Today all professional Belgian and Dutch basketball clubs met for a first BeNeLeague info meeting. Besides the clubs, also leagues and federations from both countries were represented. The home court of Heroes Den Bosch in Maaspoort, s' Hertogenbosch served as a podium for the final sprint.
Bob Van Oosterhout, chairman of Heroes Den Bosch and owner of the sports marketing company Triple Double spoke about the branding possibilities of this new story: "With a potential of over 28 million people, the focus will be on the younger generation and we aim to bring a story that really appeals to them."
Both leagues took Hypercube under their wing in 2018. The Dutch company specializes in the economic and sportive design of competitions. Owner Pieter Nieuwenhuis emphasized a structure for governance and an innovative competition format: "The proposed competition format would ensure that clubs would compete against each other twice maximum in one season. This means that the first round of both the regular season and playoffs would be completed domestically, each time followed by a cross-border part of the regular season and playoffs".
Pierre Maes, Sport Media Consultant and also designer of the current media contract of the Pro Basketball League in Belgium, explained the current and potential media landscape in both countries. "This competition will generate even more interest because of its local character. The competition format, in which every game is important, can certainly reinforce this".
Wim van de Keere, General Manager of the Pro Basketball League and Ramses Braakman, Chairman of the Dutch Basketball League, thanked the members of all six working groups who met more than fifty times since March and who laid the foundations of this new basketball project.
Remarkable guest was Toon Gerbrands, General Manager at PSV Eindhoven and also ex-coach of the Dutch Volleyball team. He shared his knowledge about the opportunities and pitfalls at the start of a BeNeLeague competition: "The number of European tickets for basketball is safeguarded by FIBA. This is not the case in soccer, which makes the process last longer".