Off to a good start…

It’s been almost a year since we launched our initiative with a quite ambitious goal, namely generating new ideas for European Basketball that are based on scientific, objective and fact-based methods while, at the same time, represent practical solutions that can be applied in the “real” world of European Basketball.

We are very glad to share with you today that it’s been a pretty successful start and very productive eleven months, both in terms of generating several interesting, detailed and insightful analysis reports about the current issues and challenges as well as building up and expanding our network in European Basketball. We prepared a total of twelve reports and studies which we have shared with key stakeholders, predominantly league organizations and federations. The feedback and the initial reactions we’ve obtained so far have been very positive and encouraging. The initial focus has been on three key areas, (i) Governance, (ii) Financial Stability / Club Licensing and (iii) Youth Development programs.

Below you can read the executive summaries of three of the above mentioned reports. If you’d like to obtain a copy of the reports, please drop us an email at [email protected] with your name, title, and the name(s) of the report(s) you would like to get.

Players’ Agents System in European Basketball (available both in English and Turkish)

Today, sports agents have become one of the most important elements of professional sports. Quite simply, the basic role of a players’ agent in sports is to facilitate the signing of a contract between two parties, an athlete and a sports club. The initial idea has been based on the principle of representing/defending the interests of the athlete in the best possible way against club managers who used to be more experienced in contract negotiations than the athletes.

Over time, the role and influence of players’ agents has grown significantly, especially during the past two decades. Today, agents may engage in a broader range of activities, including the conclusion of different kinds of contracts on behalf of the athlete (image rights contracts, sponsoring contracts, advertising contracts, etc.) or managing the assets of the athlete.

There has been a great deal of criticism and a public perception that the behavior of (some of) the agents is excessively unethical. In addition, sports agency is a field in which outsiders perceive there is a quick and easy money to be made. And more recently, market concentration trends in this field have been causing some serious concerns with regard to (possible) conflicts of interest.

The purpose of this study is to objectively analyze the current issues and present suggestions for improvement.

The Evolution of Euroleague and the Future of European Basketball (English)

With the 2016/17 season, Euroleague has embarked upon a new journey creating a new competition format with 16 teams playing against each other during the regular season. The fact that 11 out of 16 participants are permanent members of the league and only remaining 5 seats are determined based on sportive criteria led to a conclusion by many sports authorities that Euroleague has created (or on its way to create) a (semi-) closed basketball league in Europe. Taking NBA’s tremendous success as a benchmark, it is being argued that, especially in commercial terms, implementing a closed league format would be the best for the future of the European Basketball.

In this matter, there are many different involved parties defending different (and sometimes even conflicting) interests. Euroleague, organized as a private company, is primarily aiming at maximizing the benefits for its shareholders, i.e. leading basketball clubs in Europe.

In this study, European Basketball Advisory Group (EBAG) focuses on key success factors that are directly relevant for increasing the popularity of basketball from a more holistic perspective, thus also taking into account the interests of other key stakeholders.

The success of Euroleague in the last 15 years is remarkable (and undeniable), especially in commercial terms and ensuring a better financial basis, which definitely has a positive impact on the image and popularity of basketball in Europe. However, we believe that for a sustainable and continuous future growth, some other key success factors should also be addressed. Especially agreeing on a governance model by the key stakeholders (i.e. FIBA and Euroleague) which is based on co-existence and sharing of burdens and benefits seems to be in the best interest of European Basketball as a whole.

Critical Review of Euroleague’s Financial Stability and Fair Play Rules – 2nd Report (English)

Since the beginning of 1990s, European basketball has gone through a quite turbulent period experiencing major structural  and economic challenges, mainly caused by (i) deficit of demand (especially compared to football), (ii) certain governance issues (e.g. FIBA vs ULEB/Euroleague), and (iii) lack of a rational and sustainable economic model. Failure in creating and establishing such a model led to the situation that some traditional  teams with a very successful history (such as Limoges, Benetton Basket, Kinder Bologna and more recently Montepaschi Siena and so on) have disappeared from the top-level European competition.

Without any doubt, since its inception, Euroleauge Basketball has achieved quite a remarkable progress in enhancing the commercial value of the top-level European basketball league and significantly increasing the competition’s revenues. However, it still cannot be argued that the operating model of European basketball is now based on economically sound and rational principles & practices. In an effort to strengthen the financial stability of its clubs and to improve its financial governance model, Euroleague Basketball enacted  its Financial Stability and Fair Play Regulations (FSFP).

In this study, we perform a critical review of the financial criteria as set out in the FSFP rules (as stated in 2016-2017 Bylaws), both from an economic and legal perspective, also considering the “current reality” in European Basketball. We intend to provide the decision-makers with objective feedback on the regulations as well as suggestions for a more effective regulatory framework.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to request a free copy of any of the reports. Furthermore, we are very interested in getting your feedback, questions, requests and/or any ideas that you would want to share with us. Please contact us at [email protected]