• Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

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London Lions land new shareholder

Peter Sprogis, the former NBL All-Star player and coach, who has spent most of his career at the top level of the international sports marketing industry, is becoming a shareholder and Director of the London Lions.

One of the most successful clubs in the British Basketball League, Lions are London’s only professional team. Their regular home since 2013 has been the prestigious Copper Box Arena, a superb venue built for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, it has a capacity of 7,500 and is one of the biggest basketball arenas in the UK.

In only three seasons at the Copper Box, the Lions have made two Semi-Finals and reached the showpiece 2015 Play-Off Final, eventually losing to Esh Group Eagles Newcastle in front of a record-breaking near 15,000 spectators at The 02 and a big audience who watched via the BBC Red Button.

Sprogis is becoming involved at a strategic time, when the team is working towards future admission to the new Basketball Champions League organised by official world governing body FIBA. Launched in October 2016, it features 40 European teams from 22 countries playing 324 games across eight months. The inclusion of a British team would transform the horizons of basketball in this country.

British born but growing up in Canada, Sprogis established a Canadian High School record of 73 points in a single basketball game. From 1979-1983, he was the Marketing Officer of the English Basketball Association and Director of the National Basketball League. In 1983, he joined the West Nally Group, the leading sports marketing company of the day.

In 1984, he was head-hunted by the newly formed ISL Marketing, owned by the late Horst Dassler, working on athletics’ and basketball’s world championship events. He then became Managing Director of ISL Television and helped initiate the successful CHF2.8 billion ISL/KirchMedia bid for the FIFA World Cup™ television rights, which transformed the value of these rights.

He was a founding partner of Prisma Sports & Media, the company that changed its name to KirchSport and ultimately turned itself into Infront Sports & Media, one of the most successful sports marketing companies of today. Peter left Europe in 2002, to return to the USA to form his own company, Molo Rewards. He now lives in Vancouver in Canada.

Vince Macaulay, CEO of the London Lions, said, “We are incredibly lucky to have Peter on board. He not only understands basketball, but has huge experience in the sports marketing industry. This should be transformational for us and will bring a professional and fresh perspective to the Lions and the BBL, to help drive future growth”.

Sprogis himself stated, “My ambition is to help create an environment where the Lions can enter FIBA’s new European League and become competitive, which in turn, will drive publicity for the game within the UK.

“We plan to introduce a whole raft of new marketing and promotional ideas that should encourage growth in sponsorship and ticket sales, while lighting up the basketball experience for fans.”