Jordi Bertomeu welcome speech at Final Four Belgrade 2018

May 17, 2018 by Print
Jordi Bertomeu welcome speech at Final Four Belgrade 2018

Good afternoon and a warm welcome to our first event at this 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four. Thank you all for joining us today and a special thanks to our legends, ambassadors for one more year being with us, helping us with this event and a very special congratulations to our four clubs – Fenerbahce Dogus, Zalgiris Kaunas, CSKA Moscow, Real Madrid – that reached something that every time is more difficult, to be here at the Final Four.

It has taken 17 years, but we have finally been able to bring the Final Four to Belgrade. It has been possible thanks to the strong and clear commitment and the cooperation of the authorities of the city and especially from its mayor. Because the Final Four in Belgrade is also our way to pay tribute to the Serbian contribution to basketball worldwide. With its endless list of amazing players, coaches, referees and managers, it has been a reference and it is a reference of basketball quality and has nurtured European basketball talent and our clubs in Serbia have been an essential part of this success.

With this Final Four we put an end to another amazing season. In Istanbul we were cautious, assessing the new EuroLeague concept. After the second season we can assure that this is a successful consolidated model because once again the fans gave us a good response with a new record for attendance in our arenas. We had more than 2.2 million spectators at EuroLeague games this season. Once again our broadcasters bring the EuroLeague and the Final Four to all the continents and almost all the countries in the world and once again, we counted on the cooperation of our sponsors. This season we have had the support of 15 global sponsors, six regional sponsors and licensees and with the Final Four brining us an additional four sponsors. We want to express to all of them our gratitude and we want them to stay with us in the future, a future of growth as indicates our expansion with two more licenses in Germany and France from the season 2019-20.

Here in Belgrade we are committed to deliver a great Final Four. Belgrade is going to live an impressive explosion of basketball around the different events. We will work around three important centers; We will work at Stark Arena, where we will have our games, the main part of this Final Four with four historic teams offering four exciting games, where we will crown the champion of this season. We will be also in the Nikolic Hall, where our Adidas Next Generation Tournament will take place. We will have the opportunity to enjoy our future stars. And here at this Kalemegdan Fortress.

We will conduct many traditional activities around this event, but I want to highlight something new that we will have for the first time here in Belgrade. First of all, our under-14 school championship for girls and boys, we will have a legends game on Friday and here a music concert on Saturday night.

And we will also have an innovative Final Four. Because we have a great product, we have a great competition, we have a huge fan base and we have around 70 partners and we need to connect them and we know how important technology is for this purpose. And we as a sports organization are committed to innovation. We have taken advantage of the opportunities that technology offers us to put our game close to our fans and to put our partners close to our consumers. With this intention we will conduct different initiatives. One of them is, as a consequence of our partnership with HEED, we will be using Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things technology to compute players' and coaches' data and present it to the fans in a way it has never done before. After our tech challenge that we launched in cooperation with University La Salle this season, we will work with different companies that came to this tech challenge.

And here we will work with NFC Sound, a company that is implementing so-called internet of sound technology. They are sending data through sound, so at the Final Four, fans that have the EuroLeague app on their phones, will be able to be part of the pre-game show in our games. And we will work also with Couch Coach, a company has developed an online game in which fans are asked to predict the next moves of the coaches in real-time during EuroLeague games.

We will have The Tripoki Club, a unique and innovative hospitality experience. The end lines of the court will be transformed into a nightclub-style hospitality space, never-seen-before in any European sports event. We will work with virtual reality here at this FanZone and finally for another season we will be working with First Vision. First Vision will be equipping the officials with body-cams that will allow fans to watch the game from inside, and for the first time in a Final Four, to hear the conversations between players, coaches and referees. So this is what our Final Four will offer to our fans. Our hope is that you all will enjoy this weekend and you all will enjoy Belgrade.