AFL Hawthorn Partners With NBL Expansion Club Melbourne Phoenix
Australian Football League side Hawthorn will "dip a toe in the basketball boom," joining forces with National Basketball League expansion side South East Melbourne Phoenix, according to Gilbert Gardiner of the HERALD SUN. The NBL and Hawthorn will confirm the "strategic partnership" on Wednesday, with the Hawks set to help put the Phoenix "on the map" in the region. The Hawks see the NBL "as an opportunity to diversify revenue streams," a key part of the club's 2050 Vision, and a "step into the sports management and governance sphere." The new deal "could open the door for the Hawks to one day own a slice of the Phoenix." L.A.-based Phoenix Owner Romie Chaudhari brokered the landmark deal making Hawthorn the first AFL club to partner with an NBL team. Chaudhari said, "They're a model sports club, they have a proven track record, both on and off the field. They have set a standard we look to build into our fabric here with the Phoenix family" (HERALD SUN, 11/27).