Murray set for IPL-style tennis tournament to 'go where the money is'
London: British tennis ace Andy Murray is reportedly set to join Mahesh Bhupathi-masterminded lucrative Indian Premier League-style international tennis tournament to `go where the money is`.
The Scot`s new commercial guru Bhupathi is the mastermind behind the new International Premier Tennis League tournament (ITPL), which will have franchises in six cities and sell the stars at an auction in January like IPL, to be played in the off-season.
The Olympic and US Open champion is slated to be one of the leading draws for the ITPL.
Stating that the World No. 2 is a one-Slam holder and he has the potential to win a lot more, Bhupathi, who has won 12 Grand Slam titles, said that tennis players are superstars in Asia as they get a large amount of adulation in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.
According to Bhupathi, Murray would be recognised even in Indian streets as tennis is the second most popular sport after cricket, adding that emerging markets like Brazil have promoted large amount of the game to bring in money .
Although details are yet to be finalised, teams will have between six and 10 players, including top women stars and veterans, with total salaries for each franchise costing between four to ten million dollars, adding that playing the new format will also increase Murray`s exposure to booming Asian markets and sponsors.
With Bhupathi`s Globosports company now in charge of drumming up new business in Asia, Murray`s mint is set to increase further, and Bhupathi said that they are expecting a lot of things from Murray in the future given his recent sky-rocketing popularity.
Stating that his company will do their best to do right by Murray when it comes to promotional endorsements, Bhupathi further said that he is hoping to close the deals soon following the Wimbledon results.
Murray has won 27.3 million dollars on court during his career- a sum roughly matched by his off-court earnings and deals with Adidas, Rado, Head and Royal Bank of Scotland seeing him banking an estimated eight to ten million pounds last year including bonuses.