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US Cricket Takes First Step Towards Creation Of T20 Premier League

July 16th, 2009
The USA Cricket Association has issued a Request for Proposals for the formation of Twenty20 format USA Premier League and the wider commercial development of cricket in the country.

USACA is the International Cricket Council’s sanctioned governing body for cricket in the USA and had received many unsolicited approaches over the launch of a professional T20 league and other commercial opportunities

The decision to issue a Request for Proposals was taken in order to formalise the process and create a level playing field for all those who wish to contribute to the process of developing professional cricket in the USA. The closing day for receipt of proposals is Friday 7th August.

Nigel Rushman, Chairman of Rushmans, has been appointed commercial advisor to USACA.

The move is evidence of USACA’s determination to introduce sustainable top class international cricket to the USA and unlock the commercial potential of a massive market. Revenues from a USA Premier League will help finance a range of other USACA initiatives aimed at promoting interest and participation in the sport, laying the foundations on which to build competitive US national teams.

The existing passion for cricket in the United States currently lies largely in ex-patriot communities from the Caribbean, Sub-Continent and other traditional cricket playing nations and regions.

Their hunger for cricket and willingness to watch cricket on Pay-Per-View television has made the USA the second highest pay television earner in the world, behind India.

The USA is also the world’s second biggest Internet cricket market. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 attracted 1.15 billion hits within the USA, only fractionally behind India.

The International Cricket Council has strategic plans to develop the game in potential growth markets and the USA, with its established broadcast and Internet appetite for the game, allied to a strong player base, fits the bill in many respects.

Among the services sought by USACA in its Request for Proposals are:

1. Identifying potential partnerships and securing corporate sponsorships;
2. Developing and managing major cricket events as part of USACA’s ‘Destination USA’;
3. Strategically planning and implementing a Twenty20 Professional League;
4. Negotiating TV / Radio broadcast rights for USA cricket events;
5. Developing and managing the public relations and media management of USACA;
6. Developing and managing a profitable website and social networking platform;
7. Creating merchandising deals with an online store to attract 15 million cricket fans known to live in the USA.
8. Creating and managing VIP/ Sponsor hospitality and travel programmes for ICC and USA Cricket events.
9. Developing and implementing other revenue generating programs for USACA.

Commercial advisor Nigel Rushman said: “The commercial potential of cricket in the United States is widely recognised and that was underscored by the number of approaches USACA has received from many significant and prestigious organisations ranging from broadcasters to promoters and sports marketing companies.

“This process will enable us to consider all the proposals on the table and select the ideas and form the partnerships which are most beneficial to USACA, to the development of cricket in the USA and to the partners themselves.

“Cricket is a truly global sport which has been liberated by developments in the media. The success of the IPL in South Africa is evidence of that.

“We are confident that, with the right partners, the USA can host a world class Premier League which will fill grounds and attract massive television and online audiences. That is good news for the future of the sport in the USA and the growth of cricket worldwide.”

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