Euroleague Basketball and its new regional sponsor, Spanish energy giant Endesa, were joined by a player from each of the five Turkish Airlines EuroLeague teams in Spain on Tuesday to power up the new season at a tip-off celebration in Madrid.
Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President & CEO, and Borja Prado, President of Endesa, marked the official start of the three-year partnership between the two sides with the accompaniment of EuroLeague stars Fabien Causeur of Real Madrid, Victor Claver of FC Barcelona Lassa, Fernando San Emeterio of Valencia Basket, Jordan McRae of Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz and Dejan Musli of Unicaja Malaga.
"It gives us tremendous pride to be able to join the great, ongoing effort that Endesa has been dedicating to basketball for many years now," Mr. Bertomeu said. "As such, Euroleague Basketball is now linked for three years with a brand that is widely known for its leadership and prestige. We are confident that together we can pursue great plans and offer a better product to the fans, which is the central objective of this agreement."
Endesa, a leading Spanish company in the electricity sector, has traditionally been committed to supporting basketball through numerous events and sponsorships. Now, with its regional sponsorship of both the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup, Endesa has joined a Euroleague Basketball family of partners that features leaders in several different industries who have already seen their exposure boosted by the expanded league formats launched last season.
According to the agreement, the Endesa brand will be present at all EuroLeague and EuroCup events held at Spanish venues, as well as on broadcast and digital platforms. Off the court, Endesa is truly committed to upgrading the fan experience in both the EuroLeague and EuroCup by creating unique content to engage fans and by sponsoring events throughout the season.
"Our collaboration agreement with the EuroLeague is an important foundation for the well-known backing of Endesa for Spanish basketball," Mr. Prado said. "The EuroLeague has the best teams year after year. We cannot include all of Spanish basketball and that's not our intention, either. But we do have the will to collaborate loyally with everything that could be considered support for Spanish basketball, up to the point that our resources allow us to do so."
Last but not least, the five players present on Tuesday took the opportunity to express their excitement about the imminent tip off of the 2017-18 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season, which begins on Thursday and Friday all across the continent.
Victor Claver, FC Barcelona Lassa
"The atmosphere at EuroLeague arenas is impressive. The fans make it difficult for you to play there, but going on the road against teams like Panathinaikos, Fenerbahce and Crvena Zvezda, among others, is always fun for any player."
Fabien Causeur, Real Madrid
"It is an excellent competition. Of course, Real Madrid's goal is to win it. We will go little by little because, it is a long competition, but we have the quality to do something good this season."
Jordan McRae, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz
"You can already feel the atmosphere and excitement in Vitoria, even in preseason! We are looking forward to starting the competition."
Fernando San Emeterio, Valencia Basket
"We’re coming off what was a historical year for Valencia, not just because of the titles, Liga Endesa and Supercopa Endesa, but also because of other projects like L'Alqueria del Basket. Now, we are really excited to start the EuroLeague."
Dejan Musli, Unicaja Malaga
"We have a good team and we play in the best competition in Europe. I think we will be able to play well and be competitive against all opponents."