For a second consecutive season, head coaches from the 7DAYS EuroCup wrapped up the first week of the EB Institute Annual Workshops by spending two days together learning about and giving their input on the competition's plans moving forward into the 2019-20 season and beyond.
The 24 teams from 15 countries that are registered for the next EuroCup season represent a geographical expansion that will bring the growing quality of the competition to more and more fans.
"We're extremely happy to welcome all the EuroCup head coaches to our headquarters, not only to show them what we have all achieved but also to present our projects for the season to come and, most importantly, to listen to them," said Jordi Bertomeu, President and CEO of Euroleague Basketball said. "I feel very proud of the list of teams that will participate in the 2019-20 EuroCup, representing 15 different countries and forming one of the strongest group of teams in competition history."
On Thursday, many of the coaches had a first opportunity to hear about the Euroleague Basketball business structure, to understand the finances at the league and club level, and to be briefed on ticketing best practices. A review of the 2018-19 EuroCup season included updates on across-the-board growth in attendance, viewership and reach of television broadcasts, as well as double-digit increases in visits, page views and visit duration on the competition's official website, EuroCupbasketball.com. The coaches were also informed of potential changes in the near future to the avenues of access to the EuroLeague for EuroCup teams.
"For us, the coaches, the business side of basketball is becoming as important as what happens on the court. We are open to innovations and new ideas that can improve the game of basketball," Selcuk Ernak of Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul said. "That the organization shares its knowledge with us and asks for our opinion is very useful. We have to do all we can to take our clubs and ourselves to better levels."
"I have been to many of these meetings in the past, but what makes this one different from all other is the approach, more business-oriented, more American-style, who are the best in this business," Alfred Julbe of Limoges CSP. "It is really good to have this approach and to link sports with business and marketing."
Among the information directly affecting their teams, the coaches were presented a study, produced by the Euroleague Basketball Medical Officer, of injuries and illnesses in the EuroCup last season. The data was broken down by amounts of injuries; how often they happen in certain months, on certain days, in what quarters of games; whether guards, forwards or centers suffer more of them; whether they were more frequent in games or practices; and which body parts were hurt more, among other factors.
On Friday, the EuroCup coaches again met with the Euroleague Basketball Officiating Department to hear about upcoming changes in the game rules and to discuss on-court game situations. The eight-hour sit-down with Richard Stokes, Euroleague Basketball's Senior Director of Officiating, served the vital purpose of reaching an understanding of how to make EuroCup games better for both the protagonists and fans.
"The EuroCup is a strong competition. It is hard to play against so many good teams. The organization is getting better and better, in all aspects, and meetings like this prove it," UNICS Kazan coach Dimitris Priftis of UNICS Kazan said. "Regarding the game, it is also more and more interesting for fans. Hopefully, it will be even better next season."