But who would buy the Club?
When the SOS was formed I was invited to invest in the group by a member who I won't name for privacy reasons. In the end I didn't join the group, but I informed the member who I liaised with that I would be interested if there were more substantial details provided with a better business plan and kept my powder dry with an option for future investment, albeit at a possibly higher buy in price.
This member had his head screwed on right and listed a number of business ideas to move forward. Sadly a number of these have not come to fruition.
For example, one idea that this member has was to engage the basketball community via a levy or the like to basketball players. This would provide some financial base for the club as well as get the community linkages required to build and develop the supporter base. While the levy may have only been $20/player and the revenue relatively low, it would have been the start of community involvement.
In assessing the proposal I discussed the matter with a business associate who is in management in an organisation with a another sport and who had involvement with the Sixers and the NBL. There were a few gaps identified and opportunities for improvement that were fed back to the member. Most of the issues we identified we actually NBL related and not Sixers related. There were some structural issues that the NBL needed to address.
However, having said that, the business model proposed to us still relied on some optimistic numbers. We noted that the key to the financial model of the club was obviously creating a passive income stream either coming from asset utilisation, or from the governing body in the form of dispersement of TV rights, or sponsorship funds similar to what the AFL do. Sales of merchandise etc would be the icing on the cake.
After deliberating over the proposal, I declined, but I still have a lot of respect for the men who formed the SOS and who took on that risk.
Sadly, owning an NBL club is a high risk investment with little or no return. The NBL is perhaps the only national sporting league where the path is littered with former clubs.