- NBA and Barclays Premier League Hold Breakfast Discussion Before Senior Executives from Business and Sport –

-Discussion entitled ‘From Local to Global: The Challenges of Success’ -

LONDON, August 11, 2012 - NBA Commissioner David Stern and Barclays Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore took part in an open discussion panel on Thursday at NBA House in Covent Garden, London, in the presence of leading figures from the world of sports and business.

The discussion entitled ‘From Local to Global: The Challenges of Success’ saw Stern and Scudamore discuss the development of the NBA and the Barclays Premier League over recent years and their commonalities, as well as the challenges they face as their respective brands become global entities. Stern and Scudamore, who between them have over five decades of leadership experience in the sports industry, also shared views on player development, community initiatives, ownership structure, revenue sharing and legacy. Focusing on the continued globalization of the respective leagues and of the sports industry in general, the breakfast discussion explored the strategic priorities for each league in the complex sporting landscape.

Hosted by the BBC’s Mark Pougatch, the discussion provided a fascinating insight into the shared global ambitions of both leagues, while highlighting differences between the two organizations and provided a platform for an exchange of shared ideas and goals.

Both Stern and Scudamore discussed the challenges of maintaining local market relevance while also helping to grow their respective leagues internationally. The protagonists agreed that maintaining relevance to a team’s local fan base and its roots remained the priority and that global success would only come as a result of having a solid foundation at a local level. They also highlighted the desire to ensure that teams reinvest in their communities and develop programmes focused on fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle.

David Stern said, “The game begins with each of our 30 teams in their local markets. If you lose that connectivity to your local fans and what the team means to the community…you don't really have a firm foundation to expose your brand and grow yourself internationally.”

Richard Scudamore said, “It is essential that we show what sport can do in communities because I think really it is an obligation on us to do that. Sport is so much more than just the 90 minutes, in our case, of the game. It has a much more; it has a much wider role to play and it is very important for us that we do that.”

Discussing the challenges of the expansion abroad Stern said, “You’ve got to get out there and support the overall spread of the product by playing games in the market or in different time zones.” He added, “In the future, you’ll see a shift as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics are in Brazil, you will see more of a focus by us on Latin America. And it’s impossible to ignore Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and South East Asia.”

Scudamore also acknowledged the importance of the growth of the league internationally, but through other means than the NBA’s model. He said "It is essential that if you’re going to go abroad, you go and try and recreate as best you can the exact same experience as here. And that isn’t just a match experience; that’s also the experience around community, around what sport can do because again, globally as you travel the world, people don’t actually see immediately the power of sport in terms of development, in terms of integration and social cohesion."

The event was attended by an invite-only audience of influential sports executives and business leaders including:

  • Louis Susman, US Ambassador for the UK
  • Stan Kroenke, Owner of the Denver Nuggets and majority shareholder of Arsenal FC
  • Clayton Bennett, Owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Ian Ritchie, CEO, Rugby Football Union
  • Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of USA Basketball
  • Patrick Vieira, former French international and Football Development Executive, Manchester City Football Club
  • Jordi Bertomeu, CEO Euroleague Basketball