ECA Executive Board members gathered on Tuesday to hold key discussions for the future and to review the evolution of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup after the launch of a new competitions structure last October.
Mr. Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball's President and CEO, opened the agenda by providing club representatives with a detailed report on the unprecedented records in every major growth indicator that were registered this season by both competitions.
In the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, fans witnessed the most competitive season ever during a new, 30-round regular season in which all the teams played one another for the first time in the history of pan-European club competitions. An impressive 18.8% of the regular season's 240 games were decided by a single shot - 3 or fewer points - as compared to 13.3% a year ago. Those results were among 34.6% of all games that finished with a maximum difference of 5 points and 63% that were decided by fewer than 10 points, the highest such figures in the EuroLeague this century. In the end, despite teams playing the longest regular season ever, no single playoffs pairing was determined until the 30th and final round.
Off the court, fans responded to the new format with great enthusiasm across every platform. In-arena attendance registered 15% more fans per game than in the 2015-16 Regular Season and Top 16 phases; the live TV audience grew 32% and the online audience 166%; whilst the total accumulated audience across all platforms enjoyed a 58% increase.
As with competitiveness and audience, positive indicators were also evident on the business side under the new structure, with sponsorship and media revenues growing 46% and 67%, respectively, as compared to the previous season.
The revamped 7DAYS EuroCup also boasted great numbers with a 12.6% increase in in-arena attendance and a 41% growth in online traffic. The EuroCup also confirmed a growth trend that has seen 407% more accumulated audience across all platforms since the 2012-13 season.
Attendees at Tuesday's board meeting were also updated on proposed changes to the Management Control Commission (MCC), where Mr. Salvador Alemany stepped down as president after successfully accomplishing the mission of launching and consolidating a body that has already proven to be essential to the well-functioning of the League, whilst Mr. Xavier Brossa, a finance executive with over 36 years of experience at PwC was proposed to join current members Mr. Daniel Geey and Mr. Thomas Braumann. The Management Control Commission will continue to oversee compliance by the clubs with the Financial Stability and Fair Play Regulations (FSFPR). On behalf of Euroleague Commercial Assets, Mr. Bertomeu thanked Mr. Alemany for his continuous effort and contribution in supporting the MCC with his long and deep experience, while announced that he will continue being an adviser to the Euroleague Basketball President and CEO as well as the ECA Shareholders Executive Board.
Euroleague Basketball executives introduced the Euroleague Basketball Advisory Council, a new body that will aim at proposing regulations changes and new basketball rules with the aim of enhancing the experience of the fans. The EB Advisory Council will initially be formed by: Mr. Pablo Prigioni, former EuroLeague player; Mr. Zeljko Obradovic, current EuroLeague coach; Mr. Aito Garcia Reneses, former EuroLeague coach; Mr. Luigi Lamonica, current Euroleague Basketball referee; Mr. Paulius Motiejunas, current President for Zalgiris Kaunas; and Mr. Paul Gils, current Vice President EMEA & India for New Era.
The club representatives also discussed the 2017-18 EuroLeague Regular Season calendar rules to be applied next season, with special attention to the double-round weeks. The opening round of next season will be played on October 12 and 13, 2017.
Clubs discussed current player release and transfer rules, including the challenges they present and potential initiatives to improve player movements for the clubs.
All proposals will be presented for formal approval at the next ECA Shareholders Meeting.
The meeting concluded with Euroleague Basketball executives providing a full report on the preparations for the 2017 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four in Istanbul, and the recently launched EB Institute Sports Business MBA, that will open for applications in the coming days.