and with cricket already an established sport watched by millions, perhaps these emerging new leagues and markets are the next natural evolution.