The Organisation of the Euroleague Basketball Competition: A Hybrid Sports Governance Model

A seminar as part of the Sport Business Centre Seminar Series

Given by: Emir Güney, PhD Candidate, & Director of The Sports Studies Research Centre, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey

Lecture Theatre B18
Main Birkbeck Building
Torrington Square
Birkbeck College
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Monday 13th May, 2019, at 6pm.

For directions click here.

Attendance at the event is free but you need TO REGISTER ON EVENTBRITE.

Attendance is free and open to all.


Euroleague Basketball (EB) was founded at the end of the 1999-2000 basketball season after which several teams from Spain, Italy and Greece signed a formal petition to organize their own international competition rather than joining FIBA Europe’s competitions (FIBA being the governing body of world basketball). Although being a highly controversial decision, taking into account the governance powers of the national and international federations, these revolutionary teams subsequently received support from other teams and leagues, in the process enabling Euroleague to become the strongest international club basketball competition in Europe. Under EB, both sportingly successful teams and subjectively selected teams compete each season under one umbrella to become the best in Europe.

EB constitutes a hybrid model of sport governance that includes some elements from both the European Model of Sport and the North American Model of Sport. It is an ever-growing and evolving system in which some clubs (the shareholders of EB through the Euroleague Commercial Assets [ECA] company) have permanent licenses to compete almost regardless of their sporting excellence, together with a smaller number of clubs from all around the European national leagues competing to fill the remaining quota of places in the competition.

EB manages the continent’s two premier men’s basketball competitions, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7Days EuroCup, as well the sport’s premier under-18 showcase, the ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT. Both the men’s and junior European champions are crowned each spring at European basketball’s signature weekend event, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four”.

In June 2015, FIBA Europe announced their new competition, the Basketball Champions League, in order to disturb the hegemony represented by the elite European basketball clubs and leagues via EB.

In November 2015, EB agreed to a 10-year marketing agreement with American company IMG, and decided to lower the number of teams in EuroLeague from 24 to 16 and also changed the format from a group phase to a single 16-team league round robin competition.

Following changes by FIBA to the international team match calendar, and an unwillingness of Euroleague to adapt their own match calendar to accommodate these changes,  conflict between EB and FIBA in Europe reached a new level because,  Euroleague match days were now overlapping with FIBA national team competitions schedules.

In November 2018, EB decided to expand its premier division, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague from 16 teams to 18 teams, which brought more pressure to bear on an already troubling scheduling issue between EB and FIBA Europe.

In this presentation, Emir Güney will explain the challenges posed to the traditional European model of sport, which sets as a requirement for qualification to international club competition the achievement of sporting success in national competitions, by the North American model of professional sport competition organisation with its closed league model where membership is dictated by the relative economic power of  teams in the sport, using the illustration of the ongoing dispute between EB and FIBA.



Contact details

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763
Twitter: @Birkbecksport

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