Former Australian Open CEO Paul McNamee has joined Basketball Australia in a key role to drive commercial growth as the sport prepares for a major upswing.
Chairman Basketball Australia Ned Coten said, “We are delighted to welcome someone of the calibre of Paul McNamee, given his proven track record in delivering major outcomes for both Tennis Australia and Golf Australia.”
McNamee said, “This is a very exciting time for the sport. We potentially have a Boomers starting five made up of NBA players, and the strength of women’s basketball over a long period positions it as Australia’s #1 women’s sport”.
“I look forward to engaging major commercial partners for the sport in this unprecedented window in our Asia/Pacific region, with World Cup qualifiers continuing next month in Melbourne, the FIBA Men’s World Cup in China in 2019, and the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
“Our national teams are highly credentialed in an extremely competitive global sport, second only to football. The Boomers are dreaming big, ready to medal for the first time, and hopefully we will be dazzled by the colour. Also, the world conquering Opals have the opportunity to win a second FIBA World Cup this year in Spain. These are exciting times for basketball.”
“Through my company PME (Paul McNamee Enterprises), I look forward to working with CEO, Anthony Moore, and the BA team, in exploiting commercial opportunities in conjunction with our broadcast partner, FOX Sports, who televise the Boomers, Opals and our own WNBL. They also televise the successful NBL competition, which under the stewardship of Larry Kestelman is enjoying a resurgence in great news for the sport.”
In his 12 years at Tennis Australia, McNamee is credited with engineering and driving enormous growth at the Australian Open, heralding in (still) unsurpassed TV ratings, an historic night men’s Final in a Grand Slam first, the dedication of centre court to Rod Laver, the introduction of an entertainment precinct, and full engagement with Asia including positioning the Open to this day as the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific.
At Golf Australia, McNamee was Executive Chairman of what are considered two of the best Australian Opens in history, the 2006 Men’s at Royal Sydney, and the 2007 Women’s at Kingston Heath.
A former tennis player who was ranked #1 in singles in Australia, and #1 in the world in doubles, he has been a Tournament Director of 45 major events at Tour level or higher. Based for the past 3 years in the Balkans, he is currently Tournament Director of the ATP Sofia Open.
Basketball Australia is the governing body of Basketball in Australia and is responsible for all 22 Australian National teams, the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence at the AIS, the WNBL, the SEABL, our wheelchair leagues NWBL & WNWBL, Australian National Junior Championships, and Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops – Australian basketball’s official junior game development program as well as coach and referee development programs nationally.
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