Mukesh Ambani plots a solo path into the management of sports, entertainment activities, and talent after purchasing IMG’s share in the RIL joint venture.
Dietrich Mateschitz, Steve Ballmer, Mukesh Ambani, François Pinault What ties these billionaires together? They are the world’s wealthiest professional team founders, who make up the exclusive group of billionaires.
On the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries (RIL), is ranked second with a net worth of $71.2 billion as of January 31. RIL owns the famous Indian Premier League cricket franchise Mumbai Indians through a wholly-owned subsidiary, India Win Sports. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he is trailing Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, who has a net worth of $83.6 billion as of January 31.
The third person on the list is François Pinault, the owner of fashion houses such as Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci. Pinault owns the Stade Rennais FC football team. Dietrich Mateschitz, co-founder of the Red Bull energy drink group, is ranked fourth. He manages the Formula One teams Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri, as well as the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.
IMG Reliance Limited (IMG-R), a joint venture company between RIL and IMG engaged in the development, management, execution, and commercialization of sporting, fashion, and entertainment events in India, has been purchased by Ambani in a new attempt to grow big in the sports arena. With operations in more than 30 countries, IMG is a global pioneer in sports, fashion, events, and media.
RIL told stock exchanges on December 24, 2020, that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 50% stake in IMG-R owned by IMG for 52.08 crores in an all-cash transaction. Following the takeover, IMG-R was renamed rising Worldwide Ltd and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL.
All of IMG-activities R’s in India and abroad will be continued by the new company. IMG Singapore Pte. Ltd., an IMG wholly-owned subsidiary, owned 50% of IMG-share R’s capital. IMG-R, based in Mumbai, has been the industry leader in sports marketing, licencing, and sponsorship in India since its inception in 2010. Indian Premier League (IPL) clubs, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and a number of top Indian cricketers are among its clients. The Tata Open Maharashtra tennis tournament was also owned and run by IMG-R.
IMG-revenue R’s fell to 181.70 crores in 2019-20 from 195.55 crores the previous year, while net profit fell to 16.35 crore from 19.25 crore in 2018-19.
According to RIL’s annual report, IMG-net R’s assets as of March 31, 2020 were 157 crores. It had a gross investment of 201.23 crore and a net worth of 99.18 crore. In 2019-20, it made a profit of Rs.7.34 crore.
RIL revealed on January 27 that it had formed an independent venture to expand its leisure, lifestyle, and entertainment activities in India and around the world, following the buyout and rebranding of its sports and lifestyle business to RISE Worldwide.
The move to an independent brand identity, according to RIL, is intended to give various verticals within the sports and lifestyle industries autonomy to operate and develop industry-leading strategies and world-class customer experiences.
The new entity’s portfolio includes sports and sponsorship consulting, fashion and sustainability platform building, athlete talent management, licencing, broadcast production, lifestyle, and entertainment, as well as owned or managed key properties such as the Indian Super League, Fashion Week, India’s premier fashion platform, and the Tata Open Maharashtra, South Asia’s only ATP World Tour event.
According to a spokesperson for RISE Worldwide, the organisation seeks to offer a unified approach to the sports, lifestyle, and entertainment industries. The parent company has stated that it would invest appropriately in the segment.
RISE aims to help partners meet their target audience effectively as we bring their innovative initiatives to life and provide customers with world-class experiences across each of our assets, based on our mutual partnerships, confidence, and industry expertise, according to the spokesperson.
Via their numerous IPs, the business has already grown to become India’s largest independent sports, lifestyle, and entertainment enterprise, engaging with over 150 million young people on social media. Under the company’s athlete talent management division, it already manages a strong roster of six cricket athletes, including Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Shreyas Iyer.
Dream11, boAt, and BKT Tires are among the brands represented by the sports sponsorship and consulting division. The business was the exclusive marketer of the Indian cricket team’s global virtual inventory from their recently concluded Australian tour. The organisation also has a fully built television production facility and is seeking sports production contracts all over the world.