American football legend Larry Fitzgerald, double Olympic gold medallist basketball star Chris Paul are among the new investors in IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals.
The duo, along with another NFL star Kelvin Beachum, are now minority investors in the IPL franchise which is owned by Emerging Media Ventures, an entity that is fully controlled by Manoj Badale.
"Rajasthan Royals have attracted investment from US elite athletes Chris Paul, Larry Fitzgerald and Kelvin Beachum. The trio have come on board as investors in the Rajasthan-based franchise. Investing through Emerging Media Ventures, the vehicle 100% controlled by Manoj Badale, Paul, Fitzgerald and Beachum will become minority investors in the franchise," Royals said in a press release.
"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," said Fitzgerald.
Paul, a former president of NBA players association, echoed his sentiment.
"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 fulfil their course, I see myself contributing world-class experience through this strategic investment," said Paul, who served as the former president of the National Basketball Players Association.
In addition, as part of the recent transaction for the Royals to acquire the Barbados Tridents, CMG Companies, has joined the Royals ownership group.
The alignment with US athletes promises to be productive.
"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, the lead owner, as he welcomed the US trio as investors in the franchise.