Cricket Holdings America is backed by the New Zealand and US cricket governing bodies and significant investment from India as the founders aim to build an Indian Premier League-type cricket competition in North America.
The league aims to sell six franchises in major cities across the US for an estimated US$40m each over 10 years. The competition aims to take place in summer 2013 and promises to feature a raft of top international cricketers and significant celebrity involvement.
Cricket Holdings America has hired agencies in the US, UK and India to promote the plans.
Square1 Consulting is handling media in the UK, with agency founder David Bick and former BBC journalist Brian Alexander leading the account. Next Level Media Communications and BrandLink Communications have been brought on board in India and the US respectively.
The new UST20 League aims to tap into the passion for cricket among the US’ large ex-pat communities from countries such as India, Pakistan, England and the Caribbean. Earlier this year the US hosted two pilot T20 matches between the West Indies and New Zealand, which attracted more than 24,000 fans.
Cricket Holdings America claims that more than 200,000 Americans play the game and there are more than 48 established United States cricket leagues.
The plans are backed by Top Bloom Corporation and Podar Holdings International, led by Indian business magnate Rajiv Podar. The founders aim to build on the success of the Indian Premier League, which has grown to a value of around US$3bn since its launch in 2008.
The venture marks the first serious effort to popularise the game in the US since disgraced Texan financier Alan Stanford’s efforts around five years ago.