ABIDJAN - Cote d'Ivoire's capital city of Abidjan hosted the last of the FIBA Marketing and Communications Workshops for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers on Sunday-Monday March 12-13.
Delegates from across the African continent came away from the workshop enriched by the experience and feeling very positive about the opportunities that lay ahead.
Kunle Raji, Head of Marketing and Strategy for the Nigerian Basketball Federation, said: "It is a good initiative to bring African national federations together to discuss a new way forward for basketball with FIBA's new competition system. We have enough information to bring back home and start our preparations for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers.
"The idea that the players are coming home to connect with their fans is a very good thing for the exposure and outreach of the game.The other good aspect of this workshop is that FIBA is providing a handbook with enough information about marketing and communication. This will help us set up a good strategy to attract more sponsors and partners."
In the same vein, Yvan Ntabazi, Vice President and Head of Marketing of the Uganda Basketball Federation, said: "This workshop provides us a great roadmap of the future of basketball and I think we now have to show a professional attitude. I am honored to be here because I learnt a lot that I can share with my colleagues once back in Uganda. I am also looking forward to having more events like this workshop.
"With regards to the content of this two-day working session, I think the whole package can help build a real strategy to approach the sponsors and partners. I think if all the African federations work hard on this, we will get more better as of now."
For his part, Samba Gueye, the Head of Communications for Senegal's Basketball Federation's, remarked: "This workshop allowed us to understand exactly where FIBA intends to be in the next 10 years. There is a real desire of changing the management of our federations and basketball games.
"When I get back home, I will talk with the members of the Executive Board in order to set up a strong marketing and communication commission with clear responsibilities because through this workshop I have learnt how to enhance a communication strategy for a basketball game. So we will do everything to be ready when the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers tip off in November 2017."
The participants also share their thoughts on their own marketing strategy.
Tony Sofrimento, the representative of the Angolan Basketball Federation said: "We are entering a new basketball era with FIBA's New Competition System which is a great innovation as it brings basketball home. Personally I have spent about 30 years serving the game but the number of games played on the home court by Angola can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
"Through the workshop we have been provided with enough and useful information and it is now up to us to set up better organised structures for strong partnerships in a win-win style," he concluded.