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Open Letter to Jordi Bertomeu about Euroleague Final 4 Credential Policy

May 7th, 2013 · No Comments

After having been denied in 2010, 2011 and 2013, I have decided in cooperation with other websites to write an Open Letter to Mr. Jordi Bertomeu to make him aware of the situation. As there has been no answer so far from the Euroleague, we have decided to put this letter online to explain to our readers why we can not cover the Euroleague Final 4 as expected.

Dear Mr Bertomeu

As every year, your main event is coming closer and the fans are getting excited about the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four. This year, London will be the host of the party but Europeanprospects.com, Eurohopes.com and In-the-game.org have been denied an accreditation for the event. This is particularly sad to not use other words as these websites are covering European Basketball for more than 7 years, more than any other English-speaking blogs about European basketball and other than Eurobasket.com and Sportando, nobody spreads the magic of European basketball to the world more than us.  We are not that much into self-marketing but we can proudly say that our websites are true pioneers in reporting about Basketball in Europe – each in its own way.

We totally agree to your position in terms of security so that you can only give credentials to a limited number of journalists but wonder how come, year after year, there’s no space for our websites. We don’t wish to point at other media who were approved and say we should have won their spot. This isn’t our style.  We have readers throughout the world and the fact that we can not report properly about the Final Four is not something to overlook. We believe it’s common knowledge that sites like ours – who are fully and solely dedicated to European basketball – should be accredited for the biggest celebration of our sport. We challenge you to count how many websites that are fully and solely dedicated to European Basketball, in English or any other language, are out there.

In our eyes, it is a scandal that people who are innovating in their coverage of European basketball get banned from covering the main event. During the Final Four, you are organizing an “Innovation in Sports” summit but on the other hand, you deny the accreditation request by some of the most innovative websites in Europe. Europeanprospects.com posted a first message on Twitter back in 2008 and is certainly one of the first Twitter users in European Basketball at all. Today, the websites of Europeanprospects.com, Eurohopes.com and in-the-game.org combine more than 10.000 followers on Twitter and our Tweets cover European Basketball in an analytical way like only very few other writers in the world.

We are in 2013 and Social Media have a major importance in the communication of young people and basketball fans in general. Our Twitter followers include multiple GMs, Coaches, Scouts and other executives from Euroleague, NBA or NCAA teams. We invite you to check our websites and see how In-the-game.org is a true and only innovator in analyzing the statistics of the Euroleague, covering your league in a way that NOBODY else does, and far more advanced than most of the teams in your league. How Europeanprospects.com and Eurohopes.com cover the future stars of European basketball in a more thorough way than most teams in your competition do. The added value to the fans of the game should be clear.

Eurohopes.com was founded in October 2009 and has basketball fans from 187 different countries from all over the world, including the United States, Spain, Serbia, Italy and Turkey in the Top 5. Although the website has been growing systematically as evidenced by our subscribers, such as NBA franchises, Division I NCAA schools and top European clubs, unfortunately we have never been approved by the Euroleague to cover the Final Four.

In-the-game.org was founded in December 2008 and has basketball fans from 190 countries with the United States, Greece, Germany, Turkey and Spain as its top visitors. The site’s articles and statistics database are regularly visited by fans and journalists as well as scouts, coaches, video- and statistical analysts from both Euroleague and the NBA.

Europeanprospects.com was founded in September 2005 and has readers from 193 countries in the World. The United States, Germany, France, Spain and Italy are the main locations of its readership which is composed of mainly club executives, coaches, agents and scouts from all levels of professional basketball.

We have never been dismissed to any event, is it by FIBA, FIBA Europe or by Euroleague clubs, while this isn’t the first time we weren’t approved for your event. Though granted a media pass for the Istanbul Final Four 2012 and the Charleroi EuroCup Final 2013, in-the-game.org was originally denied media credentials for the London Final Four, before being approved as a substitute (thanks to the lobbying of other media members) when a vacancy occurred due to the absence of one media member.

We think that it’s time to change your accreditation policy, open your mind and give a possibility to those websites that make European Basketball move ahead and who are not just limited to pure reproduction of press releases or rumors  to cover the Final Four. Denying us takes away quality coverage of your spearhead event which is not only a pity for you but for the coverage of European Basketball fans in general.

We will publish this open letter on our websites on Tuesday to inform our readers about the situation. We will also invite other websites to support us in our cause as it is our legal right to share our opinion of this unacceptable situation. We strongly believe that it is in favor of European Basketball and of Euroleague Basketball specifically to adapt your accreditation policy and re-think your decision.

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