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‘Building The EuroLeague Of Tomorrow’ – Jordi Bertomeu, CEO, EuroLeague Basketball

By Community | June 7, 2018

by Jordi Bertomeu, President & CEO, EuroLeague Basketball

It was only a few days ago when we were all flying back from Belgrade after four tremendously exciting and exhausting days. The Final Four has been, yet again, the annual can’t-miss date for all basketball fans, stakeholders and partners, an event that has found a spot on the calendar of the most prestigious sports events in the world.

This has been the sporting close to a special season that has brought probably the highest-quality basketball ever seen in Europe. It has also been the second season of the newly designed true round-robin league, which finally did justice to the competition’s name, the EuroLeague, and which is being followed closely by other sports properties across the continent and beyond.

But despite the on-court season having finished, there is no such pause behind the scenes. The work never stops at either our league headquarters or those of the clubs. These are shaky days in professional sports, as in almost every entertainment business. What you know today may no longer be valid tomorrow. The technology you call new today will probably be old tomorrow. These are times of constant adaptation to new trends. Those who are able to anticipate innovations and be prepared for when they happen will be the most successful.

So here we are, shaping the EuroLeague of tomorrow through a collective project of the clubs that now is 18 years old. And that is a crucial word: collective. We are lucky to have a group of clubs that truly understand that individual success depends most of all on collective success, on building a powerful brand that stays relevant for the fans and for partners over time, one that has strong links to an ever-changing and evolving culture. By putting aside the many differences that separate them and focusing on what brings them together, this common project aims to enable fans to engage with the very best of basketball in Europe.

We are also lucky to have on this journey our partner IMG, a giant in the entertainment business who from day one has pushed all of us to get better and works hand in hand with us to constantly re-invent the league.

This common understanding allows the league, the clubs, the players, the coaches and everyone involved to work as one, in one direction, and to continuously build the EuroLeague of tomorrow. It is our collective duty to make sure that as many fans as possible are able to enjoy what is a great product.

The EuroLeague has understood since its origins that staying relevant implies constant evolution of the product, which in turn reflects the evolution of the environment in which that product exists. That evolution sometimes comes only by doing things differently, by adapting to new trends in the behaviour of the fans and their culture. It requires forgetting about “how we do things” and taking a blank piece of paper to define “how we could do things.” Being bold, being disruptive, staying fresh. Today, technology offers you endless possibilities, and for us and for our clubs this is key when thinking about how to create a new and fresh product for the fans of today and for those of tomorrow.

These days, in the EuroLeague, we see players and coaches being measured with sensors or being equipped with POV cameras to take fans to the centre of the action. We see the league and the clubs connecting with tech start-ups ready to bring new solutions to enhance the EuroLeague experience.  And behind the scenes, we are going through a deep digital transformation aimed at knowing our fans better so we can be ready to meet their expectations and deliver to them the best basketball – exactly how they want it and exactly when they want it.

EuroLeague Basketball, as managers of premium club competitions, has a responsibility towards the fans. It’s a responsibility to deliver a great experience to them, to let them truly connect with the clubs and players that they admire. It’s a responsibility to preserve the history of the game while we ensure that we keep making it better. And it’s a responsibility, shared with renowned clubs and iconic players, to work in their communities to do things that actually make the lives of people better.

And, collectively, we are ready to deliver.

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