Basketball Australia has enlisted the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) to undertake a broad review of the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL), as it looks to secure the financial stability of the competition and its clubs.
The news is a boost for WNBL Clubs, with Basketball Australia revealing the review will cover important issues such as the time of the year for competition, as well as commercial partnerships, which are crucial to their survival.
Sports Wizard® has just completed another season of work alongside the Canberra Capitals and Managing Director, Associate Professor Tony Charge, says the announcement is a positive outcome for the league and women’s sport in general.
“This is great news for women’s basketball in Australia and women’s sport in general,” said Associate Professor Charge.
“Women’s basketball in Australia is a perennial Olympic medal sport and Sports Wizard® looks forward to the opportunity to contribute a submission to the review and strongly supports Carrie Graf regarding the WNBL needing a dedicated, strategic leader.”
Basketball Australia has enlisted the Australian Sports Commission to undertake a broad review of the Women’s National Basketball League as it looks to secure the financial stability of the competition and its clubs.
Acting Basketball Australia boss Scott Derwin confirmed the first major review of the league for several years, declaring ”everything will be on the table” in an effort to restore the WNBL as Australia’s flagship female league.
Derwin highlighted analysing the effectiveness of the league and its clubs’ business models as top priorities, with other topics likely to include:
♦ The length of the season and the time of the year in which it should be played;
♦ The pathway between the WNBL and Australian Opals;
♦ The possibility of offering a live streaming service for games, similar to NBL TV;
♦ Improving the financial position of the WNBL and its clubs;
♦ Market research to gauge the public’s view of the league; and
♦ Commercial partnerships, including television.
The ASC completed a structural review of the sport in 2007, which ultimately led to the NBL joining WNBL in integrating with Basketball Australia.
The NBL’s demerger from Basketball Australia last year has sparked a need to address the money and resources being allocated to the WNBL.
Derwin expected the review to begin within a week and take about two months.
A major issue will be whether the WNBL requires a dedicated manager or chief executive, something it hasn’t enjoyed since Leanne Grantham resigned more than a decade ago.
”It’s something that inevitably will be looked at, whether the management structure we have around the WNBL is the right one or whether it should be changed,” Derwin said.
”From where I sit, everything’s on the table from top to bottom.”
Logan Thunder nearly folded at the start of this season, but corporate and community support saved it from extinction.
”The general resourcing in the WNBL is obviously an issue, but it’s not solved without money,” Derwin said.
The prospect of a dedicated WNBL chief received strong backing from Canberra Capitals coach Carrie Graf.
”Have a person that owns it. When Leanne Grantham was [WNBL] CEO she won businesswoman of the year. That was over 10 years ago,” Graf said.
”Having someone who speaks on behalf of the league and is the head honcho, that would be a great thing.”
This story appeared in the Canberra Times, titled ‘Sports Commission to undertake major review of WNBL‘, on 6 March, 2014.