The National Basketball Association (NBA) has reportedly established its Africa business entity. The latest incorporation has seemingly been backed by former players, including Grant Hill, Dikembe Mutombo, and Junior Bridgeman.
As per reports, NBA Africa has been created to run the league’s operations across the African continent, along with operations of Basketball Africa League, which was launched on 16th May 2021.
The new business entity has apparently been incorporated with objectives of expanding content and media rights, establishing corporate partnerships, and providing support to local governments that are looking to build new basketball arenas.
The league evidently envisions basketball becoming a top sport across the continent in a decade.
NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, NBA COO, Mark Tatum, CEO Babatunde Folawiyo, Yinka Folawiyo, and Helios Fairfax co-CEO, Tope Lawani, have supposedly been placed on the board of NBA Africa.
The terms of investment for NBA Africa remain undisclosed. However, Silver confirmed that the enterprise value for the new corporation was at about $1 billion.
CEO Victor Williams, would head the NBA Africa operations, claim reliable sources. Williams has reportedly said that part of NBA Africa’s strategy includes expediting the “development of basketball’s eco-system” by establishing more youth academies.
These academies, Williams added, would act as a pathway for talent and promote the growth of the NBA brand.
Williams further stated that expanding NBA’s footprint across the African continent and opening more offices in priority markets in the region – in countries like Nigeria that already display robust affinity for the game – would help them realize the business’ regional growth.
Investors in the new business include Yinka Folawiyo Group, a Nigerian industrial group, and Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation, an investment holding firm listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “HFPC”, claim reliable sources.
Notably, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, former NBA players, have also invested in the recent venture.