The Hungry Jack’s National Basketball League (NBL) has awarded a licence for a new team to the co-owner of EFL Championship Club Swansea City, Romie Chaudhari.
Mr Chaudhari will work with the NBL to select the best location for the ninth NBL club which will join the competition for the 2019/20 NBL Season.
The announcement follows NBL Owner Larry Kestelman’s commitment to introduce a new team to the league by 2019/20 as it continues to expand.
NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said: "This is an exciting day for the NBL and Australian basketball. Romie is not only an enormously successful businessman but also a passionate and knowledgeable student of the sport.
“He has identified the NBL is on a massive growth trajectory and his decision to invest in an expansion club is a huge endorsement of the NBL and reinforces the league is one of the best in the world.
“We will now work with him to identify the most suitable location for the new team but we’ve already had huge interest from around the country as we look to meet demand and growing interest in the game.”
NBL Owner and Executive Director Larry Kestelman said: “We are delighted to welcome Romie to the NBL. His investment continues the recent trend of influential business people returning to the sport of basketball in Australia and, in particular, to the NBL.
“It gives me great confidence in the continuing growth of the NBL that successful, business minded people are seeing the same potential that keeps me so committed to this sport.
“Participation, attendance and interest in the sport is booming as was shown yet again with the recent announcement that five NBL teams will play seven games in the forthcoming NBA season.
“A big part of the decision making process about where we locate the new team will be ensuring it has access to world class training and facilities that are up to NBL standards.”
Mr Chaudhari said: “The NBL is enjoying massive growth and connecting with fans worldwide and it is a privilege to be a part of this exciting time by bringing a new team to the league.
“I see the NBL as one of the premier leagues in the world and a global entertainment product watched by fans around the world.
“Being a lifetime fan and player, I have a passion for basketball and my positive experiences with team ownership in cities where a particular sport is the lifeblood of the local community led me to this opportunity with the NBL.
“Wherever we end up locating this team, I want it to unify and represent the community and help build a world class team fans can be proud of. The NBL is coming off a record season in attendance, broadcast audiences and corporate support and there couldn’t be a better time to be involved in Australian basketball.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help be a part of what will be something very special.”
ABOUT ROMIE CHAUDHARI
Romie Chaudhari is a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur who is Chief Executive and Managing Partner of Chiron Investments.In 2016, Mr. Chaudhari became a co-owner, director and board member of the EFL Championship Club, Swansea City. He is also co-owner of the e-sports team the Immortals, recently selected as the Los Angeles franchise for the new Overwatch League.
Mr. Chaudhari is involved in many philanthropic activities. He is an active supporter and major donor to Water.org, which was founded by Gary White and Matt Damon to bring market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis.