Johannesburg—Strides have been made in laying a foundation since the launch of the ICSL in 2013 with several milestones achieved that have suggested a league growing from strength to strength. The focus since launch has been on developing a foundation built on strong governance and management structures and we believe that focus has paid off well for the league and its clubs and franchises. The time has come however to shift focus and begin a new chapter.
The foundation established over the last two years has created a strong platform on which to launch the next phase of ICSL. This next step must be about achieving greater sustainability through partnerships that begin to address the commercial base of the league. This phase of development over the next 3-5 years is crucial if we are to eventually root the ICSL and its clubs and franchises as a viable sport entertainment option in Gauteng. In implementing this new development phase of the league, ICSL will actively engage stakeholders to ensure suitable partnerships are brought on board that speak to the developmental agenda that league aims to achieve in a process that will unfold over the next 18 months as programmes are developed and implemented.
Our starting point though is where we believe our most crucial partnerships lie and that is with our clubs and franchises in the ICSL. Corporate development cannot be separate from the development of the franchises that are on the ground interfacing daily with communities, players, coaches and fans. And rightly so. The development of the league is meant to benefit a broader basketball base that allows for participation of people passionate about basketball in running and owning franchises. And our reality is that passionate basketball people have been running these franchises for some time now. Goodfellas, MBB, Jozi Nuggets, Phoenix, Rhinos, UJ Alumni, Diepkloof Ball Addicts, Braamfontein Blues, Soweto Raptors, and Phenoms are not new clubs. These organisations in some cases are in fact some of the longest running basketball franchises in South Africa. Significantly every one of these franchises is run by young professionals successful in their own right in every industry imaginable. The capacity and professional networks to develop this commercial base lies within. This is a natural starting point and it would be remiss of us to not exploit these resources.
It is a much harder phase that we are stepping into and all boards are out trying to draw up the right plays and strategies for future success. We are convinced that with the capacity around us in ICSL we cannot fail in execution and so as we begin to develop and roll out a programme focused on commercial and club development we hope to have a significantly more involved conversation with clubs and franchises about possible development options and partnership opportunities.
See you courtside in the boardroom.