Alexander Fomin: League President Sergei Gennadievich Fomin, I and our team wish only one thing: 3x3 and 5x5 basketball will develop
Most recently, the anniversary season of the FIBA 3x3 world tour has ended, and the teams are already thinking about preparing for the upcoming season. United League Europe serves as an off-season tournament and occupies its niche in the calendar of world 3x3 basketball competitions.

In anticipation of preparations for the Grodno Tour, we talked with Alexander Fomin, learned about the main aspects of the qualifying tournament in the Republic of Belarus and plans for the second season of the United League Europe 3x3.

Qualifying tournament in Grodno

The Grodno Tour is one of the steps in this selection.

On December 15, the qualifying stage of the United League Europe 3x3 will take place in Grodno. It will play a direct ticket to the "3x3 God's" division, as well as a wild card for participation in ULE 3x3.

What line-up is planned for the tour in Grodno?

The Grodno Tour will play among themselves 12 teams - 6 Russian and 6 foreign.

Recall that a direct ticket to the second season of ULE3x3 from Russia was received by the Gagarin team, that is, there are 3 more places left for Russian teams in the League.

Any of the teams can qualify and get into the second season of the United League Europw 3x3 through the Grodno Tour and declare themselves not only throughout Russia, but also Europe. An example of such a successful performance last year was the team Dynamo-RosEnergoAtom.

What do teams need to participate in the qualifying stage of the Grodno Tour?

To take part in the selection for the second season of the United League Europe 3x3, the team representative must fill out an application on our official website and provide the League with all the information it requires. Within a few days we will contact the representative and announce our decision.

Will the FIBA 3x3 rating be taken into account when selecting teams?

We will build on not only the team's place in the FIBA 3x3 world ranking, but also on the reality of the sporting level in Russia. One of the tasks of the entire League is to unleash the potential of Russian and foreign teams and help in reaching the international level. I am sure that these can be teams not only from Moscow, St. Petersburg, but also from Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnodar, Rostov and many other cities of the Russian Federation. I believe that the Grodno Tour allows teams from the above cities to directly get into the second season of the United League Europe 3x3 and make themselves known to the whole world.

Grodno is the territory of friendly Belarus. In addition to historical advantages and geographical novelty, teams must also bear certain financial costs. How about this part?

Indeed, there are certain financial conditions in order to take part in teams in the Grodno Tour, this is an organizational contribution is 313 $ per team.

This amount includes a high-quality game uniform from our technical partner Sportego, a transfer from the railway station of the city of Grodno to the hotel and back. The League takes care of the accommodation and meals of the participating teams.

The past year showed that the teams felt comfortable both on the site and beyond. Transfer, uniform, accommodation and meals, social-media coverage, broadcast from seven cameras - the key to successful performance of the players and the maximum implementation of the project. Thanks to the duet of commentators - Pyotr Buinitsky and Artem Saltykov - any game turns into not only a great sports spectacle, but also a fun comedy that fills the broadcast with even brighter colors.

There is no doubt that the Grodno Tour will be organized to all our high standards.

The conditions for the teams and players will be good, but for what prizes will there be a struggle?

The team, which will take the first place, gets directly into the second season of the League of the "3x3 God's" division. Let me remind you that there are no cash contributions for participation. Another team will be provided with a wild card following the results of the tournament. In the main season, the teams of the "3x3 God" division will only need to get to the venue, as they will do in the tournament in Grodno.

In addition to trips to the main league, teams will receive a monetary reward: 1st place - $ 500; 2nd place - $ 350; 3rd place - $ 250; 4 - 150 $.

In addition to everything, we are allocating a kind of "financial" wild card to the "Future" division of the second season of the European League 3x3. One of the teams directly falls into the second division of ULE3x3, and the League pays for room and board during the rounds. In addition, the team receives a discount on the registration contribution in the amount of 1018 $ instead of the declared 1723 $.

When paying for participation for the entire season of the Future division, we do certain motivation and set the amount for participation in the amount of 1253 $. Simple math: you can pay for each tour of 344 $ (1723), but you can pay immediately 1253$ (250 $ per tour).

Since we are talking about the Future division, what is planned to be organized within its framework and what will it look like?

The Future Division is the second league within the framework of the United League Europe, which will include teams wishing to play and develop in a new Olympic sport - 3x3 basketball. This division is open for teams of any countries of Eastern, Central, Southern Europe, we invite representatives of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia and, of course, Russia.

The complexity of the Future division for teams is its financial component. We perfectly understand the fact that this will be very costly for some, but the ticket to the FIBA Challenger for the division winner and the direct ticket to the third season of the United League Europe of the "3x3 God" division, in which the winning team receives a ticket to the FIBA 3x3, are at stake Masters, and runner-up at the FIBA 3x3 Challenger.
The second season of the United League Europe 3x3

The upcoming game year of the United League Europe 3x3 is planned to expand both intensively and expansively. What are the fundamental differences compared to the first and what interesting solutions we will see in the upcoming season?

