In a very positive move for basketball in this state, the Adelaide 36ers and the Adelaide Lightning have been working together for the past few months to bring the clubs together for the 2016/17 season.
The 36ers and the Lightning have proud histories in the NBL and WNBL respectively, both winning four Championships. Bringing both clubs under the one banner will allow a greater reach across the community and builds an even more attractive package for existing and potential corporate partners.
“It has been extremely rewarding for Basketball SA to secure the Lightning this past season. We’ve had some great conversations with the 36ers, talking about how we can combine the 36ers and the Lightning together as there’s a lot of good benefits and synergies between the teams,” said Basketball SA CEO, Mark Hubbard.
“We need to ensure the Lightning is viable going forward as it’s such an important team for women’s sport in this state.”
Currently 35% of SA’s 45,000 strong basketball playing community are female. The move to join these two iconic clubs aims to provide future viability and growth for the Lightning, as the showcase for female basketball in South Australia.
“I think the survival of the Lightning is extremely important as we do have almost as many female participants as men in the state and it’s important there’s a pathway for them,” said Adelaide 36ers CEO, Guy Hedderwick.
“Having the male and female teams working together from a commercial perspective really gives sponsors the ability to talk to the entire population.”
The clubs are currently exploring what is the best model for the joining of the teams from the 2016/17 season but regardless of the outcome, the iconic team brands will remain the same.
There is already crossover on the coaching side of things with Lightning Head Coach, Tracy York being an assistant to 36ers Head Coach, Joey Wright for the past two season and Joey also helping with the Lightning players.
“The improvement of the group of girls we put together at the last minute has been huge with 10 wins and some other close finishes and I believe this partnership can only make us stronger next season,” said Lightning Head Coach, Tracy York.
“We just want to continue the partnership, Tracy has been a great asset for me to leverage things off of her,” said 36ers Head Coach, Joey Wright
“Together we will just try and improve both programs.”
There is an expectation of some formal announcements in the coming weeks in regards to the structure and corporate support.
Sally Leverenz | 0420 783 659 | firstname.lastname@example.org