The ECA Shareholders Executive Board convened in Barcelona on Tuesday to confirm the positive sporting and economic results of Euroleague Basketball competitions as well as to affirm the steps being taken under the five-year strategic plan agreed upon in July 2017 .
The economic results that closed the 2016-17 season proved to meet the previsions of the ECA Shareholders’ business plan in the first season of its 10-year joint venture with IMG. The strategic plan, meanwhile, has hit the ground running with a series of initiatives centered on serving clubs and fans.
For example, the board heard that the EuroLeague Business Operations & Club Services (BOCS), a comprehensive in-house and personalized consulting service for clubs, has started its activity, meeting with licensed clubs to provide a number of short- and mid-term recommendations.
Additionally, Euroleague Basketball and IMG continue to work on a new digital platform to aggregate, gather, segment and distribute data that all clubs can use to enhance their business practices.
On the subject of giving fans more of what they want, outreach programs to better engage millennials and bring them the excitement of basketball in the formats they like best are being put into place, including the implementation of an eSports entry strategy commencing in 2018 to broaden the fan base and bring it to new audiences.
Euroleague Basketball executives presented the latest development on the mandate they received from the clubs to further strengthen league and club efforts to engage with young basketball fans and players through grassroots initiatives such as the partnership that was recently announced with FBC in Spain, which actively supports school basketball competition.
Finally, the board also undertook preliminary discussions on the future expansion of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
With regards to the conflict generated over national team competitions recently being held at the same time as club competitions, the board reiterated its respect for the decisions taken by players under the circumstances and restated its commitment to finding a solution. The board emphasized its willingness to proactively find a solution that respects national teams and their importance to the fans, while ensuring sports integrity and avoiding national teams being impacted differently based, for example, on how many players each country has playing in NBA clubs. During the meeting, three distinct calendar alternatives were analyzed, with board members unanimously agreeing that additional collective efforts are needed to correct this situation for the good of the sport.
Executive Board members ratified a proposal that has been elaborated over the past two months with the participation of multiple European basketball stakeholders. The proposal will address the calendar as well as other concerns that, in the opinion of Euroleague Basketball clubs, would contribute to the growth of basketball, such as youth-to-senior player pathways; the economic sustainability of clubs and leagues; the number of international club competitions, including their management; requirements regarding player participation with national teams; and others. The proposal will be presented later this month to a domestic league meeting in order to grow consensus.
Euroleague Basketball remains committed to establishing a constructive dialogue with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) that avoids situations such as those produced during the most recent national team games in November, and hopes that the latest proposal will achieve this.