For all the buzz that surrounded the commencement of the Basketball African League, two exciting things stood out. One, J Cole, one of the greatest rappers alive, made his professional debut for the Rwanda Patriots BBC and the second which is more exciting news to tech folks in the country and Africa at large was the spotting of Nigerian payments technology company, Flutterwave as an associate partner of the league.
This kind of partnership is unique and will leverage the BAL and Flutterwave’s shared commitment to driving economic growth across the continent through the launch of a digital campaign that will provide select African entrepreneurs and small businesses with the opportunity to travel, connect and engage with other African markets.
The BAL is a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the NBA. Featuring 12 club teams from across Africa this marks the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside North America.
Speaking on the partnership Flutterwave Chief Commercial Officer Ifeoluwa Orioke said, “As a lifelong Basketball fan, I am excited that we are able to team up with the BAL as it tips off its inaugural season,”
“There’s progress going on in Africa, and this is the time to tap into the enthusiasm of young people to unite the continent and open doors for young Africans through sports.”
BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall in his statement highlighted the role of technology in basketball, “Technology plays an important role in basketball and our ability to make our content and products accessible and convenient for fans to consume,”
“This partnership also reflects our ambition to play a role in the industries that will shape the continent’s economic growth, facilitate entrepreneurship and strengthen the continent’s position on the global stage”, he said.
Champions from the national leagues in Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia earned their participation in the inaugural season. The remaining six teams, which come from Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda, secured their participation through BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by FIBA Regional Office Africa across the continent in late 2019.