|29 April 2004|
The FIBA Europe League concluded 6 months of competition last week, culminating in the Final Four which was held in Kazan, Russia.
Hapoel Samsung Tel Aviv (ISR), Ural Great Perm (RUS), TIM Maroussi Athens (GRE) and Unics Kazan (RUS) were the 4 teams that qualified to the season finale and it was home team Kazan that emerged victorious, defeating Maroussi 87:63 to earn $150,000 for the season.
The FIBA Europe League is one of four club competitions organised and administrated by FIBA Europe, basketball’s official governing body.
The FIBA Europe League was created in May 2003 following the annual General Assembly of FIBA Europe’s 50 member basketball federations in Seville, Spain.
The participating clubs were registered by June 2003 and a General Assembly of the clubs took place in July between FIBA Europe and the participants, consisting of clubs from 17 countries. A FIBA Europe League Council was elected consisting of 5 club and 3 FIBA Europe representatives.
|Hidayet Turkoglu made a special appearance at the FEL draw in July 2003|
It was decided that all income derived from the FIBA Europe League would be distributed to the participants in a bonus system. The clubs that advanced to the latter stages of the competition would receive more than those who did not make it past the qualification round.
The first games tipped off on 14th October 2003.
Marketing and Television
At the General Assembly of the clubs it was decided that FIBA Europe would investigate any marketing opportunities for the FIBA Europe League.
2 marketing deals were signed for the FIBA Europe League
Television rights were retained by the clubs. 24 teams had their games broadcast on television. Of those 24 teams, 13 had their games shown on national television stations and 14 had their games broadcast live.
430,000 fans attended FIBA Europe League games during the season. 11 clubs averaged more than 2,000 spectators per game and 3 clubs averaged more than 4,500.
A total of over $1,000,000 was generated over the course of the season through marketing and television rights.
$540,000 was distributed among all the participating clubs, $420,000 of which der
ives from the FIBA Europe League’s official sponsors. A further $120,000 was raised as marketing and television revenue from the All Star Day.
|Michael Wright was selected MVP of the All-Star Day in Kiev|
In addition, $530,000 in prize money was available to the participating teams of the Final Four and consequently they will receive a total amount of approximately:
1st Place (Unics Kazan) - $150,000
2nd Place (Maroussi Athens) - $120,000
3rd Place (Hapoel Tel Aviv) - $95,000
4th Place (Ural Great Perm) - $70,000
Fibaeurope.com served as the official competition web site. The site contains all of the results, statistics, standings, team rosters, game reports, pictures and news on all of the participating teams.
The FIBA Europe League section was consistently the most-visited area of fibaeurope.com. The number of visitors increased 800% over the course of the season.
Fibaeurope.com received a total of over 700,000 visits and 3.9 million pageviews during the FIBA Europe League season from internet users in 160 countries.
The All-Star Experience
It was agreed at the General Assembly of the clubs that an All-Star game was to be held during the FIBA Europe League season.
The game was held in Kiev, Ukraine on March 16th 2004. A capacity 8,000 crowd came to the Sports Palace in Kiev to watch the game, which pitted Europe v. Rest of the World. As well as the game, which was won by the Rest of the World 91:84, the fans were treated to musical performances from Boney M, Viagra, Meladze and a slam-dunk show by the Slamnation in the 4-hour extravaganza.
Players were selected through a poll of the head coaches of the participating teams as well as an internet poll in which over 100,000 votes were registered
The Final Four
|UNICS Kazan - 2004 FIBA Europe League Champions|
The Final Four was held in Kazan, Russia at the brand new,8,000 seat Basket Hall.
110 international journalists attended the event. Games were broadcast live in several countries in Europe and online statistics were available on fibaeurope.com.
“Overall we are happy with the success of the this year’s FIBA Europe League,” said Executive Director Nar Zanolin.
“When you consider the amount of time we had to set up the competition, the result is very encouraging. One of the most positive aspects was the working atmosphere and we really felt that all the clubs banded together to try to make the competition as successful as possible.”
“Like with any organisation, there is definitely room for improvement, but with this year’s experience under our belt, we are confident of hosting a bigger and better competition next season.”