SBJ/20100823/This Week's News

FIBA event expects revenue jump

The 2010 FIBA World Championship tips off this week in Turkey, with organizers expecting about $50 million in total marketing and television revenue from the event, up 50 percent from the 2006 tournament.

In addition, total ticket revenue, all of which goes to the local organizing committee, is expected to range between $8 million and $10 million.

The quadrennial event is slated to run from Saturday through Sept. 12 in four cities: Ankara, Kayseri, Izmir and Istanbul, site of the championship game.

This is the first time Turkey has hosted the tournament. It was played in Japan in 2006.

FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, has signed 18 partners for this year’s event, led by presenting sponsor Beko, the appliance giant based in Turkey. Other sponsors include Mercedes-Benz, Tissot and Nokia.

FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann:
“Turkey has been a fertile market for us.”

“Our [sponsorship] inventory is about the same but the investment is higher, with all of our deals for at least four to five years with steady revenue growth,” said Patrick Baumann, FIBA’s secretary general. “Turkey has been a fertile market for us. We also are launching for the first time a sponsorship hospitality program with a high level of corporate service, and that has been a new revenue stream for us.”

Also new for the World Championship this year is a television deal with ESPN that was directly negotiated by FIBA. In 2006, ESPN’s rights to the event were negotiated by the NBA. The three-year deal, signed in 2009, gives ESPN rights to the World Championship and other major international basketball tournaments through 2011.

“We felt we are a mature enough property to go to market on our own,” Baumann said.

FIBA keeps all the television rights revenue from the championship, about $25 million, and two-thirds of the marketing rights revenue. The remaining one-third of that stream, about $8 million, goes to the local organizing committee.

In addition, FIBA said it is edging close to a sellout of its ticket inventory for the event, with a total expected attendance of 350,000 spectators. That’s a 10 percent increase in the number of tickets sold compared with 2006, though actual ticket revenue is down from 2006’s total of about $18 million, a decrease Baumann attributed to the value of the Japanese yen in 2006.

“We have sold over 30 percent of the ticket inventory outside Turkey, which is three times as many as in the past,” Baumann said. “That is an encouraging sign for the property.”

The NBA has no marketing rights to the World Championship, though the league does market USA Basketball, which currently has eight sponsors. The league also has a cooperative agreement with FIBA to help promote the World Championship through USA Basketball.

“It is not a formal marketing campaign and we are not putting any dollars into it, but at various times we have helped with promotions,” said Chris Heck, senior vice president of marketing partnerships for the NBA.

Baumann said the NBA has helped produce commercial spots to tout the tournament.

FIBA’s World Championship comes as the NBA continues its push to increase its international footprint, including the recently announced plans to hold in March its first regular-season games in London. Baumann, however, believes the NBA’s global growth does not encroach into FIBA’s reach.

“The NBA does have a growing presence, but it is an asset,” Baumann said. “It can create its own challenges at times, but we are fortunate to have the NBA.”

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