World Basketball Summit promises to bring basketball together

This article was produced in association with FIBA

Why is FIBA holding the World Basketball Summit?

As the international governing body for basketball our mission is to develop and promote the game worldwide as well as support our National Member Federations and the many other stakeholders in the sport to maximise their potential.

The World Basketball Summit is a great new initiative which supports that process. It’s hugely exciting because, for the very first time, it will bring together leading figures not only from our National Federations but also from leagues and clubs as well as the media and business sectors which support the sport to meet and discuss the issues and opportunities we face.

The theme of the conference, ‘Building the Future of Basketball Together,’ sums up not only its objectives but the spirit in which it is being held. It is about sharing and collaboration across the global basketball family.

Why now?

This is the perfect time to launch the World Basketball Summit because there is so much happening in the sport and so many important subjects to discuss.

These are momentous times for basketball as we begin to see the positive results of changes we have introduced to our competition system to ensure maximum exposure for national teams and the primacy of the FIBA Basketball World Cup which will be hosted across eight cities in China next year.

In the past it had been played in the same summer as the FIFA World Cup which tended to hoover-up media attention in many parts of the world. By moving it to 2019 – and then every fourth year – we are creating space for the competition to flourish worldwide. Couple this with regular Qualifiers over 18 months which ensure that, for the first time, every national team gets to play games on home soil in front of their own fans and we are confident that the FIBA Basketball World Cup will have new meaning and a fresh resonance.

National teams are key to the future popularity of basketball. They engage with fans and inspire youngsters to play the game more than anything else.

At the same time, we are seeing the rise of 3×3 basketball which has proved a major success since its introduction little more than a decade ago. It has its own World Cup, a World Tour and, in addition to being part of the Youth Olympic Games, is now part of the programme of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

3×3 basketball is the biggest urban team sport in the world and we see it as integral to the future of basketball. It provides thrilling action which makes it a magnet for young people. In many cases it gives them their first taste of the game and allows them to develop essential skills as players.

There are just two of the hot topics which are sure to be discussed at the World Basketball Summit, where we’ll look to ways of ensuring that all stakeholders have the knowledge and insight they need to be able to benefit from the momentum we continue to build.

And why China?

In fact, this will be the first of three World Basketball Summits which will be held in the historic city of Xi’an in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

China has demonstrated to the world their capability for hosting international grand events; FBWC 2019 is obviously one of them. Therefore, we are delighted that China will host the Summit as well, and thank the Local Organising Committee, city and provincial governments for their valuable input and hard work to make it a success.

There is a tremendous appetite for basketball in China, where it outranks soccer in popularity. The China Basketball Association (CBA) is experiencing strong growth under the leadership of Yao Ming (pictured) and the outlook is positive. More than 100 million Chinese fans watched their National Team in the final of the FIBA Asia Cup the last time they won it in 2015! There is also a great passion both for the 20-team domestic league (CBA) and for the NBA, which has had an active presence in the country for many years and has helped to cultivate the sport’s popularity.

This year’s NBA China Games, between the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers, will be played after the World Basketball Summit in Shanghai on October 5 and in Shenzhen on October 8.

There are many lessons to be learned from the way that basketball in China has grown over the years and they will be shared with the audience at the World Basketball Summit.

Will the NBA be part of the Summit?

Yes of course. In fact, commissioner Adam Silver and his deputy Mark Tatum were among the first to agree to take part and we are delighted to have them on board.

The NBA is an important part of the FIBA family and a great supporter of our work to grow the game around the world, so they are obviously one of the main actors of the Summit.

FIBA and the NBA work closely together on a range of projects such as Basketball Without Borders, our global development and community relations outreach programme.

The NBA is, by any measure, a global league. The world’s best players want to pursue careers with NBA clubs and its worldwide popularity plays an important role in creating excitement about our sport on every continent and encourages youngsters to get involved.

What’s on the agenda?

The World Basketball Summit will be structured around a number of key themes, each of which will focus on identifying opportunities and strategies for improvement and growth. Each strand will consist of a keynote address from an acknowledged global expert on the subject followed by a discussion by panels chosen to reflect the experience and interest of relevant stakeholder groups.

Among the topics which will be discussed are successful strategies for growing the sport worldwide, optimising the value of leagues and their clubs, how media and technology will shape the future of basketball, maximising the value of the relationship between basketball and brands and the role that our sport can play in society.

Who will be involved?

This is an event for the whole basketball family and the businesses which work in and around it. It is an opportunity to meet, share and to learn. Every session is designed to deliver maximum value to delegates who will come from all over the world and represent every stakeholder group. In addition to representatives of the federations represented by FIBA, participants will include leagues and clubs, players’ organisations, educational bodies, media and technology companies and the brands which forge strong and mutually profitable relationships with the sport.

Naturally there will be a strong presence from the host city and nation among the speakers and panellists as well as delegates.

Our speakers are not only experts in their subjects but visionaries capable of delivering fresh, thought-provoking perspectives which challenge and inspire as well as inform. Our goal is to ensure delegates return from the Summit better motivated and equipped to play a role in Building the Future of Basketball Together.

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