Initial tranche of £7million will ‘transform’ the League by helping to unlock ‘huge untapped potential’ for basketball across the UK

The British Basketball League (BBL) today announced that Miami-based alternative investment firm 777 Partners has invested £7 million in exchange for a 45% stake in the professional league.

Today’s announcement marks the initial £7m funding round, serving as a watershed moment for the future of basketball in the UK. The investment will be used to deliver an ambitious plan that will cover the whole of sport – from the grassroots community to the overall infrastructure of elite play in the UK.

At the heart of the League’s plan is the creation of a significantly strengthened management team – including the appointment of a new CEO – to drive the League forward. There will also be a major investment in a “digital transformation” strategy to improve and improve the product and to deliver the League and its content more effectively to the sport’s digital native audience. Continuing recruitment, building a sophisticated data infrastructure and adapting new technologies are also key to deploying investments.

Regarding the impact of the investment at the level of the game, the strategic direction will extend both on and off the pitch, with initiatives ranging from improving the quality of the game and investment in officiating and officiating development, to upgrading matchday delivery teams. .

Under the new ‘BBL Supports’ program, the League’s player-first approach will be even more prioritized, with players receiving additional support in their basketball and wider career aspirations, as well as additional investments in the player integration process and athlete welfare programs.

The funds will also support the introduction of new technologies into stadiums to improve the fan experience and the broadcast product. Sky Sports is the current broadcast partner of the British Basketball League, showing a league game live every weekend throughout the season.

According to plans, the League is also aiming for at least four new high-quality franchises to be added to the League over the next five years.

Through the BBL Inspires programme, the grassroots of the game will also benefit as the League strengthens its collaboration with clubs on their work in their local communities, to help inspire and develop the next generation of British basketball talent.

A significant portion of future League spending will be dedicated to creating the infrastructure to support clubs with operational, content and marketing initiatives – helping to attract new teams while helping existing clubs continue to build and to extend their reach. This initial investment is designed to act as a catalyst to trigger further significant investments in clubs, also with the aim of creating much improved arenas and training facilities.

The BBL is also committed to increasing its support for women’s football, channeling additional resources to the Women’s Basketball League, and to working with national governing bodies to help develop all levels of the game, including Grande -Brittany. The increased commercialization of all the key assets of the sport in partnership is a key objective of the investment.

Basketball is the second most played team sport in the UK, with a quarter of teenagers playing at least twice a month and 47% of participants from a non-white background – the highest of all sports (*Source: Sport England). There are also over 8.4 million basketball fans living in the UK, demonstrating the significant levels of interest in the sport.

Commenting on the new investment, Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of the British Basketball League said; “To say we are thrilled to have 777 partners on board – as passionate investors who share our vision – is an understatement. We couldn’t be more delighted that, thanks to this significant injection of capital, we are now able to accelerate the great ambitions of the League and unlock the enormous untapped potential that we know the sport of basketball has in this country.

“Basketball is unique in its ability to cross cultural, societal and economic divides and in its ability to engage with a young and diverse audience, so there is enormous potential to harness the transformative power of sport for the benefit of our growing audience and to increase the impact we can have from the grassroots to the top of the professional game.

He added; “Basketball and BBL are coming out of Covid expecting a very positive future, thanks in large part to the support of over £3million from Sport Survival government funding. Now, with this investment from 777 Partners, we can plan for the future with confidence.

Joshua Wander, Managing Partner of 777 Partners, said: “Basketball is undoubtedly a disruptive force for the institutions that dominate British sport. The current barriers to entry and lack of support at all levels of the game have a disproportionate and inequitable impact on disadvantaged and minority communities who stand to benefit from its potential. Observing the systemic forces inhibiting the growth of UK basketball has strengthened our resolve as a stakeholder. We are committed to working closely with clubs and within their respective communities to ensure that our investment is used to incubate the sport more broadly. We thank Sir Rodney, the board and the clubs for the opportunity to do so.

The move expands 777 Partners’ sports portfolio, which also includes La Liga Club Sevilla and Serie A side Genoa, which they bought in September this year. 777 also owns the BBL Club London Lions.

*England Sport Report 2018/2019 https://www.sportengland.org/news/active-lives-children-and-young-people-survey-academic-year-201819-report-published