Ahead of Wednesday night’s EuroLeague opener between Real Madrid and Olympiacos, CEO Jordi Bertomeu penned an open letter to all basketball fans everywhere.
On Wednesday, October 12, when our game officials tip off the 2016-17 Turkish Airlines Euroleague’s first game, Real Madrid vs. Olympiacos Piraeus, a new European basketball era will begin.
The dreams that owners, executives, coaches, players and journalists have had for decades will finally come true. The first European basketball league will have started. This has been the objective since the year 2000, when the clubs decided to create their own competition and named it: EuroLeague.
For the first time ever, our fans will enjoy each and every one of the 16 best European teams competing every week, from October to March, without interruptions, to reach the Playoffs that will lead the best four teams to the Final Four.
Excellence and quality are the basic pillars of our league and our project. Increasing the number of people that love our sport is our main objective as well as our responsibility.
In the last 15 years, our clubs have made the necessary decisions to make Euroleague Basketball grow and progress to the point of revolutionizing the European sports model through the creation of a true league. Without the exceptional contribution of our players, coaches and referees, that would not have been possible.
The change in the competition model does not stand alone, but it comes together with a change in the presentation of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague in the arenas, on television and in the entire digital environment that is so essential nowadays for our fans. In this effort, having the commitment of a partner like IMG is a guarantee for the project’s success.
In this new European basketball era, our clubs will be able to develop sport projects based on stable business plans in the medium and long term, thus facilitating their sustainability, offering their partners greater exposure with more opportunities to reach the audience, developing consistent ticket sales strategies in advance, and improving their agreements with the arenas according to a more predictable calendar. The increase by more than 50% of the revenues of the league will also help the clubs offer better services to their fans.
Fans are and have always been in the center of our decisions. And it is for them that our clubs have created this European basketball league that you are all going to enjoy starting now and continuing into the future. GAME ON!!
Euroleague Basketball President and CEO