The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with GCBH LP, a United States entity backed by experienced sports and media investors, in a bid to take Basketball Champions League (BCL) to the next level and reshape the landscape of club competitions.
Under the terms of the strategic partnership agreement, FIBA and GCBH have formed a new entity, majority owned and controlled by FIBA, called FIBA ClubCo, to jointly hold their shareholding in BCL.
Together, GCBH and FIBA will partner with 11 European national basketball leagues and the Union of European Leagues of Basketball to provide equity funding and targeted know-how to BCL to further improve, develop and commercialise the competition for the benefit of fans, players and clubs.
Additionally, FIBA ClubCo will also hold and develop the newly revamped Intercontinental Cup, which features the winners of FIBA's continental competitions and the champions of the National Basketball Association (NBA) G League, and possibly other international club competitions in the future.
GCBH is said to bring important financial capital and resources, as well as expertise in the fields of media, broadcasting, digital rights, sports commercialisation, sponsorship and growth investing.
It is led by principals Brian Bailey and Kevin Tsujihara.
Bailey is a 25-year private equity industry veteran who has held senior positions at the Carlyle Group, Carmichael Partners, Carousel Capital and Forstmann Little & Company.
Tsujihara is a dynamic media executive who spent nearly 25 years at Warner Bros. Entertainment, including six years as chief executive, with a lifetime passion and business interests in basketball.
They are supported by a select group of investors and operating partners holding senior industry positions.
"Following our partnership with the NBA in Africa to launch the Basketball Africa League, we are glad to conclude another important agreement for our club competitions, this time focused on BCL and the Intercontinental Cup," FIBA President Hamane Niang said.
FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis added: "It is an important day for FIBA and our National Federations, leagues and clubs.
"FIBA confirms its commitment to offer a platform of growth to clubs around Europe and beyond.
"A group of prominent investors with media expertise will significantly assist us in achieving the strategic objective approved by the FIBA Congress last August, that is to shape international club competitions."
BCL has been the source of a dispute between the organisation and EuroLeague, with both clashing over ownership of the European club game.
Europe's top sides broke away from FIBA in 2000 to form part of the Euroleague tournament.
The BCL, established by FIBA, was designed to replace the EuroLeague as the top-level competition on the continent when it was created in 2016.
"This new partnership and initial investment signifies an important step in the continuous growth of the BCL and its mission to offer a competitive environment of the highest level," BCL chief executive Patrick Comninos said.
"We are very pleased that experienced industry leaders such as Brian and Kevin share our vision regarding the potential for growth that club basketball has in Europe."
Bailey added: "Kevin and I are both incredibly excited about the explosive growth opportunities in basketball, the world's fastest-growing and second-largest sport, with nearly 1.5 billion fans worldwide, and we are very enthusiastic about FIBA's vision for international club basketball competitions.
"We also share FIBA's values of meritocracy and inclusiveness in sports and we are fully supportive of FIBA's important role in developing and promoting the sport that we love."