SportsHero (ASX:SHO), the world’s first social network dedicated to sports predictions, has launched cricket on its app. Cricket follows football as the second game on SportsHero, with basketball, tennis and baseball in the pipeline.

SportsHero has also signed its first global brand ambassador – cricket legend Ian Chappell. Chappell captained Australia between 1971 and 1975. He shares one of the greatest cricketing pedigrees with his grandfather, the legendary Vic Richardson, and his brothers Trevor and Greg Chappell – the latter also captained Australia. Since his retirement in the 1980s, Chappell has made a career as an unapologetic and candid sports journalist and commentator.

Chappell will be the Company’s face and spokesperson across all cricket promotions undertaken by SportsHero. This will include providing media commentary and assisting SportsHero with the introduction and facilitation of additional key partners. He will also provide SportsHero’s fans with insights into cricket, pre, during and post-matches. These fans will not only be able to follow Chappell’s predictions, but also compete against him in the app, including during the on-going 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament, through to the finals. There are over 500 cricket games across all formats in 2017, according to sports data provider Enetpulse.

The IPL is the most-attended cricket league in the world, and ranks sixth among all sports leagues (Sporting Intelligence, 2015). The brand value of IPL was estimated at US$4.5 billion in 2015 by American Appraisal, a Division of Duff & Phelps. As stated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the 2015 IPL season contributed US$182 million towards India’s GDP. Cricket is the second most popular sport globally, with over two billion followers, behind football (4 billion) but ahead of basketball (1 billion), according to online sports news site Total Sportek in 2016.

Dinesh Bhatia, CEO and co-founder of SportsHero, said, “Continuing our success around what we did with football, SportsHero looks to bring the game of cricket out of the stadium and into homes, workplaces, to the morning and evening commute, to bars. We brought Ian on board because of his years of dedication to the sport and its followers. We believe cricket fans around the world will gain insights from this most respected cricket personality, and we can build a sports community with Ian at the crease as our statesman.”

SportsHero’s app already boasts over 325,000 users, as reported by mobile application reporting tool Tongdao. This includes over 50,000 monthly active users. The cricket feature encompasses all forms of cricket, including Twenty20s, ODIs and Test matches. It has kicked off match predictions with the IPL which started on 5th April. SportsHero provides a social competition platform where highest ranking fans in prediction leagues and rooms stand to win exciting prizes, with a goal of facilitating sports culture and community.

Ian Chappell, first global ambassador for SportsHero, said, “Anyone who knows me would know that I’m very passionate about cricket. While SportsHero is an extension of my love for the game, it now lets me participate among a community of hundreds of thousands of fans – moving what was previously a handshake to one which is a share, a follow, a view or a Tweet. I’m excited to be engaging with these fans who share this mutual love for cricket.”

Since its launch in 2016, SportsHero has listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) (ASX code: SHO). Over the next few months, SportsHero aims to launch basketball, tennis and baseball, while adding a variety of new and engaging features to the app.

“There’s something about sports which is highly engaging – and with it, there’s something about the amount of passion and emotional investment from every sports fan. We’re building the first true social medium for these fans. It doesn’t matter which part of the world you are in – you can connect with other likeminded people and even compete with them around match predictions. Everyone on the app is a Sports Hero,” added Bhatia.

Ian Chappell is exclusively managed by The Fordham Company.

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