ECA Board meets in preparation for the 2012-13 season

Jun 20, 2012 by Print
Euroleague Commercial Assets Board met in Barcelona

The Euroleague Commercial Assets Board met in Barcelona on Wednesday to close the book on a highly successful 2011-12 season that met all estimated profit projections and to plan for even better seasons ahead. The main order of business was to approve the teams that will play next season in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, which will feature a new Top 16 round expanded to 14 games, and in the Eurocup, where the qualifying round was eliminated and a single-game final reestablished. The board also analyzed a summary of last season's sporting and fiscal success before making plans to enhance fan enjoyment and security in the future.

In the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, the board approved the awarding of a new two-year A License to Italy’s most successful basketball club ever, EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, to replace one that became a wild card following the sports results over the past three seasons of another Italian team, Lottomatica Roma. Among the B-License teams are newcomers Besiktas JK Milangaz of Turkey, Elan Chalon-sur-Saone of France and Cedevita Zagreb of Croatia. A wild-card C License for Alba Berlin of Germany was approved by the board, taking into consideration the importance of the German market for Euroleague Basketball and its interest in developing the basketball business in that country. Wild cards were also given to Bennet Cantu of Italy and Unics Kazan of Russia for the eight-team Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds.

The complete list of teams that will participate in the 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season is as follows:

Anadolu Efes Istanbul Turkey Finalist
Asseco Prokom Gdynia Poland Champion
BC Khimki Moscow Region Russia Finalist
Besiktas JK Milangaz Istanbul Turkey Champion
Brose Baskets Bamberg Germany Champion
Caja Laboral Vitoria Spain Semifinalist
Cedevita Zagreb Adriatic 1st Croatian in Adriatic League
CSKA Moscow Russia Champion
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan Italy Finalist
Elan Chalon-sur-Saone France Champion
FC Barcelona Regal Spain Champion
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul Turkey Quarterfinalist
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius Lithuania Finalist
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Israel Champion
Montepaschi Siena Italy Champion
Olympiacos Piraeus Greece Champion
Panathinaikos Athens Greece Finalist
Partizan mt:s Belgrade Adriatic 1st Serbian in Adriatic League
Real Madrid Spain Finalist
Unicaja Malaga Spain 9th in Regular Season
Union Olimpija Ljubljana Adriatic 1st Slovenian in Adriatic League
Zalgiris Kaunas Lithuania Champion
Alba Berlin (Wild Card) Germany Quarterfinalist
Winning team of Qualifying Round - -

* See bottom of the text

Those teams participating in the 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds are as follows:

BC Donetsk Ukraine Champion
Bennet Cantu (Wild Card) Italy Quarterfinalist
CEZ Basketball Nymburk Czech Republic Champion
Le Mans Sarthe Basket France Finalist
PBC Lukoil Academic Bulgaria Champion
Ratiopharm Ulm Germany Finalist
Telenet BC Oostende Belgium Champion
Unics Kazan (Wild Card) Russia 6th in Regular Season

* See bottom of the text

The Qualifying Rounds winner advances to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season while the other seven teams will play in the Eurocup Regular Season.

The competition changes in the 2012-13 Eurocup, returning to two-game home-and-away semifinals and a single-game final, were also approved by the board. Changes also included the elimination of the Qualifying Round phase of the competition, although the number of participating teams (32) remains the same. The system will look like this:

· 8 groups of 4 teams Top 2 6 weeks November, December
· 4 groups of 4 teams Top 2 6 weeks January, February
· Home and Away Winners 2 weeks March
· Home and Away Winners 2 weeks March
· Single Game   1 week April

Those teams participating in the Eurocup Regular Season are as follows:

Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck Germany Semifinalist
Azovmash Mariupol (Wild Card) Ukraine Finalist
Banco Di Sardegna Sassari Italy Semifinalist
Banvit BK Bandirma*** Turkey Semifinalist
Belgacom Spirou Charleroi Belgium Finalist
Cholet Basket France Semifinalist
Crvena Zvezda Diva Belgrade** Adriatic 10th in Regular Season
EiffelTowers Den Bosch Netherlands Champion
Galatasaray Medical Park Istanbul Turkey Semifinalist
Gescrap Bilbao Basket Spain Quarterfinalist
Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem** Israel Quarterfinalist
KK Buducnost VOLI Podgorica Adriatic 4th after Final Four
KK Cibona Zagreb** Adriatic 7th in Regular Season
Lagun Aro San Sebastian Spain Quarterfinalist
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar Russia 3rd Place
Orleans France Semifinalist
Panionios On Telecoms Athens Greece 3rd Place
Rudupis Prienai*** Lithuania 3rd Place
s.Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg Germany Semifinalist
Spartak St. Petersburg Russia 6th after Playoffs
Trefl Sopot Poland Finalist
Triumph Lyubertsy Russia 4th Place
Valencia Basket Spain Semifinalist
VAP Kolossos Rhodes Greece 4th Place
VEF Riga Latvia Champion
+7 teams from Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds

* See bottom of the text
** Wildcards coming after the renouncement of teams: Maccabi Ashdod, Scavolini Siviglia Pesaro and HKK Siroki WWin.
*** Wildcards coming due to the 2011-12 EuroChallenge champion and runner-up - Besiktas JK Milangaz Istanbul of Turkey, Elan Chalon-sur-Saone of France - qualifying for the 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season.

The board also heard and approved proposals to address future security problems with increased sanctions, up to and including permanent disqualification from the competitions, as well as deepening the cooperation between the league and clubs so as to avoid violence in the arenas. All members agreed that any violent fan behavior is prejudicial to basketball’s status as a family friendly sport. Board members approved the heightened measures and a zero-tolerance policy towards unsportsmanlike behavior.

In a review of the just-completed 2011-12 season, the board heard details of how the Turkish Airlines Euroleague's reach is expanding both in terms of audience and social impact. Last season marked the highest number of television partners in competition history, 71, whose broadcasts of Turkish Airlines Euroleague games reached 174 countries on all five continents. Audiences for the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Magazine, 32 half-hour shows seen in 31 countries on a weekly basis, topped 100 million in the 2011-12 season. Board members were also given a review of the current television agreements that are under negotiation.

With regards to, board members saw end-of-year numbers that showed a surge in subscribers to the different commercial packages offered, as well as an evaluation of improvements such as multi-language options and higher broadcast quality.

The board also heard how the new social responsibility program One Team, backed by additional sponsorship from Turkish Airlines, has taken root in the last few months with a training workshop, seven local team projects and a major event at the Final Four.

Finally, the board looked ahead to the next Final Four at O2 in London, the 2012 Olympic Games basketball venue. Board members reasoned that London is a strategically important market for Euroleague Basketball, due to its commercial possibilities as well as the benefits of having the partnership with AEG grow. Euroleague Basketball directors have already held organizational meetings and are actively working on making the next edition of the Final Four better than previous editions.

All items that have been discussed will be presented at the Euroleague Commercial Assets General Assembly for approval.

The Euroleague Commercial Assets Board meeting was attended by: Alain Beral, president LNB (France); Jan Pommer, managing director BEKO BBL (Germany); Shimon Mizrahi, president Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv (Israel); Radovan Lorbek, president Liga ABA (Adriatic); Christos Stavropoulos, general manager Olympiacos Piraeus (Greece); Joan Carles Raventos, sports director, and Joan Blade, basketball director, F.C. Barcelona Regal (Spain); Jose Antonio Querejeta, president Caja Laboral Vitoria; Valentino Renzi, president Lega Basket (Italy); Ferdinando Minucci, president Montepaschi Siena (Italy); Engin Ozerhun, general manager Anadolu Efes Istanbul (Turkey); Natalia Furaeva, vice president, sports, CSKA Moscow (Russia); and Jean-Bayle Lespitau, honorary member ULEB.

* All Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds and Eurocup teams listed above are pending confirmation that they meet all Euroleague and Eurocup regulations.