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FIBA announces long-term partnership with Wanda

The FIBA and Wanda Group will work together to introduce new basketball events including an Asian basketball championship league and Chinese Basketball Association 3?3 League Photograph: (Getty)

Reuters Switzerland Jun 16, 2016, 03.40 PM (IST)

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on Thursday announced that the China-based conglomerate Wanda Group will be a worldwide exclusive business partner with FIBA games for the coming 16 years.

According to an agreement reached between the FIBA and Wanda on Thursday in Beijing, Wanda will be FIBA's exclusive partner for the sale and marketing of global sponsorship and licensing rights over the next four FIBA Basketball World Cup cycles from 2016 to 2033.

The long-term partnership will involve FIBA Basketball World Cups and their Qualifiers, the Men's and Women's Continental Cups and their Qualifiers, as well as the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cups and Youth World Championship.

FIBA Secretary-General Patrick Baumann said the union would both spread basketball's reach globally and contribute to the success of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

"When you go to a partnership of that sort, you bring all your assets to the other partner and the partner brings all his assets. There are no better words than to describe it as a marriage. Basketball will be the best sport in the world. China will be, 16 years from now -- let me just think a little bit aloud -- China will be playing in the semi-finals of the world cup and probably in the gold medal game,” said Patrick Baumann, Secretary-General of the FIBA.

The FIBA and Wanda Group will work together to introduce new basketball events including an Asian basketball championship league and Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) 3×3 League.

"Basketball has not been developed well in the Asian region. There is no fixed annual game for national teams and clubs. There is not a league for Asian clubs. So this is our opportunity. We will introduce new games and Wanda and FIBA will jointly own the intellectual property,” said Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Wanda Group.
(Reuters)

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