Ukraine and The Czar

Over the weekend I joined the Ukrainian delegation in Munich, Germany to support their bid to host the FIBA European Basketball Championship in 2015. The campaign was truly a team effort.

Sports and entertainment marketing specialist Impact34 worked with the Ukrainian Basketball Federation to deliver the proposal, and Our Agency assembled the hardcover bid book. National Olympic Committee President Sergey Bubka (the legendary pole vaulter who won six consecutive IAAF World Championships and Olympic gold in 1988) fronted the bid. Deputy Prime Minister Boris Kolesnikov made the trip to Munich to demonstrate the Ukrainian government’s commitment, while AeroSvit Airlines volunteered to transport the players during the tournament.

Sasha Volkov and Sasha Larin both worked unbelievably hard to make this happen. Thanks to the tremendous support they received, and perhaps in part the candle I lit for them at the cathedral, they succeeded. On Sunday FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson announced the Board’s decision to award Ukraine the bid. It was a great moment for the country and for Ukrainian basketball. No doubt staging this prestigious tournament will help Ukraine in its endeavor to become one of the European powerhouses.

Now the hard work begins. This is going to be a massive undertaking. 180 million euros will be allocated for preparations for EuroBasket 2015, including the building of new hotels, the construction of three new arenas and the re-developing of four existing arenas.

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