It was last December in the United Kingdom. The American company 777 Partners entered a new era in British basketball, with the acquisition of a 45% stake in the league.
Back on the reasons for this investment and what it will develop…
An investment of £7 million!
The second most practiced team sport in the United Kingdom, basketball underwent a real turning point in its history a few weeks ago, in December 2021.
777 Partners, a U.S. investment firm based in Miami and current owner of the London Lions basketball club in BBL, has invest £7 million in exchange for a 45% stake in the professional league.
The president of the BBL, Sir Rodney Walker, does not hide it, he is proud of this contract which will thus be able to contribute to the development of this sport which, according to him: “crosses the cultural, societal and economic divides and addresses a young and diversified public”.
With this 45% investment, the franchise fees should also increase, as a domino effect. Mike Tuck, club captain of the Sheffield Sharks is delighted with the investment: “This will add stability and confidence to move the sport forward, not only over the next two seasons, but also for the next 5, 10 or 20 years!”
The goal? To develop basketball in the UK
These funds will help to give a new look to British basketball. Yes, this development plan does not only apply to the elite, but to all levels, from the bottom to the top.
The objectives are as follows:
👉 The creation of a quality leadership team, with a new Executive Director to advance BBL’s vision and strategy.
👉 Helping clubs with content and marketing to attract new investment and improve infrastructure.
👉 The creation of 4 new “high quality” franchises to be added to the league in the next 5 years!
👉 The adoption of new technologies in stadiums to enhance the fan experience and the game as a broadcast product.
👉 The development of women’s basketball by establishing additional resources.
The opportunity also for the championship to be more attractive for foreign players and Mike Tuck is convinced: “We have already seen the London Lions attract former NBA level players, and this could happen all over the league! This investment will only strengthen that!”
…Birmingham could be home to a new BBL franchise
We mentioned it earlier, and this may well prove to be the case for Birmingham City. Without a team at the highest British level since the Birmingham Knights’ short stint in the BBL in 2013/2014, the city is once again looking to reach the elite of the British league.
It turns out that a consortium of investors is actively considering a proposal to establish a new BBL franchise in Birmingham for the 2023/2024 season! All of this under the direction of former BBL business manager Bob Hope, who is working alongside former NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon, currently a director and ambassador for the Birmingham club.
Hakeem Olajuwon said, “When I came to this great multicultural city, it was natural for me to get involved. Seven years ago, I asked the question, ‘Where is the professional club? People told me about the great Birmingham Bullets days and how the city no longer had a franchise. I thought, we need to do something.”
This investment could therefore be a key moment in the growth of basketball across the Channel and thus improve the power and broadcasting strength of the BBL but also attract more players with an international reputation.