World Basketball Summit 2018 | Building China’s basketball legacy

This article was produced in association with Fiba

Leaders of world basketball and the business of sport will be in Xi’an, China, on October 3 and 4 to take part in the inaugural World Basketball Summit, a ground-breaking event which promises stimulating, thought-provoking and practical discussion on key issues around the sport as China prepares to host next year’s Fiba World Cup.

According to Fiba secretary general Patrick Baumann, who will be among the keynote speakers, the World Basketball Summit will be an important part of China’s Fiba World Cup legacy.

“Bringing the first World Basketball Summit to China underscores Fiba’s commitment to supporting the growing Chinese basketball family and helping the Chinese Basketball Association in growing the sport in China. The event will emphasise the importance of China as a member of the global basketball family and is one of the legacy projects we are investing in for the future,” he said.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will join Casey Wasserman (chief executive of Wasserman, pictured) and Philippe Blatter, (chief executive of Infront Sports marketing and vice-president of Wanda) among the high-profile speakers at the World Basketball Summit which sets out to explore ways of ‘Building the Future of Basketball Together’.

“This is an important event for our sport and I am delighted that it is being hosted in Xi’an, one of China’s most historic cities where the passion for basketball burns bright,” said Baumann.

“This is a time of great opportunity for both Chinese and global basketball. The World Basketball Summit will capture the spirit of excitement around the sport right now and act as a forum for sharing knowledge and great ideas, which will help our federations and other stakeholders to achieve their development and business goals. That in turn helps grow the sport and makes it stronger worldwide. As the CBA pushes further the reforms in basketball, Fiba looks forward to bringing more knowledge and education to China to improve the level of players, coaches, referees and club managers.

“It is also a perfect prelude to the Fiba World Cup 2019, which is set to be the ultimate celebration of international basketball. With 32 teams taking part for the first time there will be 92 games over 16 days between August 31 and September 15 in world-class arenas in eight Chinese cities.

“The city of Xi’an and the whole of Shaanxi Province share China’s national passion for basketball and I am grateful to the City for hosting the World Basketball Summit, which helps cement the strong relationship between the China and our sport,” he said.

The Summit programme is built around eight complementary content blocks, each focusing on a group of issues at the heart of the conversation in and around basketball.

It covers the role of the federations which are developing the sport; the responsibilities and opportunities for clubs which have a season-long media presence; sponsorship; the importance of technology in engaging with young fans; basketball’s place in society and its power to change lives; and the emergence of 3×3 basketball as a powerful building block for the successful future of the sport.

“The programme has been designed to cover many of the subjects which are of the greatest importance to all those building the future of basketball in China,” said Baumann.

“This World Basketball Summit will attract speakers and delegates from all continents. It is a truly global event which reflects the tremendous growth being experienced worldwide. The timing is perfect because at the next World Cup we will 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.

“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 continuing 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.

“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.”

The role of federations and their national teams and the development of 3×3 are just two of the key subjects to be covered during the Summit, which also includes a programme of social and networking events for delegates.

“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to meet so many of the people whose expertise in fields ranging from technology and media to coaching and development are shaping our sport and ensuring that basketball continues to grow,” Baumann added.

“The 21st century sporting landscape is fascinating but complex and constantly changing. Basketball in China is proof thereof. By bringing these world-leading experts together with different stakeholders in our sport to discuss the opportunities and challenges we face, we aim to equip everybody with the insight and knowledge they will need to play a part in building the future of basketball together.”

On the agenda:


Representatives of national federations discuss effective basketball development strategies covering their roles; schools and colleges; expectations on governments; achieving the best ROI; and the development of young pro players.


Successful commercial partnerships in sport are built on near-symbiotic relationships between brands and the competitions, teams and athletes they sponsor. Questions to be asked include: what can basketball properties worldwide do to build more productive, profitable and enduring relationships with sponsors, and how does the sport get a bigger slice of growing sponsorship budgets?


It’s no secret that China’s sports sector is growing spectacularly, and government policy is driving the growth. This session looks at how China’s basketball development program is creating sporting, commercial and social opportunities both in its domestic market and abroad.

Leagues and Clubs

National leagues and their clubs provide season-long engagement with fans and drive national media coverage. But with the cost of operating successfully soaring and growing competition for fans’ time and money, how can basketball build and maintain entertaining and competitive national leagues with strong and stable club brands that provide a talent pipeline for national teams?

Technology and fan engagement

Our experts examine how basketball gets ahead and stays ahead of the curve as young consumers look to new ways of watching sport and entertainment, focusing on the role being played by fast-developing media and technologies in maximizing engagement with the fans and, consequently, the next generation of players.


A focus on basketball’s proven power to change lives, drawing on examples which illustrate the success of projects in areas where society is suffering because of ethnic conflict, warfare or gang violence. The panel will discuss how the focus on basketball-related activity contributes to healing and resolution as well as personal development as an educational tool.

The Future

With 3×3 grabbing the imagination of a new generation, panelists discuss the impact of basketball’s exciting street variant, its future development potential and the relationship to the ‘Mother Sport’ in the years ahead.

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