Bill Cooper, Managing Director & Chief Operating Partner
Amateur sport in Canada has struggled for years to identify reliable solutions to the riddle of how to reach commercial sustainability. There are sporadic wins here and there with the odd major sponsorship, apparel deal or licensing deal to name a few. But generally speaking they are the outlier or exception.
This reality is made even more infuriating to those in the trenches by the fact that many of the sports host high calibre, world class and financially challenging events on home soil. World Cups, national championships and International invitationals are commonplace across Canada on an annual basis. And most of them are more financial burden than they are catalyst to commercial sustainability. In essence the mandate of wanting to deliver home soil and world-class experience to our athletes struggles to manifest as well as it should as an opportunity for diversified revenue streams.
Hockey Canada, (World Juniors) Tennis Canada (Rogers Cup) and Rugby Canada (HSBC Canada Sevens) however, are proving on steadily increasing basis that this trend can be bucked. And while major events cannot be held up as the solution to commercial sustainability for all amateur sports in Canada, much can be learned from the courage and vision required to embark on this path and the commercial catalyst it can represent.
That is why it is so exciting to see Canada Basketball teaming up with Tourism Saskatoon with not dissimilar courage and vision around new ways to grow the sport. Supporting this plan to host a stop on the 3×3 World Tour is a network of regional qualifiers that can build athlete engagement, sport awareness and simultaneously drive corporate objectives for commercial partners to the sport.
And that is smart play-making. Kudos to Canada Basketball for upping the game.