By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The announcement of the joint venture between Euroleague and IMG is the most ambitious project ever in European basketball with IMG bringing 630 millions euros on the table.
That’s the 10 year investement which IMG is bound to pay with the 16 teams of the new 2016-17 format sharing at least 36 millions euros per season. Part of the 630 millions will be used for the improvement of the presentation of the basketball product, which includes the television coverage of the games and also the clubs’ infrastructure in marketing.
The projection for the total revenues of the joint venture in its 10 year span is even more ambitious, reaching almost 900 millions and brings the sum which goes to the clubs over the 50 million euros mark. It’s a number similar to FIBA’s plan projection, which is in total one billion euros, and it confirms that there’s money to be made from European basketball at clubs level.
However, contrary to FIBA’s plan, the joint venture doesn’t change the status quo of the Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA) S.A. company which belongs mainly to the Euroleague clubs. Still it’s possible for Euroleague and FIBA to meet again in December – at least that was the wish of both sides – and Euroleague seems to be ready to include FIBA in some capacity in the venture.
With the A Licence clubs already signed the agreement, it’s difficult to think that FIBA will proceed in its own Champions League project, since the biggest brands in European basketball are united under Euroleague’s banner.
The Panathinaikos case
There’s only one exception in the position taken by the 11 A Licence teams. Panathinaikos Athens has agreed in principal with the joint venture deal, but it was the only team that didn’t sign the paperwork. The Greek club wanted some extra time in order to get some legal advice on the documents. Anadolu Efes Istanbul, CSKA Moscow, EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, FC Barcelona Lassa, Fenerbahce Istanbul, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, Olympiacos Piraeus, Real Madrid and Zalgiris Kaunas have commited to the new project, for which all the A licence teams were informed before their arrival at Barcelona for the ratification of the deal.
The open spots
During the latest hours there are many reports around Europe about the three domestic league champions who will get directly a spot in Euroleague’s 2016-17 regular season. As Eurohoops can confirm there’s no decision yet on the matter. VTB, German BBL, Turkish Super League, ABA Liga and Poland are among the candidates. However, the whole proccess is still in a very early stage and Euroleague wants to include as many leagues as possible, including also the eight teams qualification round which will fight for one regular season spot.