A new step in the continuous growth of the 7DAYS EuroCup was made on Wednesday and Thursday when its 2018-19 season head coaches gathered at Euroleague Basketball headquarters to discuss and plan the competition's future during the first week of the EB Institute Annual Workshops.
The first two-day EuroCup Head Coaches Meeting ever held was designed to allow the professionals on the team benches, who have helped lift the quality of Europe's second-best competition, to learn from Euroleague Basketball executives about future goals and to offer their own suggestions about how to raise its profile and impact with fans.
The coaches heard from Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball's President and CEO, that those plans call for greater ongoing integration of standards and best practices between the EuroCup in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
"We are proud that we have managed to consolidate our competitions and today we have the top two competitions in Europe," Mr. Bertomeu said. "There are no doubts about this, and now we have to understand the role of the EuroCup. It's not only the teams thinking their future is in the EuroLeague and this is the path. But this competition itself is becoming stronger and stronger. And next season will be the strongest in EuroCup history, with almost half of the 24 teams having recently played – and played well – in the EuroLeague."
"Players want to play in the EuroCup and the EuroCup is the first door to go to the EuroLeague, which is the maximum level," Maurizio Buscaglia of Dolomiti Energia Trento said. "In the end, you really feel it is one European basketball."
Many of the coaches heard for the first time about the Euroleague Basketball business structure and strategies, the integrated marketing principles being applied to its competitions, and the digital and social media avenues to bring the protagonists closer to the fans.
"We are getting a lot of information on how the competition works and how Euroleague Basketball is built as a business model," Luis Casimiro, head coach of Unicaja Malaga, said. "That is good to know where we stand - sometimes we hear a lot of things but reality may be different to what people say. It is much better to get this knowledge to know where we come from and defend the competition we are playing in."
The coaches were brought up to date on recent improvements in the competition, highlighted by last season being the first in which the centralized management of broadcast rights and uniformly high standards of television production made the EuroCup brand stand out more than ever.
Alex Ferrer Kristjansson, Euroleague Basketball's Senior Director, Marketing and Communications, presented an analysis of both the current strengths and plans for improvement of the EuroCup, including the need to lift the competition's recognition to the same level of its impressive quality. Plans for the future include a dramatic increase in digital content both on and off the court in order to highlight all the talent, drama and growth in the EuroCup.
"There is an appetite from basketball fans for quality basketball and the EuroCup represents that," Mr. Ferrer Kristjansson said. "It's our job to make sure they become more and more aware of that quality, because we have seen that as the awareness grows the response of the fans matches the dynamism of EuroCup games."
The EuroCup coaches spent all day Thursday meeting with the members of the Euroleague Basketball Officiating Department to review together all the on-court situations that make games more clear and dynamic for the participants and for the fans.
The upcoming 2018-19 7DAYS EuroCup season, featuring 24 clubs from nine domestic leagues and 12 territories, will launch with the regular season draw on Thursday, July 5, sending the coaches forward to map their teams' way to glory starting in October.
"The EuroCup, like the EuroLeague, is getting stronger," Sasa Obradovic, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar head coach, said. "The business plan is there, and you definitely see improvements. EuroCup as a competition will be stronger next year, and I really expect big improvements in the future."