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Who is The Owner of RCB?

By First Games Team March 28, 2024

The Indian Premier League (Indian T20) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league played in India. Launched in 2008, the Indian T20 has become one of the most popular and lucrative cricket tournaments worldwide. It features teams representing different cities or regions of India, with each franchise bringing its unique flavor and fan base to the league. One such franchise is the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), representing the city of Bengaluru in Karnataka. Known for its passionate supporters and star-studded lineup, RCB has garnered a loyal fan following over the years. As Indian T20 enthusiasts eagerly await each season, it becomes essential to delve into the background and ownership history of RCB for clarity and comprehensive understanding.

Past Ownership of RCB

Back in 2008, during the inaugural Indian T20 auction, Vijay Mallya, the then chairman of Kingfisher Airlines and United Spirits, secured the ownership rights for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. RCB quickly became synonymous with Mallya's flamboyant personality, attracting big names and generating significant buzz.

However, things took a turn in 2016 when Mallya left India facing financial and legal troubles. This shift in leadership sparked confusion about RCB's ownership structure. While Mallya was initially associated with the team, it wasn't entirely clear who was calling the shots anymore.

This blog aims to provide a concise yet comprehensive overview of the Indian T20 franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), with a focus on its ownership

History of RCB

The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team made its debut in the Indian Premier League (Indian T20) in 2008, representing the city of Bengaluru. Vijay Mallya, the owner of United Spirits Limited, was instrumental in purchasing the franchise. He brought a competitive spirit to the team, assembling a star-studded lineup, and hiring renowned international players, including Jacques Kallis, Anil Kumble, and Kevin Pietersen, among others.

The team's performance in its debut season was unsatisfactory, finishing in 7th place out of eight. The following year, they retained their core squad along with adding new players, such as Robin Uthappa, Eoin Morgan, and Ross Taylor. Despite their new recruits, RCB continued to struggle, finishing in the third last place.

In 2010, RCB's fortunes began to change, and they rose to prominence, reaching the semi-finals of the Indian T20 that year. The team's incredible performance during the 2011 season, when they finished runners-up to the Chennai Super Kings, marked a turning point for the franchise. RCB's journey in the following years was marked by ups and downs, but they continued to captivate fans with their exciting cricket and star players.

key moments and achievements of the team over the years.

Over the years, RCB has established an impressive track record, making it one of the most popular Indian T20 franchises. Here are some of the franchise's key moments and achievements:

2011 Indian T20 Season: RCB finished runners-up behind the Chennai Super Kings in the 2011 Indian T20 season, thanks to the formidable core squad of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, and Virat Kohli. Gayle famously hit the tournament's first and fastest century, finishing with a staggering 608 runs from 12 innings, while de Villiers and Kohli amassed 322 and 557 runs, respectively.

2013 Indian T20 Season: That year, RCB finished fifth, but Chris Gayle recorded an unbeaten 175 against the Pune Warriors. This knock remains one of the most significant moments in Indian T20 history, featuring 13 fours and 17 sixes.

2016 Indian T20 Season: In the 2016 season, RCB reached the final for the third time, pitting them against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Virat Kohli had a remarkable season, breaking several records and scoring 973 runs – the highest ever in an Indian T20 season. However, RCB fell just short of victory, finishing with the second runners-up position.

Individual Records: Several RCB players have recorded record-breaking performances, showing their prowess on the pitch. Chris Gayle holds the record for the highest individual score in an innings (175*), while AB de Villiers holds the record for the fastest-ever Indian T20 fifty (17 balls), and Yuvraj Singh hit the fastest-ever Indian T20 half-century (12 balls).

RCB's journey in the Indian T20 has been marked by significant moments, thrilling performances by star players, and an unwavering fan base. The team's ability to bounce back from setbacks and continue to deliver exciting cricket has made them a team to watch in every season.

Vijay Mallya as the former owner (2008-2016)

Vijay Mallya, a prominent Indian businessman and former Rajya Sabha member, served as the owner of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise from its inception in 2008 until 2016. Mallya was known as an astute businessman who made a name for himself as the chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, a leading Indian airline, and United Spirits Limited, a subsidiary of the British alcoholic beverages company Diageo.

Kingfisher Airlines and United Spirits:

Under Mallya's leadership, Kingfisher Airlines had ambitious goals of becoming a premier aviation company renowned for its luxury and service. However, the airline faced financial difficulties, including mounting debt and operational challenges, leading to its eventual closure in 2012.

Apart from his aviation ventures, Mallya was also heavily involved in the spirits industry. As the chairman of United Spirits Limited, he worked towards transforming the company into a leading producer of alcoholic beverages in India and globally. However, even this venture faced challenges, as the company experienced its fair share of financial and legal issues.

Why Mallya Is No Longer the Owner:

While it is necessary to mention that Vijay Mallya is no longer the owner of RCB, it is important to note that the specifics of why he is no longer involved in the franchise go beyond the scope of this discussion. However, it is worth highlighting that Mallya faced significant financial issues, including accusations of financial misconduct, loan defaults, and legal troubles. These issues ultimately led to the sale of his assets, including his stake in United Spirits Limited, and consequently his no longer being associated with RCB.

The Current Owner: United Spirits Limited

So, who calls the shots for RCB now? The current owner is United Spirits Limited (USL).  This might surprise some fans, as the team wasn't always owned by a corporation.

USL is a major player in the Indian beverage industry, specializing in the production and distribution of alcoholic beverages. They're actually the world's second-largest producer of spirits by volume!  This means they're behind some of your favorite Indian whiskeys, vodkas, and rums.

For those interested in the bigger picture, USL is actually a subsidiary of Diageo, a multinational giant in the alcoholic beverage industry. Diageo owns a vast portfolio of popular brands worldwide, so in a way, RCB is backed by a global beverage powerhouse.

Beyond Ownership: A Look at RCB's Success

While ownership plays a significant role in shaping the direction of a team like Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), it is crucial to recognize that success on the field is not solely attributed to ownership. Several factors contribute to a team's performance and achievements in the Indian Premier League (Indian T20).

RCB has had notable successes throughout its history, including multiple appearances in the Indian T20 finals. These accomplishments are a testament to the team's talent and capabilities on the field. A combination of skilled players, effective coaching, and team dynamics has played a pivotal role in RCB's achievements.

First and foremost, the players are the backbone of any team's success. RCB has had the privilege of having some of the most formidable cricketers in its ranks over the years. From the leadership of respected captains to explosive batting talents and consistent bowling performances, the players' skills and contributions have been instrumental in RCB's journey.


From Vijay Mallya's era to the backing of a beverage giant like United Spirits, RCB's journey in the Indian T20 has been one of constant evolution. While the trophy is still elusive, their consistent performance and passionate fan base make them a true crowd favorite.

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