In a remote meeting held on July 9, 2020, the Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA) Shareholders reviewed and discussed the strategies needed to resume the Euroleague Basketball competitions and business heading into the 2020-21 season.
Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball (EB) President & CEO welcomed the attendees and reported on the 2019-20 season. He included highlights of agreements made by the ECA Shareholders Executive Board since the season was suspended on March 12, and subsequently cancelled on May 25, including the decisions not to define any final standings, not to recognise a season champion and not to declare individual awards, as well as the exceptional club licensing system for the 2020-21 season.
The meeting continued with EB executives presenting evolution metrics of the unfinished 2019-20 season compared with the 2018-19 season, which due to the shortened nature of 2019-20 make them even more encouraging:
- 15% average growth* in fan interest across EuroLeague markets, 9% higher than interest in basketball, which also grew at a 6% pace. The growth was led by France, Israel, Turkey, Spain and Germany (source: Nielsen Sports)
- 15% growth in television audiences*, led by France, Italy, Israel and Germany (source: Nielsen Sports)
- Social media growth across all platforms**, averaging 11% in followers, 21% in reach, 25% in video views and 46% in engagement (source: Blinkfire Analytics)
- Euroleague.net growth of 9% in unique users, 13% in sessions and 22% in pageviews
- 94% growth in value delivered to commercial partners in digital channels
- 12% higher in-arena attendance, registering all-time records in average attendance per game (8,676 spectators) and in average venue fill rate (75%).
The meeting resulted in the ECA Shareholders taking the following decisions:
- Approved the 2020-21 exceptional temporary measures proposed to support the clubs in increasing revenues and reducing uncertainty to speed up recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, namely:
o An alternative clubs’ economic distribution model based on giving additional weight to market pool distribution (from 54% to 79%) in order to increase economic certainty for all clubs and mitigate uncertainty
o Introduction of 'Pandemic Response Guidelines', a group of health, security and commercial recommendations for teams to alleviate customers’ fears of attending live events, provide fans with customizable payment plans, and create transparent and exhaustive communication channels to increase trust by fans when deciding to attend EuroLeague or EuroCup games
o Additional commercial platforms to be accessible for clubs to increase their revenue opportunities, which include court and arena assets as well as additional audiovisual rights, as well as new aggregated commercial models
o Modified EuroLeague training camp dates, which may begin a maximum of eight weeks prior to EuroLeague Regular Season Round 1, or a maximum of five weeks prior to the first official game of the 2020-21 domestic league competitions (earlier date of the two)
- Approved the Euroleague Basketball 2019-20 financial closing and 2020-21 budget, as well as the clubs’ economic distribution
- Approved the proposed modifications of competitions bylaws
- Approved the proposed 2020-21 team lists for the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup
Additionally, ECA shareholders were updated on the following topics by Euroleague Basketball executives:
- The state of negotiations with the EuroLeague Players Association (ELPA) and EuroLeague Head Coaches Board (EHCB) around potential European Framework Agreements with the aim to implement these from 2021-22 onwards
- The officiating department report, including 2019-20 performance, agreement with the Union of Euroleague Basketball Referees, Instant Replay System, 2020-21 referees release and recruitment, new measures to improve performance, communications with clubs
- Business performance rankings, to be shared with participating clubs as part of the EuroLeague Business Operations & Clubs Services activity (BOCS), with the objective of recognizing best performing clubs, incentivizing sharing, and fostering positive competition between them.
*The data, sourced from Nielsen Sports, Blinkfire Analytics and EuroLeague clubs, in order to be comparable audits covers the October-to-March period of each of the last two seasons and therefore excludes the end of the regular season, the playoffs and the Final Four, which traditionally bring further percentage increases in all metrics. In some cases, data from the unfinished 2019-20 season surpasses that of the entire 2018-19 season.