According to a Media Release by Rushmans, the sports event management company, USA Cricket Association (USACA) has formally issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the formation of Twenty20 format USA Premier League and the wider commercial development of cricket in the country.
It was also announced that Nigel Rushman, Chairman of Rushmans, will serve as commercial advisor to USACA. Nigel is a well-known figure in the international business of sport and has been involved with high profile events including rugby and cricket world cups. More recently, Nigel was Event Director of the ICC CWC West Indies 2007 Inc with the responsibility of implementing the Event Management, Security, Media Management, Accreditation and Volunteer Programmes.
USACA's RFP has a deadline of August 7th for receipt of proposals and is expected to create a transparent playing field for all those who wish to participate in development of cricket in USA.
This move demonstrates the new USACA CEO, Don Lockerbie, is keen on harnessing the commercial potential of professional cricket. This could provide much needed funding for USACA's development objectives such as infrastructure development and Project 15, which aims to make USA a top-15 cricketing nation by 2015.
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.
In the Media Release, 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 organizations 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.”