SBJ/20100823/This Week's News

New name likely for FIBA World Championship

This year’s FIBA World Championship may be the last. Four years from now, the event could be known as the World Cup.

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has been considering switching the name for more than a year, with possibilities such as the FIBA World Cup, the Basketball World Cup or the World Cup of Basketball being discussed. The federation’s board is expected to vote on a name change in 2011.

“It’s a work in progress, and it seems like a likely outcome for the 2014 championship,” said FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann. “It’s not yet a decision, but people are getting more and more friendly with the idea, and that helps.”

Baumann said FIBA is working with organizers of the 2014 World Championship in Spain to develop an alternative logo and marketing plan should the name change.

By changing the name, FIBA executives hope the property would be more recognizable worldwide. Soccer, rugby and cricket all call their international championships a world cup. FIBA would be looking to borrow from the equity those sports have established.

NBA Commissioner David Stern has been one of the biggest proponents of the name change, Baumann said. He added that changing the name would benefit corporate and broadcast partners promoting the event.

“In some markets, it’s easier to identify the event,” Baumann said. “It will be debated. Right now, organizers [in Spain] feel there’s some value in changing the event [name].”

Baumann said he’s not concerned that there would be confusion between the FIFA World Cup and a FIBA World Cup. He suggested the organization could call the event the Basketball World Cup to avoid any confusion between the events.

“I’m not sure we can find many disadvantages,” Baumann said. “Change can be good sometimes.”

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