New format credited for growth of EuroLeague attendance, TV and online figures
The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, European basketball’s top clubs competition, enjoyed record growth across all major indicators in the 2016-17 regular season, following the switch to a new format, according to the organisers.
The figures were announced in a presentation of a report on the season delivered by Jordi Bertomeu, the president and chief executive of Euroleague Basketball, to members of the executive board of Euroleague Commercial Assets at a meeting in Barcelona on Tuesday.
Average in-arena attendance was up 15 per cent, from 7,136 to 8,177, after the adoption of a round-robin regular season of 30 rounds, in place of the old regular season and Top 16 phases.
Meanwhile, the television audience for live games increased by 32 per cent and the online audience by 166 per cent, while there was a 57.5-per-cent rise across all platforms, according to Nielsen.
Elsewhere, there was significant growth in fan engagement on Facebook (+471 per cent), Instagram (+414 per cent) and Twitter (+197 per cent) and a 32-per-cent increase in video views on YouTube.
The new format was introduced as part of a 10-year joint venture with IMG, the international sports agency, and this appears to have had significant commercial benefits with media and sponsorship revenues up 67 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively, on the 2015-16 season.
The eight-team EuroLeague playoffs start next week with the first legs of the best-of-five series, and the season culminates with the Final Four in Istanbul on 19 to 21 May.
There has also been an uplift in eyeballs for the revamped second-tier 7DAYS EuroCup, with the in-arena attendance climbing by 12.6 per cent to 5,112 and online traffic at the official website by 41.5 per cent, and it was pointed out that the increase in the accumulated audience across all platforms since 2012-13 has been in the order of 407 per cent.
At Tuesday’s board meeting it was announced that Salvador Alemany is stepping down as president of Euroleague Basketball’s Management Control Commission.
Alemany, one of the founders of the club-run version of the Euroleague in 2000 and the president of Spanish conglomerate Abertis, is being replaced on the commission by Xavier Brossa, a finance executive with 36 years of experience with PwC, the professional services firm, in Catalonia.
The other members of the commission, which seeks to ensure financial compliance by the clubs, are Daniel Geey, a lawyer for Sheridans Sport in London, and Thomas Braumann, the former president of the Basketball Bundesliga.
Alemany will remain involved with Euroleague Basketball as an adviser to Bertomeu and the ECA shareholders executive board.
In other developments, the Euroleague Basketball Advisory Council has been instituted to propose regulations changes and new basketball rules to enhance the experience of fans.
The new body includes current and former Euroleague players, coaches, referees and club officials and Paul Gils, presently the vice-president EMEA and India for cap company New Era.