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15/04/2008
News
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Caribbean - CBA To Hold Caribbean Summit

From www.oursportscentral.com
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CBA Properties, LLC (CBAP) today announced that the Continental Basketball Association is exploring expansion into the Caribbean through the licensing of a CBA Caribbean league. CBAP has partnered with Sports Perspective International (SPI) to organize a CBA Sports Summit in the Dominican Republic. The sports summit will focus on establishing CBA teams in the various island countries and developing a sports tourism program.

According to the International Basketball Federation (French: Fédération Internationale de Basketball), more commonly known by the French acronym FIBA, the association of national organizations that governs international competition in basketball, over 450 million people played basketball on a competitive and grassroots level in 2007. The CBA is a long-standing member of FIBA, which is the basketball standard in the Caribbean and the world.

The Continental Basketball Association, aware of the growing trend, is exploring expansion by creating CBA Caribbean, a league that will offer franchise opportunities throughout the Caribbean. It will outline those opportunities at the summit in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, May 21-23. The summit is open to anyone interested in investing in the league, in individual teams, in sponsorship, sports tourism and in broadcasting games.

"This is a chance for sports ownership at the grassroots level," said Ricardo A. Richardson, President and CEO of CBA Properties, LLC. "International expansion is a priority of the CBA and part of our strategic marketing plan that will put the CBA on the map globally as well as back here in the USA." Richardson continued, "The Caribbean has a strong love for basketball, as it is one of the more popular sports there. I was one of the fortunate ones to be able to receive a basketball scholarship to play in the U.S." Richardson played in the Bahamas with Rick Fox, the former Los Angeles Lakers star. "My hope is by bringing the CBA professional basketball brand to the Caribbean; many other young talented players will be exposed to the game and may ultimately reach the NBA, as Fox and Tim Duncan did."

Establishing a league in Caribbean, which is so close to the United States, represents an opportunity to capitalize off the popularity of basketball in the U.S., and open that market to sponsors who want to market their products in an area of rapid population growth that is quickly warming to the game. Baseball is the top sport in countries like the Dominican Republic, but basketball is a solid number two, with several countries, including the Dominican Republic, already boasting professional leagues.

Charles S. Farrell, president of SPI stated, "SPI has developed strong relationships at the highest levels of sports in the Dominican Republic, and throughout the Caribbean as a whole. Among others, we will be inviting the Ministers of Sports and Tourism to participate in the summit, and represent their respective countries." Farrell continued, "We will also be working with the basketball federations of each of the countries, as they are the governing bodies of the sport and have to play an integral part in the establishment of this globally recognized professional league."

Harold Mendez, Esq., senior consultant with SPI, added, "Our experience in working on developing baseball in the D.R. gives us the skills to educate and develop the league along with the CBA, the oldest professional league in the U.S. As the league grows in popularity and fans, economic growth will also follow." Mendez continued, "We fully expect the league to be economically viable right from the beginning, making it a solid investment at a reasonable price."