The 2010 tournament of the Euroleague Final Four has been the first since the agreement was signed between its organizers and Mondo. Besides the very advanced flooring, players, spectators and workers have all been able to appreciate the modern technology and the high quality of the tools made available for such a unique gathering.
With the intent of improving the cooperation between the many different European basketball leagues and to help their development, the ULEB (Union of European Leagues of Basketball) was founded in 1991 by the top Italian, Spanish and French basketball leagues. The initiative was so successful (in a short time its membership grew from 3 to 16) that the organizers decided to start a new Euroleague and break away from FIBA (International Basketball Federation). That launched a new era for European basketball, one with the objective of getting ever closer to the NBA rules.
The Euroleague, the highest European competitive league since 1958, very quickly became the most effective means to provide a more spectacular and desirable show to both the public and the media. “We constantly look ahead and make continuous improvements. We have three commitments to our fans: 1. increase membership, both in terms of teams and countries, 2. build new arenas, 3. Cooperate with our television partners to improve productions. Our final objective is to increase the fan base by offering a high quality product to both those who fill the stadiums and those who watch the game on TV,” said Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball CEO.
The relentless innovation efforts by Euroleague have resulted in the signing of an agreement with Mondo in October 2009. Mondo, in fact, having been able to affirm its presence in the basketball world with several significant contracts, including the one for Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, is now committed to provide its equipment for three events in the Euroleague Final Four. The agreement involves the supply of all the equipment required for the semi-finals and the final games, the transportable hydraulic machinery including backboards, rims and nets, and furthermore all the electronic equipment used during the games. Moreover, Mondo will have the opportunity to investigate and manufacture, with the support of the Euroleague teams, new products to be used at future events, satisfying Euroleague’s image and requirements. “We are very satisfied with this partnership agreement that, we believe, will perfectly integrate into our philosophy,” said Jordi Bertomeu, adding, “Mondo is a reference point for the whole sport industry world. Its steady support to the Euroleague and its demonstrated commitment to the support of Euroleague for Life is a clear indication of how much we want to cooperate with our partners”.
The first Euroleague Final Four utilizing Mondo’s flooring and equipment, was held at the Palais Omnisports in Paris Bercy from May 7-9, 2010 with FC Barcelona emerging as the winner. The four competing teams played on the Fast Break System 2 floor, which can be dismantled to ensure the best possible performance by the athletes while ensuring their full physical safety. One characteristic very much appreciated by the games organizers was the very little time required to install the floor before the Final Four: two teams of three people each, installed the floor in just three hours. “The “Fast Break System 2” almost halved the time required to set up the floor. This is beneficial for the teams because it gives them ample practice time while reducing the installation costs,” commented Jordi Bertomeu.
As an official partner, Mondo was part of the social responsibility project called Euroleague for Life which was launched during the 2006-2007 season with the objective of building a basketball stadium in a poor area of the city where the Final Four is held. The project is based on the conviction that sport and health are very valuable elements in the positive development of the individual particularly in a world where poverty, diseases, conflicts and natural disasters affect millions of people. Just by practicing a sport, people can feel better both physically and mentally. For the Final Four in Paris, Euroleague and Mondo worked together with the French Federation to refurbish the basketball court adjacent to the Salpetriere Hospital where the psychiatric ward takes care of kids from 8 to 18 years of age; many of them use the basketball court as part of their therapy. Both Euroleague and Mondo donated new baskets to the hospital and some players from the Final Four participated in the inauguration of the refurbished court. “It is a pleasure to be here in Paris today with these kids”- said Jordi Trias, a Barcelona player-“They may have medical issues but, if, for a day, we can give them something special, that day becomes special for us as well”.