This is it. A guided missile leaves the hand of Jofra Archer and arrows towards you at 90mph. You must score two runs to win the World Cup. You miscue it and England triumph instead, a ground-breaking moment that captivates a global audience. Except you’re not playing to 700 million people, you’re actually at home, immersed in virtual reality.
Technology is transforming sport, personalising fan experiences, and transforming sport’s economics. Technology is also radically altering sporting performance, sharpening preparation, training and skills, and reinventing team tactics, as analysts drill down into the data revealing exactly where Jasprit Bumrah is going to bowl or where Jos Buttler is going to hit his next boundary. Technology’s transformative impact has revolutionized the sports business, with a resulting increase in broadcast and digital media rights, enabling players like Virat Kohli or Ben Stokes to earn $2m for six weeks work.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been at the centre of cricket’s reinvention. It has catapulted cricket into the global mainstream, spawning numerous imitators. It is one of only two professional sports leagues in the world, where all franchises are profitable. After only 12 years since launch: the IPL is valued at $6.3bn; accounts for over 30% of global cricket revenues; and over 60% of Indian sports revenues. What lessons can be learnt from its design and the rapid growth of its media rights? How it secures, develops and manages the world’s best players? And how the IPL has dealt with governance, ownership and gambling challenges? But now cricket, along with all sports, has been rocked by coronavirus, with IPL season 13 postponed, and the English season decimated. How can the IPL inform cricket’s evolution in a post Covid world? What are the imperatives for cricket’s ‘New Innings’?
Award-winning cricket writer and broadcaster Simon Hughes - The Analyst - and technology entrepreneur Manoj Badale, lead owner of the Rajasthan Royals, one of the IPL’s most forward-thinking franchises, dissect the global business of sport. They offer unique insights into the IPL’s drivers and innovations and, with unprecedented access into dressing rooms and boardrooms, reveal lessons for the business of sport.
An essential read for all those with a passion for cricket and an interest in the business of sport, this book is as innovative and ambitious as a Steve Smith century.