Euroleague President & CEO Jordi Bertomeu Looks Forward to Final Four Event

May 13, 2014

By Ismail Uddin

With the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four set to begin on Friday, iSportconnect’s Ismail Uddin speaks to Euroleague President & CEO Jordi Bertomeu about their preparations and activation around the event.

How have preparations been for this year’s Euroleague Final Four?

So far so good. We have worked hard to put together a quality event, a showcase, meant to engage both the international and local fan. Milan is hosting, over 1000 media, press and sponsor representatives as well as 7000 traveling fans from as much as 50 countries. Our goal is that all of these people have the ultimate Euroleague experience. Milan is a city with a long basketball tradition, and the Municipality has provided their full support to make sure we reach our goal.

This year you are having your fan zone at the Piazza del Duomo in Milan and last year the event was in London’s Trafalgar Square. How successful are these events in attracting attention to the Euroleague brand?

Piazza Duomo in Milan follows Trafalgar Square in London and Taksim Square in Istanbul, which is where our Fan Zones have been held. We are proud to be able to occupy such iconic places in the cities where we host the Final Four, bringing our game closer to the local fans and inhabitants, allowing them to experience the Turkish Airlines Euroleague first hand, participate, meet current stars and legends and much more. With the collaboration of all our marketing partners, we expect this Fan Zone to be a great success, as was the case in Istanbul and London.

Also this year’s event is a sell-out. What type of audience normally buys your tickets?

We have great diversity in our fan base and therefore we have to adapt our proposition to match this demand. Broadly we can divide our customer in three different groups. First there is the very devoted group that follows their team and buys their tickets once their team is qualified to the Final Four.

For this group, we always reserve an amount of tickets made available after qualification. Secondly, there is a group of fans which love basketball and/or major sports events. This group may follow a specific team but would want to live the Final Four experience regardless. The last group is business related and needs the Final Four to have all the ingredients to host their relationships and network, offering them a first class hospitality programme to meet their every need.

What marketing initiatives have you incorporated for this year’s event?

We have a great number of quality marketing initiatives prepared for this week that add great value for our fans. We are lucky to have such committed partners that all wish to add value to the event, making it more accessible and interactive. To name a couple of examples, Turkish Airlines will once again present the award winning Eye Of The Fan experience, with an enhanced programme, where five Fan Masters will have full access to everything related to the Final Four. Each Fan Master will have a helmet-camera, streaming exclusive behind-the-scenes content to the fans that have not been able to come to Milan. We also have EFES presenting our Cheerleader competition during the Final Four, enabling our fans to vote for their favorite squad online, bwin covering the event with their bwin Sport Girls programme and adidas presenting our Trophy Tour at the Piazza Duomo. Finally Spalding and New Era are launching tailored team balls and headwear during the Final Four. In a nutshell, this year we have even more exclusive content brought to our fans in very innovative ways.

Turkish Airlines have unveiled a new Euroleague advert (above) which has had over 2 million views to date. Are you surprised the video has that type of interaction? Due to the success of this initiative are there similar types of promotional adverts in the pipeline?

We are not surprised. It is not the first time Turkish Airlines has proved that they can deliver and engage sports fans with great content. We supported the pool dunk concept from the very beginning, aiming to present the sport and our players outside of their natural environment using a trend with a high digital and social media potential, knowing this would easily become viral. The Turkish Airlines ‘Widen Basketball Everywhere’ campaign will hit many TV stations this week helping to raise the awareness of the league across the globe. We are happy with these results but can only stress this is only beginning.  Many other programs are in the pipeline, but we cannot reveal them right now!

In terms of broadcasting what sort of coverage are you expecting for the event?

This years’ Final Four will break all-time records for the Euroleague, since it will be aired in 201 countries and territories across all five continents, with the last deal we signed and that we will announce soon. We have broadcast partners almost everywhere and expect the final audience numbers to improve year after year. On a digital & PR side of things, we already have performed well over expectations this season as we have been able to partner-up with many of the leading sports media outlets in Europe.  

There has been a lot of speculation about where next year’s event will go. Do you have an indication on who you want to host next year’s event? 

We have been working with different candidates over the last few months, and we are now very close to announce the next host. There is always a lot of speculation, and a lot of cities are interested in bringing the Final Four to their city, which shows the importance of the event.

Jordi Bertomeu Orteu has been the CEO of Euroleague Basketball from July 2000, its Chairman since 2009 and its President since 2011.

Jordi Bertomeu earned a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Barcelona.

From its inception in March 1982 he developed tasks as Legal Advisor and Secretary General of the Spanish Basketball Clubs Association (ACB), in December 1994, he was appointed ACB Vice-president until July 2000, when he was named CEO of Euroleague Basketball.

Mr. Bertomeu was also member of the “Spanish Governmental Commission of the transformation of Basketball and Football clubs into incorporated sports companies”, “Member of the Executive Committee of the Spanish Basketball Federation” for 12 years as well as arbitrator for the Spanish Olympic Committee on the Court of Arbitration for Sport from October 1997.

He has also developed experience as Professor of Sports Management in the Masters Programme of the INEFC at the University of Barcelona and as Professor of Sports Management and Administration in the Masters Programme at the University Complutense of Madrid.

Jordi Bertomeu isportconnect-profile-widget

{jcomments on}