Coronavirus outbreak – A huge catastrophe for European basketball or an opportunity to start thinking differently?
About Cem Karamursel
This author has yet to write their bio.Meanwhile lets just say that we are proud Cem Karamursel contributed a whooping 6 entries.
Entries by Cem Karamursel
Our next story about the Unsung Heroes of European Basketball is (again) coming from Turkey. Umut Dogan, a 43 year old basketball coach, who has been working for Izmir Buyuksehir Belediyesi Spor Kulubu, is a true basketball enthusiast.
Kırıkkale is a province located in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, about 80 km east of the Turkish capital, Ankara. With its approx. 200.000 inhabitants, it belongs to the group of smaller cities in Turkey, especially compared to the truly large cities of the country, such as Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir where millions of people live. Also, on the basketball map in Turkey, it cannot be argued that Kırıkkale has a spot which would be known to many people in the Turkish basketball community. Its most successful team, Kırıkkalegücü Spor Kulübü is currently competing at the local level (5th division in the Turkish basketball system).
2019 is coming to an end. And it is likely that it will be remembered for some key milestones in Euroepan basketball which have a direct impact on national leagues and a vast majority of the clubs that are not competing at the highest level in Europe. For the first time in the history of European basketball, participation to the continent’s top-tier competition was detached from the sporting performance in any of the domestic leagues in Europe. Number of participants in that competition was increased to 18 (from 16 last year) which added additional pressure to the overall competition calendar in an Olympic season. And also for the first time, a major team like Olympiacos is playing only in Euroleague after being relegated to the second division in Greece. All these developments are deemed to have (intentionally or not) an adverse impact on the local leagues and teams that are not a Euroleague-participant.
A comparison of Euroleague with the NBA in economic terms is quite striking. NBA’s total annual revenues amounted to $6.3 billion in the 2017/18 season, with an average club revenue of approx. $209 million, whereas Euroleague’s total revenues (incl. all team revenues) are estimated at $511 million for the current season (both according to Forbes), i.e. less than one tenth of NBA’s revenues. Unlike the NBA, in general, the European Basketball is (still) not managed as a “business” with profit maximization as being its ultimate goal. Instead, it is heavily dependent on cross-funding by football operations of leading clubs and/or sponsoring revenues which are often (mis)perceived as “donations” to the clubs without any attached obligation in terms of delivering added value in exchange. As such, the current economic model of European Basketball creates significant doubt about its sustainability and future competitiveness.
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.