British Basketball League
How 777 Partners’ investments in the British Basketball League Positively Impact Urban Communities
When 59% of minorities don’t feel British sports teams represent the diversity of the city they live in, there is a significant problem. Unfortunately, sports in the UK are dominated by the interests of middle-class and white players even when minorities make up 40%+ of the population.
Looking at basketball in the UK, we were confused.
Even though Briton is the #1 global market for NBA League Pass, and the #2 market for Nike Basketball merchandise, funding at the elite level lags behind badminton. And rowing. Rowing actually receives 400x more funding than basketball does.
It left us at 777 Partners seeing a dual opportunity to deliver on the real potential of basketball while also addressing the underserved communities who feel underrepresented.
In 2018, we made our initial investment in the London Lions.
As we partnered closely with the communities, we began to understand the magnitude of the problems facing this diverse sport. We knew we needed to do more than just support lobbying efforts. We support the leading basketball academy in London, Barking Abbey Academy, by providing funding for coaching/training, and we have made significant investments in areas where infrastructure was sorely lacking. A great example of this is the London Lions Foundation. Through the work of the foundation, we deliver after-school and social impact programs for the local community. In the next three years, the Foundation will deliver over 3,000 community basketball camps and sessions, reaching over 40,000 participants across 200 schools.
“It’s rare when passion, positive social change, and financial returns are all possible. Supporting basketball in the UK will have immediate and long-term benefits for youth, families, and communities and unleash the potential of an untapped, underserved yet rich pool of athletic talent. This is as much a cause as it is an investment,”
Vice President, 777 Partners
We also worked on private-public partnerships to further grow the fan base.
We did this because we believe sports are more than just entertainment. Countless studies show engagement can reduce depression, provide a source of self-worth that can reduce participation in drugs and crime, and produce positive role models.
Because we believe so deeply in this cause, we expanded our investment in the entire British Basketball league.
We did this to raise the bar on the entire sport across the UK. With 41% of basketball being minorities and basketball having one of the highest representations of women at the professional level (23%), we believe our investments here are more than a sound bottom-line decision. We believe they represent an opportunity to positively impact the community at large.