Event Details


The Second British Basketball Innovation Conference

(part of the Leicester Business Festival 2019, #LBF2019; https://www.leicesterbusinessfestival.com/)

Hosted at Morningside Arena, home of Leicester Riders,

31 Charter Street, Leicester LE1 3UD

Thursday, 7th November 2019; 9am to 4:30pm


An event which will bring together everybody with an interest in growing British basketball, and raising the awareness of the great work that is happening within the sport at all levels across the UK, as well as innovators and administrators across a range of sports, and with an interest in the difference sport can make


  1. Background

Basketball in the UK has got a great story to tell in terms of its ability to get young people active, and its impact on many deprived communities and the people who live there. In our inner cities and amongst the most deprived areas, basketball has the highest percentage of their participants who are under 25, and it is of particular interest to BMEs (greater than 50% of basketball participants in the UK are black, minority or ethnic). According to DCMS, amongst 11 to 15 years old young people, boys and girls, basketball is second in popularity only to football.

Various initiatives to promote basketball exist across the UK and the incredible popularity of the sport is demonstrated by the demand for tickets for the BBL Finals at the London O2, Glasgow Emirates and the Arena, Birmingham, as well as when NBA games are being played in London.

Historically, the lack of affordable facilities to play basketball has been a huge impediment to the growth of the sport of basketball in the UK. But ground-breaking new, purpose-built, basketball arenas have been built by BBL clubs in Leicester and Newcastle, which provide a new model for sustainability, and act as hub for basketball activities in their areas, substantially increasing the asset value of the sport. These two facilities now have a combined nearly four years of operational history, and can serve as benchmarks for the development of the sport in the future. Further, similar developments are at the planning stages in, for example, Sheffield, Plymouth and Bristol.

In addition, the world of media is undergoing drastic change, with traditional routes to market under challenge from a range of new technologies. The way young people in particular consume sport is changing rapidly, and basketball in the UK is responding to these challenges. The BBL is at the forefront of some of these developments.

From the point of view of awareness, and in terms of political and media support, basketball continues to lag better funded competitor sports, which lack basketball’s global reach and street credibility. Various basketball bodies promote the sport and their specific projects, but coordination and synergies are lacking. Basketball as a whole must improve at telling its story, and selling the benefits of its impact to political decision makers, commercial funders and the media.  In addition, historically, there has been a lack of joined-up thinking and collaboration among the various bodies and interest groups within basketball.

Following the successful first conference in October 2017, this second #MoreThanBasketball event is designed to be a new movement where basketball gets together, learns from best practice from both within and outside the sport and starts to earn its deserved recognition.

This conference is not about policies and strategies. It focuses on best practice, and provides thoughts, tools and to-dos. It provides and opportunities for suppliers and contractors to highlight capabilities and products. Real stories and successes are to be told, lessons to be learned, and ideas and experiences to be shared on how to create a more vibrant, visible and viable basketball sector in the UK


  1. Focus

It will focus on key areas such as

  • How to develop new basketball facilities, which embrace both the needs of basketball and its communities
  • How to operate new basketball facilities to be sustainable
  • How best to engage funders of facilities
  • How basketball can contribute to cross-departmental objectives on improving health and educational outcomes and social engagement, especially in inner city community environments
  • How best to engage funders from the private sector
  • How community basketball clubs and third sector organisations, with whom they share objectives, can work together
  • Help community basketball clubs develop a more enterprising approach
  • How to encourage greater and wider engagement of universities and colleges with basketball by developing a prospectus of current best practice in this area
  • How to re-think its communications strategy to make more and better use of the sport’s inherent assets and attractiveness to particular groups, including using new technology and social media to better effect
  • How to address the changes in technology and new routes to market
  • How to engage a younger demographic


  1. This event is aimed at:


  • NGBs
  • Professional basketball clubs
  • Sport funding agencies
  • County Sport Partnerships
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Basketball industry suppliers
  • Arena architects, contractors and constructors
  • Community basketball clubs
  • Local authorities
  • Digital marketing consultants
  • Sport media executives
  • Sports charities
  • Sport Foundation
  • Representatives from non-sports partners from Police, health, housing, youth clubs and



  1. The event will comprise:


  • A morning plenary
  • Midday and afternoon workshops
  • Exhibition area
  • Demonstration areas
  • Plenty of networking opportunities

This will be supported by strong use of social media, e-newsletters and event website MoreThanBasketball.co.uk which will help disseminate positive stories and follow up from the event, as well as promotion through the Leicester Business Festival.


  1. Hosted by (subject to availability):


  • Sir Rodney Walker, BBL Chairman
  • Clare Wardle, Chair of Basketball England



  1. Conference/Workshop Programme (in Upstairs Suite)

The Agenda for the Conference is as follows:

9:00am                                                 Registration

9:20am                                                 Introduction

9:30am to 10am                               Keynote Speaker

10.00 to 1.00pm                               3 workshops – each dealing with one of the key areas

1:00pm to 1:45pm                           Lunch

2.00 to 3.30pm                                  3 workshops (run concurrently) Each dealing with one of the key areas

4.00pm 4:30pm                                Close


  1. Cost of Attendance

The event is free to attend, but delegates are asked to book in advance either directly with Morningside Arena (mail@leicesterarena.co.uk) or on the Leicester Business Festival website (www.leicesterbusinessfestivval.com).


  1. Catering


  • Coffee/ tea available for the conference
  • Lunch/ drinks are available to purchase