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Euroleague Basketball

Designing and delivering a pan European shared value program

What they wanted

Euroleague Basketball wanted to take disparate corporate social responsibility activities and realign all efforts and resources towards one impactful community program that could be rolled out across Europe.

What we did

We developed ‘One Team,’ a program that uses the power of basketball to integrate communities across Europe.  Using extensive knowledge of some of the best sport for social change curriculum in the world, we worked with key partners to develop the One Team methodology – a framework that clubs can use to develop sessions that will help to address some of the most prevalent social issues in their communities.  The clubs also received advice on how to develop relationships with local partners who address these issues so that basketball, and the club’s standing in the community, can be used to help the partners deliver on their objectives.

All 42 clubs from Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7 DAYS EuroCup now use One Team in their communities. The flexibility of the program to be tailored to local needs means that a wide variety of groups are benefitting from the program, including migrants and displaced people, those with physical or intellectual disabilities, girls who are facing inequality, young people detained in prison and those trying to recover from a history of substance abuse.

thinkBeyond also provides strategic communications support for Euroleague Basketball (EB). With a desire to expand the societal impact of its property beyond the game, EB engaged thinkBeyond to partner on the creation of an episode of their ‘Table Talk’ broadcast documentary series. The episode specifically focuses on mental health in sports, an extremely topical subject to EB competitions’ internal and external audiences and society as a whole – particularly as mental health concerns intensify with the Covid-19 global pandemic. Leveraging our expert design and facilitation platform, as well as our experience with the subject matter, we worked with EB and its documentary production team to plan out and then host the 30mn conversation with prominent EB athletes, a coach and a general manager.

During the pre-production phase, thinkBeyond Director of Design and Facilitation, Radha Balani, supported in structuring the program to ensure a seamless conversation that covered all the key discussion areas and engaged the guests effectively. During filming, she hosted the discussion with EB athletes Jayson Granger and Sofoklis Schortsanitis, coach Aleksandar Dzikic and general manager Maurizio Gherardini making sure they were full involved and participated equally. She also added professional insights and shared her own mental health story.

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What happened

thinkBeyond has been supporting One Team since its launch in 2012 and has provided advice, tools and resources to support 42 clubs in 14 countries to engage over 19,000 participants. As part of the support provided, we deliver an annual training workshop for all clubs where we educate on how to begin or improve delivery of the One Team methodology. These workshops present the only opportunity that exists within the year for clubs to convene to share best practice, be inspired, be innovative and to receive key information.  We develop all the event content ensuring that the participants have a positive and insightful experience that encourages them to return to their clubs and make tangible changes that contribute to the overall success of One Team. In 2019, the One Team Annual Workshop took place in Barcelona on 5th and 6th September.

On the strategic communications project, the Table Talk: Mental Health in Sports documentary episode aired 2 April to EB Rights Holders and then expanded internationally on 9 April (views on YouTube have surpassed 102K). Following the successful broadcast Roser Queralto, Chief Business Officer at Euroleague Basketball, said: “With these series of high production documentaries, Euroleague Basketball aims not only to provide entertainment to our fans through our competitions, but to also bring some light and consciousness on sensitive topics that affect our athletes, fans and rest of our communities, such as mental health in this case. Hopefully these series where our sportsmen share their personal stories in a relaxed environment can help normalize this subject”.

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