Thursday, September 19, 2013

NBL search on for major sponsorship

Basketball In control:  NBL CEO Stephen Dunn speaks during the 2013/14 NBL Media Season Launch at The Entertainment Quarter in Sydney.

In control: NBL CEO Stephen Dunn speaks during the 2013/14 NBL Media Season Launch at The Entertainment Quarter in Sydney. Photo: Getty Images

The NBL is confident it will soon have new sponsors despite being without a naming-rights backer.

After an off-season in which the league moved away from the control of Basketball Australia, interim chief executive Stephen Dunn and his small team had to negotiate the television deal with Network Ten for the new season and look for a major sponsor to replace iiNet.

The league hired former V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane and his company International Entertainment Consultants but delays with the TV deal made it impossible to sign a major sponsor beforehand.

Dunn said the deal with Ten was complete and Cochrane was chasing down some "positive" leads with potential naming-rights sponsors.

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Network Ten, anti-teen drinking campaign Be the Influence, uniform supplier And1 and Spalding basketballs remain as league sponsors.

"We have some very positive pitches out there and interest on several levels of sponsorship," Dunn said. "Whether we start the season with a major sponsor, I'm not sure.''

■ WNBL champion Bendigo Spirit is yet to announce if veteran guard Kristi Harrower will play this season.

The 38-year-old superstar said she would stop playing only if she became pregnant or if injury prevented her from taking the court.

Spirit coach Bernie Harrower said his daughter continued to train with the team and a decision would be made before the season begins on October 4. The WNBL pre-season tournament is at Dandenong Stadium this weekend.

Poll: Who will win the NBL title in 2013-14? New Zealand Breakers

10%

Sydney Kings

25%

Adelaide 36ers

15%

Wollongong Hawks

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Melbourne Tigers

10%

Cairns Taipans

5%

Perth Wildcats

10%

Townsville Crocodiles

0%

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