The Euroleague Commercial Assets board and assembly met in Barcelona,
Spain on Wednesday, to point the way to an exciting new 2011-12 Turkish
Airlines Euroleague that will give 38 teams from 18 countries the chance to
call themselves continental champions next spring. The participation of all
those teams - 22 already ticketed for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague
Regular Season and two more set to join them following the 16-team
qualifying rounds - was approved by the assembly on the recommendation of the ECA Shareholders Executive Board, which met earlier Wednesday.
In addition, the assembly reviewed and approved several administrative and
marketing changes to the competition by-laws and received reports of growth in several key indicators for the season just finished. Among the growth indicators was an 18% improvement in the economic performance of Euroleague Basketball as compared to the previous season. At the same time, attendance for the 2010-11 season grew 24, 6% over the 2009-2010 season and capacity at Turkish Airlines Euroleague arenas increased by 11%. In addition, the clubs heard reports of higher earnings from both the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four, estimated at 10% over the previous edition, and from TV contracts, by 2.4% over the 2009-10 season.
On the competition front, the assembly agreed to increase the number of A
license teams to 14, with the newest such team being Asseco Prokom Gdynia, which has been the champion of Poland for eight consecutive seasons. Additionally, the licensing rules that apply to teams from Spain was modified with the clubs' approval. The clubs of the assembly also agreed to a new format for Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds that consists of two eight-team single-elimination tournaments whose winners advance to the regular season as well as approved the teams who have qualified for both the Turkish Airlines EUroleague. All teams participating in the Eurocup were approved as well.
The 2011-12 calendar, which begins with the Turkish Airlines Euroleague
Qualifying Rounds from September 29 to October 2, was also approved. The
24-team regular season will run from October 17 to December 22, playing
every Wednesday and Thursday for 10 consecutive weeks, with the exception of the traditional opening game, to be hosted by reigning Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion Panathinaikos on Monday, October 17. The competition returns with the Top 16 from January 18 to March 1, with a one-week break between the fourth and fifth games. The quarterfinal playoffs are scheduled from March 21 to April 5, the winners of which will meet at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four from May 11 to 13 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Members of the Euroleague Commercial Assets present at both meetings had the opportunity to discuss the need to deepen the commitment to the European competition through several different programs. Clubs were presented and approved several projects that would allow for the development of this commitment through the activation of a Corporate Responsibility Program that would directly link the positive values associated with the sport and the competition and bring them directly to the fans who so passionately embrace their clubs, as well as through several initiatives for the promotion of the competition. To finalize the meeting members approved to start working on a new strategic plan to begin executing as of the 2012-2013 season that would incorporate changes that would meet the needs of the current reality of the European basketball market. Euroleague Commercial Assets approved moving forward with evaluating competition format, calendar, marketing plans, ticketing programmes and investments in new markets in the 2012-2013 strategic plan.