James Fiztpatrick | cricket20
The Rajasthan Royals have announced the formation of a new global alliance with a number of domestic cricket teams from around the world.
The alliance will see the Royals set up marketing partnerships which will allow them to grow the Royals brand in a number of major cricketing nations.
The deal will see Hampshire (England), Cape Cobras (South Africa) and Trinidad and Tobago join forces with the Royals as one global Twenty20 franchise.
The Victorian Bushrangers have also confirmed they have been approached to join the alliance although they are yet to make any commitment.
"We have receive a proposal from the Royals' representatives. The concept is an interesting one but we've made no commitments at all and whatever is proposed would have to suit Victorian cricket." said Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide.
As part of the alliance English county side Hampshire will also change their name from the Hampshire Hawks to the Hampshire Royals when they compete in this years Friends Provident T20 tournament.
The newly formed franchise will see the teams benifit from a commercial window on new markets, commercial fees for the naming rights, and participation in the annual Royals Twenty20 Festivals.
Speaking at the launch conference Manoj Badale, Chairman, and co-founder of the Rajasthan Royals said, "This is a major innovation in world sport, and it represents a great opportunity for the clubs, but also an opportunity for fans and sponsors to be part of something totally unique and exciting."
"Royals2020 will be a dynamic partnership of leading cricket clubs around the world, with the aim of creating the 'World's First Global Sporting Franchise"
"In the West Indies and in South Africa, negotiations are being finalised for Trinidad and Tobago, and Cape Cobras to become Royals. In Australia, discussions are in the final stages of formalising the involvement of their leading domestic team to complete the founder members.
"The Royals 2020 mission is to grow the fan base; grow the commercial platform for all; provide high class entertainment for the young and families in great grounds; provide opportunities for players to develop their talents; and to entertain fans around the world through great events".
"The company's partner selection has been based on records and commitment to Twenty20 Cricket, commitment to player development, potential for a unique in-stadia experience and a cultural and commercial fit with the Royals ethos".