Monday, September 13, 2010

NBL Launch

Plenty of big news coming out of the NBL launch today in Sydney. Great to see the league securing some sponsors and hopefully its another step back in the right direction.

NBL rebounds with iiNet

The resurgence of the National Basketball League has continued to gather pace with Basketball Australia announcing today that iiNet, Australia’s fastest growing Internet Service Provider, has signed a three-year deal as the Naming Rights Partner for the NBL.

The agreement will run through the end of the 2012/13 season and will see the competition officially known as the iiNet NBL Championship.

BA’s Chief Executive Officer, Larry Sengstock, unveiled the partnership at today’s official launch of the 2010/11 NBL Season, which was held at the prestigious Quay Restaurant on Sydney’s harbour.

Sengstock said the new partnership with iiNet gives the NBL competition an incredibly strong platform for growth.

“We’ve made some major strides in moving the NBL forward in the past 12 months, and it’s vital as that process continues that we work with strong and supportive partners who share our vision,” said Sengstock.

“In iiNet we now have a naming rights partner who is clearly established as a forward-thinking and innovative leader in the business world. We believe we share a lot of brand synergies and they will complement us perfectly as we continue to reinvigorate the NBL brand.

“They are committed to assisting us leverage the partnership and provide us tangible momentum and real confidence to further invest in the NBL brand.”

Speaking at the launch, iiNet Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Sam McDonagh, agreed that the rapidly growing telecommunications company was a perfect fit for the competition.

“iiNet is thrilled to be partnering with Basketball Australia – it’s a massive sport at a grass roots level and now it’s making a comeback at the highest level of the game,” said McDonagh.

“We know what it’s like to have big ambitions, iiNet started in a garage to become the leading challenger for internet services in Australia, so we’re keen to take basketball in Australia to the next level.

“Australians love sport and together we have an opportunity to help bring basketball to households across the country. Trust us – it’s going to be big,” adds McDonagh.

In recent months, the NBL has made some significant announcements, including the return of the league to free-to-air television via a five-year deal with Network Ten and its digital sports channel ONE, as well as the resurrection of the Sydney Kings as the NBL’s ninth team.

The NBL has also recently signed AND1 as the league’s Official Apparel Supply Partner of the NBL and its teams; together with Spalding as the Official Ball of the NBL.

The iiNet NBL Championship Season tips-off on 15 October, and all nine teams will gather in the Northern Territory from 28 September to 2 October to participate in the official ‘Top End Challenge’ pre-season tournament.


On the same day that Basketball Australia announced that it had secured iiNet as Naming Rights Partner for the National Basketball League for the next three years, BA also revealed that it had signed a major partnership for the NBL with Centrebet.

Under the terms of the deal, Centrebet will be the Official Sports Betting Partner of the NBL for the next two years.

Centrebet, who were first licensed as a sports bookmaker in 1992, already have in place partnerships with several major sporting codes including the AFL and NRL.

BA Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock said the new partnership was further evidence that the NBL was continuing to enjoy a massive upswing in its commercial attractiveness.

“Centrebet are one of Australia’s leading sports betting providers and they have recognised that the NBL is making major strides commercially,” said Sengstock. “They have a history of being ahead of the curve and in 1996 were the first licensed bookmaker in the Southern Hemisphere to offer online sports betting. Clearly they see that the NBL is poised to move its business to a whole new level.”

“As a sport we’ve undergone a massive structural transformation in the past two years in order to put ourselves in a position to reap commercial rewards, and we are now starting to see the tangible benefits of that hard work,” added Sengstock.

“Sports betting in Australia is hugely popular and wagering on basketball is a large part of that industry that generates millions of dollars. Basketball has lagged behind other codes until now in terms of reaping the rewards of that public expenditure but this new partnership will see some of that money flow back into basketball and be reinvested in the sport.”

In the past few months the NBL has signed new long-term commercial partnerships with Network Ten and its digital sports channel One as broadcast partner, iiNet as Naming Rights Partner, AND1 as official Apparel Supply Partner and Spalding as Official Ball partner. The NBL has also signed an agreement with Sky Television as its broadcast partner in New Zealand.

Luke Brill, Head of Marketing and Gaming at, said Centrebet was excited about the new partnership.

“Centrebet are delighted to be the Official Sports Betting Partner of the NBL,” Brill said. “This partnership includes full integration with all the broadcast media and branding throughout the competition.The opportunity to be part of the future of the NBL is very exciting for us at Centrebet and we truly buy into the vision for the sport.”


The National Basketball League has unveiled a new national marketing campaign that brings to life the unique elements of the sport of basketball at its launch of the 2010/11 NBL season in Sydney today.

The campaign centres on a television commercial which will launch in October before the season commences on October 15, and will be supported by an underpinning targeted national advertising campaign.

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock said the campaign focused on the unique advantages basketball has over other sports.

“Unlike competing codes, the National Basketball League’s appeal is that from the moment the game starts until the final siren – anything can happen anytime,” said Sengstock. “There are no nil-all draws, no drawn-out penalty kicks, no waiting for a result – it is non-stop action for the whole family.

“The point of difference for the NBL is linked to a key part of the game structure – the 24-second shot clock. The constant action and urgency created by the ever reducing shot clock means that players are always on the edge – looking for the next quick pass, the next screen and the unexpected shot.

“The feeling of needing to beat the shot clock leads to the insight that for the players, that shot clock drives the demand that a great shot is put up before the clock ticks down. Every play has to have urgency. Every play has to count. Every play could change the game. Every play has explosive potential.

“The campaign will underline the NBL’s promise of being one of the most exciting spectator sports for fans at the game or watching on TV,” Sengstock concluded.

The key brand device that brings this to life is an explosive basketball. Using the image best remembered from cartoons and old Hollywood movies, the exploding ball device captures the feeling of impending action and extraordinary explosive action on court and off.

The campaign, which has been produced by strategic agency shift.101 and award-winning creative agency 12:20, has the full support of all nine NBL clubs, who have welcomed the idea as a fresh and exciting approach to the marketing of the NBL.

VIDEO: Click here to see a teaser for the new NBL campaign.

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