Why IMG Is Starting a Basketball League in Nigeria

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Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Bobby Sharma, SVP of global basketball and strategic initiatives at IMG, discusses why the company is creating a basketball league in Nigeria. He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

Break that you have been making a lot of trips to nigeria, because you are organizing something, trying to create a basketball league.

Why would you want to create a basketball league in nigeria?

At think the place to start to answer that is the fact that there are a very limited number of sports -- there is an entire emerging world that we all know on a broader investment level is an exciting place to be in terms of growth and creation of value.

Separate that to the sports world, and we think that holds even more, because in a world where increasing globalization is occurring him and a world where timeshifting is increasingly occurring in terms of media content, live, domestic sports is an extremely valuable commodity.

We have a lot of history in our company in terms of operating around the world.

We are one of the pioneers of the entire sports marketing industry and are owned for a time by one of the pioneers of the private equity industry.

We are always looking for growth and have long been focused in the emerging world for that growth.

I know you had an experience doing cricket in india that was very successful.

You said the lesson learned there was that you did not have an ownership stake in this.

So now you are creating this leak in nigeria.

Why nigeria, and what is the business plan for this?

But the indian premier league, which is the cricket league that we launched back in 2007 today has an enterprise value measured somewhere between $4 billion and $5 billion.

Franchises went for 350 million dollars on average.

The lesson strong for that were essentially in these emerging markets i'm a there's a huge appetite to consume these things, this local product, this world-class sport product.

Basically india and nigeria have a lot of commonalities.

The factors that go into the equation are the macroeconomics and the demographics.

What do you need, people with money who are john who want to go to basketball and sporting events?

Exactly -- who are young and want to go to basketball and boring events.

You have people under the age of 25, and nigeria is 100 70 million people, 70% of which are under the age of 30. ask what is the timeframe?

How many teams do you want in the league, how much is it going to cost?

With the cricket league example that you cite, that is a very unique moment in time.

How about nigeria, with basketball?

When it comes to nigeria and basketball, it is a very complex thing for professionals sports league development.

We are going through a due diligence phase where we are assessing the business plan and we will put that together in order to get it exactly right, so as to maximize the value proposition.

You already committed to creating this league by a certain time?

Our exclusive right to develop the property on a commercial basis extends for 20 years.

We have not committed to a timeline to execute it.

It is a very complex endeavor.

We are being very strategic in terms of executing.

Recognizing the demographics, the macroeconomics, the six of the 10 -- it is all rejected within sub-saharan africa.

----within the sub-saharan africa.

Where're you going to raise the money for the actual basketball league you want to put together in nigeria?

International corporate, domestic corporate, individuals that want a limited commodity like franchise ownership.

When you put those right ingredients in that complex mix, it will attract the right stakeholders into that equation, both from a franchise and sponsorship perspective, and of course from the player perspective.

What about from a cost perspective?

We have not put that out there, but in terms of potential -- is there any time frame for when we can actually see a game?

I know they have a league already, but when they -- when can they see a game from your league?

We have not put a timeline on the execution, but is something we are already on the ground with.

My partners and i will continue to go over there and get knee- deep into everything from the economics, the culture, to the infrastructure challenges, to the player development challenges.

When you talk about players, where are the players going to come from?

Will they come from nigeria or from all over the world?

We will have internationals there as well as domestic players.

Basketball is an incredible sport, the second most popular sport in the world in terms of player participation, and on a commercial basis.

Nigeria in particular has an extremely deep level of talent within its borders.

Given the right mix of resources, strategic development planning, we are confident we can unlock all that potential.

Ex do they have the infrastructure to actually have a league play on a regular basis?

Do they have the arenas, the facilities?

There are some arenas, and infrastructure is one of the challenges and opportunities.

We at img don't just view this as something where we come into the market to get what we can out of them.

We are coming into invest in the ecosystem that is worthy of investment by all these stakeholders.

It is our job to come in and create something that makes people everywhere want to be in on that equation.

Tank you very much, bobby sha

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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