Basketball New Zealand has today issued franchise agreements to the five new ownership groups of the teams that will compete in the revamped national women’s league.
In early December, Basketball New Zealand sought expressions of interest in owning one of five new semi-professional franchises to play in the revamped national women’s competition, which tips off in July 2022. The franchises will be based in the North, Mid-North, Central, Upper South, and Lower South regions.
The competition will receive a level of funding never before seen in domestic women’s basketball, resulting in the players being paid on an equal pay scale to the men’s NBL. The competition will be played each year in the build up to Tall Ferns activity, with the aim of attracting New Zealand’s best players home - as well as high quality imports from around the basketball world.
Ten expressions of interests were submitted for the five franchises, which were reviewed by an independent panel. The panel consisted of five people with several decades of cumulative experience in professional, domestic, and international sport and business governance and leadership.
Accordingly, the successful parties are:
North: The consortium of Dil Interests and Harbour Basketball
Mid North: The bid from the Bay of Plenty Basketball Foundation
Central: The bid from the Central Women’s Basketball Group
Upper South: The bid from Mainland Pouakai, a consortium consisting of the Canterbury Regional Basketball Foundation, and the Basketball Development Nelson Trust.
Lower South: The bid from SEN, who also owns the Otago Nuggets.
BBNZ General Manager of Leagues, Huw Beynon is thrilled with the direction that the women’s game is now heading.
“This has no doubt been a series of tough decisions for the independent panel to make, and I thank them on behalf of Basketball New Zealand for committing their time and expertise to this important, and robust, process,” says Beynon.
I’m really excited by the quality of ownership we now have in the women’s domestic game, and can’t wait to see it translate to the on and off court development of the next generations of Sky Sport Tall Ferns.”
While fans will have to wait until July to see the new teams on court, the branding of the league and its five franchises will be unveiled at the official league launch on February 25th.
BBNZ League Operations Manager, Maree Taylor is confident the revamped competition will herald a new era of female basketball development in Aotearoa.
“The all-year-round nature of the five new franchises will ensure a higher level of player development, and create pathways not only for female players, but coaches and support staff,” says Taylor.
“It will also provide greater support for our High-Performance program. You have to ‘see it to be it’, and with every game live on Sky Sport, basketball’s younger fans will be inspired to follow their hoop dreams.”
Media will be provided details and invites to the official league launch on February 25th in due course.