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09/10/2017, 14.34

Comninos: Basketball Champions League in a clear growth, improving level and brand the next targets

Basketball Champions League's CEO Patrick Comninos analyze news and targets of the 2017/2018 BCL season

The Basketball Champions League is ready for action on Tuesday: news, targets and growth of the ambitious european basketball competion explained to Sportando by the BCL CEO Patrick Comninos, that we thank you for the usual kindness and availability.

What are the main targets for Basketball Champions league 2017/2018?

"Following the overwhelming success of last season we have solidified the impact of the Basketball Champions League as a top tier competition. All but one of the teams who qualified for the 2017-18 season have chosen to return to participate in the competition which will, once again, feature national champions, along with top-ranked clubs from all over Europe, not just from a handful of leagues".

What was the feedback from national federations about first year?

"National Federations across Europe are hugely supportive of the Basketball Champions League because of what it stands for and what it delivers for basketball in their countries. This is a natural consequence since the Basketball Champions League is a 50-50 joint venture between on the one hand FIBA – of which the National Federations are members – and on the other hand 10 major European leagues plus ULEB. Qualification is based on performance at national level and the final ranking in the domestic league determines access to the Basketball Champions League. This gives teams a goal to aim for and ensures that leagues remain truly competitive throughout the season whereby every game counts. As of this year, in order to further promote the development of young players, we have introduced a new eligibility rule on “home grown” players. This decision highlights that the development programs at national level are validated as they remain the key supplier of players for the national teams which constitute the pinnacle of the work of National Federations".

How is Basketball Champions league working with technology?

"The Basketball Champions League is without a doubt the fastest growing sport property in the digital market. Our website has had more than 3million visits with close to 7.5 million-page views.
More remarkably, our Facebook page has close to 700,000 followers, making it number one in its category. We have just launched our new app (Basketball Champions League App) making it easier for fans to access great Basketball Champions League action".

What is the score in relation to selection based on domestic league performance?

"The Basketball Champions League is built on the concept of recognising performance on the court. It is our founding principle and remains at the heart of our vision. Sport is and always will be about competition and pursuit of the championship trophy. There are no guaranteed positions to the Basketball Champions League and access is determined by sport results. This is a fundamental principle and a cornerstone of the European pyramid of sports. Qualification based on sporting performance rather than reputation and financial muscle is what makes Basketball Champions League so important to the clubs, to the national leagues and to the fans as it provides a goal which keeps the domestic competition alive throughout the season".

Italy has 4 teams, after Orlandina got qualification yesterday night, how is the relationship between FIBA Champions and italian FIP and Legabasket, and how could be important Italy for developing the competition?

"Italy certainly made an impact on last year’s edition with Venezia reaching the Final Four and we are delighted to welcome them back as champions of the Lega Basket Serie A along with three other top clubs. Italy is, of course, an important basketball market and in principle its champion should be competing in the Euroleague. The Basketball Champions League benefits, in this case, from the paradoxical model whereby the Italian participation in the Euroleague is pre-selected for 10 years and is not based on results in Serie A. Our relationship with the Italian Federation, like that with all other federations, is very positive and there is a constant collaboration in view of safeguarding common interests. Furthermore, the Italian League is a co-owner of the Basketball Champions League: I cannot underline enough how important it is that the Leagues own 50% of this competition".

Which are the premiums for the final stage of the competitions and which are the criteria to try to make this part of the deal more attractive, this season and the following ones?

"The winners of this year’s Basketball Champions League will receive €1 million – the biggest prize in European basketball. But it’s important to understand that the Basketball Champions League is about more than the money itself. Being part of a competition which places clubs first is of massive benefit to the participants in building their own brands and fan-base via the various means we provide.
Players, coaches and clubs in the Basketball Champions League know they are part of something special. That’s why there is so much excitement around the upcoming season and I, for one, can’t wait for the action to begin".
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M. Taminelli

M. Taminelli

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