The Indian Premier League is in some pretty good company, sitting 22nd in a worldwide rating of the most innovative companies. The IPL was given this rating in the latest list put out by Fast Company, a magazine that reports on innovation, digital media, technology, change management, leadership, design, and social responsibility.
The list is topped by Facebook, and includes names like Amazon, Apple, Google, Nike, Intel and IBM placed above the IPL. But the three-year-old T20 league, a first-timer on the list, is well ahead of other giants like Samsung (36) and Microsoft, down to 48 from last year's position of 34.
“We are extremely honoured to have received this distinction, which is a testament to the hard work put in by our team and all stakeholders of the IPL,” Modi told the Hindustan Times. “IPL has a unique model which further goes to show how leagues should be structured and run.”
Fast Company was expectedly glowing in its assessment of the IPL. "Robin Williams famously said that cricket is ‘baseball on Valium.’ Well, millions of people around the world are addicts, and it just didn't make sense to Lalit Modi that his sport could lack equivalent commercial success," the magazine wrote, going on to describe the formation of the IPL and the bigwigs who own teams.
The magazine credits the IPL with creating “a new economy of cricket” and reckons the league will generate "revenue of nearly $2 billion (Rs 9300 crore) over its first decade, including proceeds from
TV rights ($918 million — Rs 4241 crore), promotion ($108 million — Rs 465 crore), and franchises ($724 million — Rs 3344 crore).” While this should please Modi he will probably be disappointed that the IPL was only rated the second most innovative in the area of sports, behind ESPN.