Mark Cuban is betting on a boom for a sport other than basketball.
The owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks has taken a principal ownership stake in the Professional Futsal League, the league said Wednesday. Futsal is a modified version of soccer, typically played indoors with five players on each team.
"Futsal is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and it's time to make it even bigger in the U.S. market. We are ready to introduce the best global brands and the world's best players to our growing fan base and I'm thrilled to be part of the PFL," Cuban said in a statement.
The PFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment on what Cuban, the outspoken billionaire and "Shark Tank" investor, paid for his stake.
An estimated 30 million people play futsal worldwide, according to the PFL. It often features more scoring and is played at a faster pace than traditional soccer. PFL exhibition games will start in the United States next year, followed by the first full season in 2018.
Major League Soccer, the top professional soccer league in the United States, has failed to gain the following enjoyed by the NBA, National Football League or Major League Baseball.
Cuban's futsal investment is not his first in non-traditional sports. He has also bought into the daily fantasy sports industry, which he has adamantly defended amid questions about its legality.
Disclosure: Mark Cuban is one of the hosts of "Shark Tank," which is broadcast by CNBC.