NBA will conquer the African continent


SPORTS ENTERPRISES SURVEILLANCE – Thanks to his godly star, Mr. Stephen Curry, the Golden States Warriors won the 2022 NBA championship. What if France became Olympic champions in 2024 thanks to Joel Embiid? For now, the Cameroonian NBA superstar has taken administrative steps to be selected for the Blues. The Sixers center situation raises 2 key issues and many other questions that are (finally) considered by the NBA to develop basketball in Africa, a continent full of talent and fans.

Félix Indaye is a retired professional basketball player who joined the ranks of the American university championship, graduated with a Masters 2 in Marketing of sports offers and a Bachelor of International Business, is an expert in the commercial use of sports products. Article co-authored with ISEM students Damien Conrad, Aymeric Mercier and Antoine Frisch | Kedge BS.

In 2019, the Basketball Africa League (BAL) was created in collaboration with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The competition is split between 12 teams from 12 different countries divided into 2 conferences (Sahara and Nile) similar to the American system. At the end of these 2 competitions, the top 4 teams of each conference, last four in Kigali, Rwanda.

An NBA interest in the African continent that goes beyond the court

Potential with 73.2% African-American players in franchise 2021/22 rosters “ talent It turns out to be a testament to the sport of Africa. The question has long been whether this region can become an axis of economic development.

Share of African-American players in North American franchises by sport. Statistics

In fact, the continent has recently managed to use its resources and foreign investment to make it an attractive market. In recent years, a diversified economy has fueled the emergence of the middle class, thereby stimulating demand for consumer goods, services and luxury branded goods. Rising consumer demand and annual growth of about 8% increased Africa’s GDP by approximately US$1.1 billion in 2019. However, some risks remain, such as lack of infrastructure, poor governance, uncertain security and unreliable logistics. Fortunately, conflicts are more local, democracy is well established in some areas, and a positive and dominant trend is emerging.

Consumption capacity in Africa is based on five pillars: a rising middle class, population growth, youth dominance, high-speed urbanization and rapid adoption of digital technologies. According to the French Development Agency, by 2050 Africa will have a population of approximately 2.4 billion, half of which will be under the age of 25. Young Africans, who make up a large part of the emerging middle class, will yearn for greater connectivity, as well as a greater choice of food, consumer and leisure products.

The evolution of the GDP of the richest countries in Africa. Statistics

According to a study by the World Bank, the sports industry should experience growth of over 5% in the medium term and youth is at the center of this dynamic. Another consulting firm, IEG, points out that the NBA typically generates more than $8 billion a year, and audiences enjoy the combination of sports, fashion and music. The African continent, which has the world’s largest free trade area, is embarking on a radically new development path that can benefit from the potential of sport, which today represents 2% of the world’s GDP and only 0.5% of Africa.

For more than 10 years, Africa has been building halls that can hold tens of thousands of spectators, especially with the Cairo Stadium (16,000 seats) in Egypt, the Dakar Arena in Senegal (15,000 seats), the Kilamba Arena in Angola (12,000 seats) or the Kigali Arena. (10,000 seats) in Rwanda. “ These rooms will obviously be used to host the BAL competition in the coming years and even some transport infrastructure is being prepared to connect these different countries to make it easier for spectators to access the competition. Edwin Eslem, NBA Africa communications director, says.

Dakar Arena has a seat capacity of 15,000. BALL

In addition to these new infrastructures, Aïcha Diop, Marketing Director of the African Basketball League, explains the surroundings of the stadiums: There are spaces to set up a fan zone with a stage where artists perform daily. And if they’re not artists, it could be schools or a meeting with celebrities. “.

During an interview in 2021, the head of BAL Amadou Gallo Fall told us how basketball is a vector of economic development for Africa. “This is a must in order to continue the African Basketball League project. If we believe in the entertainment product, we equally believe in the impact of this league on the sports ecosystem in Africa. We want to create an employment-generating basketball industry, especially through infrastructures and venues such as Dakar Arena, Kigali Arena or Kilamba Arena. Numerous activities will develop around these basketball games and sectors such as food, hotel, transportation, security, media and logistics will benefit. It is also an opportunity to show another side of Africa.»

4 strategic pillars to raise an African elite

BAL’s goal is to create the conditions for a sustainable basketball economy to emerge. To ensure its success, developing skills is essential. made in africa » By supporting African federations in their professionalization, collaborating with governments (infrastructure, reforms, etc.) and attracting key partners (companies, media, agencies, foundations, etc.). In order to confirm and realize its goals, BAL’s goals can be grouped in four axes as follows;

Obviously, sports development is the most legitimate. In fact, FIBA ​​Africa has always invested in the fundamental development of Basketball, establishing processes and foundations that allow the NBA today to build more simply. The role of federations is to create a robust ecosystem by allowing local players to thrive and thrive in their country. Creating competitive and professional competition, developing local federations, developing the ecosystem and keeping talents in Africa are the main axes of their strategy.

It is also a socio-cultural development., for example, in partnership with AFD, which will use basketball to advocate for social development on the African continent in favor of underprivileged communities. As part of AFD’s support for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this partnership aims to improve access to education, well-being and inclusion for girls and women at all levels of society.

But also the development of BAL’s reputation as a major international basketball league. BAL tends to establish NBA culture in Africa after conquering Asia and Europe. This process includes numerous sponsors, especially the Jordan or Nike brands, and the participation of opinion leaders such as former US President Barack Obama.

Finally, the development economic With the infrastructure placed, stadiums and halls are intended to be sports venues for major sporting events as well as resident clubs. They can also host a wide variety of non-sports events depending on their configuration (the surface of the playing field), modularity, additional spaces and prior arrangement. According to customer experience and site consultant Julien Lepron, eight main sources of revenue allow venues to maximize their activity: ticketing, hospitality, merchandising, snacking, sponsorship, services, non-match stadium events, leisure activities. Around these sources of income is the development of skills and thus the training of local administrators.

Additionally, it is essential that BAL develops their partnerships around activations that publicly highlight their partners. “ We always do an event for each partner, it’s not a simple event where people meet to discuss, the goal is to create events that align with the partners’ goals. Explains Aïcha Diop.

As such, Africa is a strategic and logical choice for the NBA, which is betting on a continent with full economic expansion, new and evolving infrastructures, and a young, dynamic and growing middle-class population whose focus will be on basketball. socio-economic development vector. BAL’s ambition therefore sees beyond basketball with a strong non-sports vision, and we can certainly think it will be a great success as its strategies and goals are developed by the best players in the market.