As the basketball season rolls in, the EuroLeague witnessed its annual confluence of masterminds. Top coaches from EuroLeague clubs gathered in the heart of Spain, Barcelona, aligning their strategies with the EuroLeague’s top brass.
The ambience was electrified with the presence of many stalwarts, including the new Officiating Director for Euroleague Basketball, Daniel Hierrezuelo.
The Meeting Ground
The grandeur of Euroleague Basketball’s headquarters in Barcelona played host to this all-important meeting. This meeting wasn’t just a formality; it was a platform for these head coaches to visualize the forthcoming 2023-24 season.
Dejan Bodiroga, the President of Euroleague Basketball, was one of the first to address the august gathering. Alongside him, CEO Paulius Motiejunas voiced his excitement.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome you here. We have this meeting to talk about and reflect on the last season, and also to discuss the present and to talk about our future. It’s not a secret that we are coming off one of the most competitive seasons in the history of the EuroLeague,” Bodiroga remarked.
Further reiterating the sentiment, Motiejunas added:
“I know myself how difficult it is for you to travel and leave your teams in preseason, so we really appreciate you all being here.”
The Play-In Tournament & Calendar Insights
One of the primary discussions centered around the introduction of the new play-in tournament. Diego Guillen d’Arlot de Saint-Saud, the Senior Director of Euroleague Basketball Competitions, unraveled the details about the season calendar.
|Play-in Tournament Introduction
|Diego Guillen d’Arlot de Saint-Saud
|Discussing the structure and potential impact
|Diego Guillen d’Arlot de Saint-Saud
|Outlining key dates, matchups, and milestones
Officiating – A New Vision
Daniel Hierrezuelo, stepping into his role as the Euroleague Basketball Officiating Director, found an ideal setting to introduce himself away from the courts. He laid down some pivotal changes, especially around referee assignments. Daniel’s vision for the upcoming three years resonated with the room’s energy.
“I want to share with you the vision for the next three years. Talking about the project, we want to achieve our own identity and improve referee quality,” explained Hierrezuelo.
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan’s head coach, Ettore Messina, summed up the importance of these discussions.
“I think every day, every year and every season, we can get better in that regard,” Messina reflected.
Engaging the Fans
EuroLeague’s popularity isn’t just confined to the stadium bleachers. Alex Ferrer Kristjansson, the Senior Director for Marketing and Communication at Euroleague Basketball, presented impressive numbers around the league’s digital footprint. The discussion revolved around fan engagement across television, social media platforms, and other digital arenas.
- Television: Record-breaking viewership.
- Social Media: Engagement levels at an all-time high.
- Digital Platforms: Consistent growth in online fan interactions.
During this segment, coaches voiced their perspectives, suggesting potential tweaks and new inclusions.
While these meetings act as a beacon for the upcoming season, they also offer a reflection on the past. Last season’s competitiveness was not just an internal acknowledgment but was felt by the coaches, players, and fans alike.
Chus Mateo, the head coach for Real Madrid, didn’t hold back his appreciation.
“I think there is no competition like the EuroLeague right now. It’s very tough to reach the playoffs,” Mateo articulated.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul’s head coach, Erdem Can, emphasized the importance of these collaborative discussions.
“We coaches see each other, yes, but especially talking about the common topics for the EuroLeague season, [it’s crucial] not just to get better as an organization but also to show the sense that we want to get better as basketball,” he stressed.
The annual meeting of EuroLeague’s top coaching talents with the management isn’t just a tradition; it’s a promise. A promise of a season filled with strategic brilliance, athletic excellence, and undying passion for the game.
From the discussions in Barcelona, it’s evident that the 2023-24 season of EuroLeague Basketball is gearing up to be a spectacle like no other. The roadmap has been set, and now it’s game time!