NBL – Australia’s National Basketball League was formed in 1979 with nine teams and has seen many great players, coaches and personalities involved over the three decades.
The competition moved to summer in 1998 and this season has 8 teams competing, including one from New Zealand.
The NBL decided to purchase the domain names basketball.com.au and basketball.co.nz along with nbl.net.au, nbl.org.au and bball.com.au with plans to develop BasketBall.com.au – BasketBall.com is currently owned by Now Presence LLC which has a standard Coming Soon Landing page and email sign up.
The domain Basketball.com.au was sold privately for $90,000 AU Dollars earlier this year according to this report.
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The NBL is expanding its online operations ahead of next season.
NBL executive director Larry Kestelman is working towards giving the league a new name and a much-improved digital presence, which will include NBA, NBL and international basketball coverage to encourage fans of overseas basketball to increase their interest in the local competition.
Kestelman has engaged Publicis Mojo to create new branding for the Australian league, which he wants ready to release before the new season begins in October.
The NBL has purchased the domain names basketball.com.au and basketball.co.nz along with nbl.net.au, nbl.org.au and bball.com.au with the league working to build a new website for the basketball.com.au and a new league website.
The new domain names will lead to a portal with news and features on the NBA and other world competitions alongside the league’s own NBL coverage, with Kestelman believing Australian and New Zealand NBA supporters could be drawn into consuming the NBL if exposed to his league.
Kestelman and new NBL general manager Jeremy Loeliger are making progress on a new broadcast deal, but Kestelman also aims for the league to make a more compelling online offering.
“The NBL hasn’t kept up with what fans expect from a major sports league in terms of digital engagement and online presence,” Mr Kestelman said.
“The domain name purchase gives us the opportunity to provide the best online portal within that category where fans can keep up with the game of basketball in Australia and around the world.
“There will be a dual website approach with the revamp of the nbl.com.au due soon for the local game when basketball.com.au will become a content hub for the global game.”
The NBL was one of the first leagues to live stream all its matches and has been doing so for several seasons but the league website has long not been changed for several seasons and was a source of frustration to NBL people and fans.
“During the construction phase, basketball.com.au will redirect to the official NBL website as we head towards the season,” Kestelman said.
“Since the 1990s, there has been a huge shift in how people engage with sports and participate in sports entertainment, and for basketball we are aiming to exceed everyone’s expectations in terms of what the fans can access through digital channels.”
NBL clubs are also working to boost the league’s star power with past NBL stars Kevin Lisch and AJ Ogilvy signing with Illawarra Hawks, NBA import Josh Childress and centre Julian Khazzouh re-joining Sydney Kings and Melbourne United bringing Boomers guard Chris Goulding back from Europe.
Kestelman believes the moves the league is making will appeal to new supporters.
“We have a 100-day agenda to undertake a full digital rebrand, product refresh, and secure a broadcast partner before the season commences,” Kestelman said.
“We are progressing extremely well and I am very confident that basketball will become the number one sports entertainment product in the country, with a strong presence in TV and online and major support from our partners to deliver an incredible fan experience.”