Monday 13 August 2012
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore highlighted the importance of the League's community initiatives as he took part in an open forum with NBA Commissioner David Stern last week.
The discussion, held at NBA House in Covent Garden, London, took place in the presence of leading figures from the world of sport and business.
Guests included former Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira, now Football Development Executive at Manchester City, Denver Nuggets owner and Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke as well as Rugby Football Chief Executive Ian Ritchie.
"It is essential that we show what sport can do in communities because I think really it is an obligation on us to do that"
- Richard Scudamore
The event was titled entitled 'From Local to Global: The Challenges of Success' and had Stern and Scudamore discussing the development of the NBA and the Barclays Premier League over recent years.
Stern and Scudamore, who between them have over five decades of leadership experience in the sports industry, also shared views on player development, community initiatives, ownership structure, revenue sharing and legacy.
They highlighted the desire to ensure that teams reinvest in their communities and develop programmes focused on fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle.
"It is essential that we show what sport can do in communities because I think really it is an obligation on us to do that," said Scudamore.
"Sport is so much more than just the 90 minutes, in our case, of the game. It has a much more; it has a much wider role to play and it is very important for us that we do that."
Hosted by the BBC’s Mark Pougatch, the discussion provided a fascinating insight into the shared global ambitions of both leagues, while highlighting differences between the two organisations and provided a platform for an exchange of shared ideas and goals.
Both Stern and Scudamore discussed the challenges of maintaining local market relevance while also helping to grow their respective leagues internationally.
"It is essential that if you're going to go abroad, you go and try and recreate as best you can the exact same experience as here"
- Richard Scudamore
They agreed that maintaining relevance to a team's local fan base and its roots remained the priority and that global success would only come as a result of having a solid foundation at a local level.
"The game begins with each of our 30 teams in their local markets," said Stern.
"If you lose that connectivity to your local fans and what the team means to the community… you don't really have a firm foundation to expose your brand and grow yourself internationally."
Scudamore also acknowledged the importance of the growth of the League internationally.
He added: "It is essential that if you’re going to go abroad, you go and try and recreate as best you can the exact same experience as here.
"And that isn't just a match experience; that's also the experience around community, around what sport can do because again, globally as you travel the world, people don't actually see immediately the power of sport in terms of development, in terms of integration and social cohesion."