The Year of Women’s Basketball, an 18-month campaign by FIBA Europe aimed at highlighting women´s basketball and increasing recognition and respect for the sport in Europe, officially ended during EuroBasket Women 2007 in Chieti, Italy.
With the best of Europe battling on the floor and a variety of expositions of female uniforms- including one featuring their past, present and future -taking place off of it, there was plenty to occupy and educate fans.
“We invested heavily in the project, both financially and in terms of resources” said FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin.
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|Young players in Ireland pose as a promotion for The Year Of Women's Basketball.|
“Women’s basketball deserves this type of attention and promotion.”
Approximately 80% of all national federations, from Italy to Romania, to Ireland, have been active in the Year of Women’s Basketball. A number of different activities took place such as clinics, congresses, fund raisers and special practices. All the efforts were supported by a wide range of promotional materials which helped to raise the profile of women’s basketball.
While Russia’s Ilona Korstin was the public face of the project, about half of the federations appointed their own local spokesperson who helped promote the project.
Although the Year of Women’s Basketball has officially ended, FIBA Europe’s commitment to growing the sport has not. The signature hot pink colour and the popular logo will continue to be used on marketing material and at FIBA Europe events.
The Year of Women’s Basketball has identified five areas deemed important to the future growth of the game, all if which will be targeted in the coming years.
First is the organisation of season-opening events in which all league games in the first round will be played at one location. More and more countries are using this great idea, illustrated by the French who open LFB play with “Basket in the City”, which has been successful in stimulating fan interest and generating positive publicity for the women’s game.
FIBA Europe also will invest more in exploring new technologies such as providing feeds of games on the internet, developing and implementing social activities for players and teams and the creation of more feminine uniforms with the ultimate goal to create a European identity for the women’s game.
“A lot of great people have worked very hard on this project,” commented Zanolin.
“It has allowed us to establish an even more extensive network of contacts in the world of women’s basketball than we already had. That same group of valuable people will continue to work hard on promoting women’s basketball.”