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SBD Global/March 4, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Nascent British Basketball Association Looking For American Investors

The British Basketball Association is "putting on a full court press to entice investors for a new pro league they hope to establish in the U.K. next year," according to Mark Koba of CNBC. They are "seeking American dollars." With names like former NBA player and British born John Amaechi and former NFL wide receiver Lynn Swann on its management team, the BBL "has stretched out the welcome mat in the U.S. by opening up an office in Lower Manhattan." For $5M, an investor or group of investors can get a 40% stake in "one of the initial eight franchises" in U.K. cities like London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds and Belfast. Venues for the games with at least a 5,000 seat capacity "would be rented in those cities." BBA Founder, CEO and Commissioner Ron Scott said that the aim is to "eventually become more like the NBA in terms of business structure, but the idea now is to get the league going and aim for more owner freedom down the road." At least one analyst said the BBA is "headed in the right direction." Robert Boland, academic chair of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management at the New York University said, "This is a good way to go for a start up league. The greatest danger to a start-up league is that one or two owners would have the resources to get better players, and that could just blow the other teams up financially as they tried to keep pace" (CNBC, 3/1).
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