After announcing their intention to revolutionize basketball in Australia in June, Champions League Basketball (CLB) has quietly been going about their business in building towards their inaugural season in winter 2017.
General Manager Matt Hollard advises that his team has been busy laying the foundations to be able to deliver on their promise of an exciting, fast-paced 'big bash' styled league. Their progress includes advancing negotiations with a number of interested parties, including investors, potential team owners and venues across all key markets within Australia, while also expanding the executive team and engaging with the fans.
"We have been having really encouraging discussions so far," shared Hollard on the success of their actions to date.
"There has been interest in a number of states, including Tasmania. We recently announced our first formal partnership and we have also been fortunate enough to add Tracey Browning to the team."
Browning, a former Australian Opal and WNBL Life Member, is a positive addition to the CLB team given her credibility within the sport and her success in business in event management. It also potentially signals that CLB is gaining traction and building momentum.
CLB also recently announced their first partnership, a charity connection with Red Dust Role Models - an organization linked to CLB advisory team member Jason Smith. It is the first of many partnerships that Hollard advises that fans can expect to follow of the remainder of the year.
Those same fans will also get to have a say in the development of the new competition. After promising to engage with basketball fans, Hollard have been making efforts to be visible and getting amongst the fans and across all levels of the game.
"We are trying to get across all levels of the sport," further outlined Hollard.
We want to be seen and make our presence known - Matt Hollard
"We were at the Nunawading Queens Birthday junior tournament in June surveying fans, and also the recent Opals and Japan series. Now we have also just launched our major online fan survey and we hope to get as much feedback as we can."
The CLB fan survey was launched on Wednesday, 29 July with the general public able to provide their input over the next week (Click here for survey). There are some great prizes on offer, including a game of golf with former Australian Boomer and NBA player Chris Anstey, and a chance to go one-on-one with former Australian Boomers captain Jason Smith.
In a further major development, Hollard advised that CLB have also held initial talks with the NBL. Despite not elaborating any further, by all accounts the discussions were positive.
While CLB is unlikely to overcome lingering skepticism as to their ability to deliver the new league as promised, there is no doubting the fact that Hollard and his team continue to make small steps towards achieving their goals. Hollard has advised that we should expect to hear more over coming months. Watch this space.