First of all, I would like to thank those involved in the formation of the international sports project: partners, team and all lovers of the best ball game. We enter the second season with confidence that the support of all participants will be enough to implement everything that was planned.

We analyzed in detail all our shortcomings of the first season and made every effort to eliminate them in the second season of # ULE3x3, to make the league even more saturated and attractive.

Our League is on the path to becoming a professional 5x5 basketball league, the number of teams from 8 is increasing to 12. I will not disclose all the details, I can only list the participating countries: Slovenia, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Switzerland, Belarus, Russia, Latvia, Poland, Serbia and this is not a complete list of possible participants.

We offer a new unique format of the event, which was developed by us together with the 3x3 basketball department of the RFB, headed by Oleg Ushakov. In my opinion, the Russian Federation of Basketball is doing high-quality and systematic work to develop 3x3 basketball in our country. The results were not long in coming: at the finals of the world tour, FIBA awarded the RBF, led by President Andrei Kirilenko, for his contribution to the development of 3x3 basketball.

The conditions of accommodation and nutrition of athletes during the tours have also changed for the better. All teams will be accommodated in the chic four-star Park INN by Radisson Pulkovo hotel. Realizing the need for a recreational component, for all teams the hotel provided a luxurious spa area with a swimming pool, jacuzzi and saunas for participating teams.

Are merchandising products of the United League Europe 3x3 planned?

Indeed, one of our biggest omissions last season was that we were not able to issue corporate merchandising together with our technical partner Sportego.

I hasten to assure you that we fixed this error while preparing for the second season. With great pleasure I can say that the line of branded products will be developed for men, women and children.

My excitement and admiration is caused by our collection "3x3 God Black Angel Edition", in which a lot of time and effort was invested by me and our entire team, as well as our technical partner - Sportego company.

The entire collection can be purchased both separately by position, and in the "Package" mode. It is with the purchase of "Package" that, in addition to saving your own money, you can get a branded "3x3 God Black Angel Edition" bracelet, which you cannot do by buying each item separately. Buying "Package" you have a unique opportunity to enter the circle of "selected" 3x3 basketball, as well as to appear in all our media resources, including the flash interview in the broadcast. Thus, a person who acquires the entire collection in a comprehensive manner receives a special "priority" status at the events of the United League Europe 3x3.

None of the sports manufacturers have done this before, and I am grateful to our technical partner, the Russian manufacturer of sports equipment, Sportego, for taking on such an ambitious project with us.

What prizes await the winners and prize winners for the round in the second season of United League Europe 3x3?

Yes, we are increasing the prize pool for tours of the second season: for the 1st place, the team receives $ 2500, for the second - $ 1500, for the third - $ 1000 and for the fourth - $ 500.

To some, this may seem like an insignificant change when compared with FIBA 3x3 events. Do not forget that we are at the stage of formation - this is the most important factor. The League moves and develops systematically along with all conditions and components.

What resources will show the second season of # ULE3x3 and what are the plans to expand the audience?

Last year showed good coverage through social networks (VK) and the official FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel. Together, we have reached 1 million 100 thousand views, this year we plan to reach 1.5 million hits only through social media coverage of our broadcast.

The second season is more significant and responsible for us also because we go to the largest federal sports channel of the Russian Federation. The second day of each round (playoffs) will be broadcast live on "MATCH TV Strana".

Thus, we additionally want to popularize the new Olympic sport and show 3x3 basketball to a wide audience in a new light.

Will there be innovations in terms of digital marketing this season?

With great pleasure I want to inform you that the United League Europe will have its own mobile application, which can be downloaded via Google Play or the AppStore. In the application you can see unique content that simply does not fit into our social networks. I will not reveal the cards, but everyone should really like it, because the sports industry is also an entertainment platform.

In the first season, the largest partner of the league was RosEnergoAtom, is it planned to cooperate with other powerful corporations and companies?

Of course, the Concern RosEnergoAtom was and is the title sponsor of the United League Europe 3x3. We are grateful to RosEnergoAtom concern for the support and development of basketball in the Russian Federation and Europe. It is difficult to overestimate his contribution not only in the # ULE3x3 project, but also in the framework of sporting events of Dynamo-RosEnergoAtom. They pass throughout our country (in cities, satellites of nuclear power plants) and have stepped far beyond Russia, in the Republic of Belarus and Bangladesh.
We select our potential partners precisely and develop a concept of interaction with them based on the needs of our target audience and the product that we strive to create for it. As part of the development of one of these concepts, we are now entering the finish line with one of the largest banks - Uralsib Bank. This concept is fundamentally different from classic sponsorship, here it is more likely a partnership at the junction of high technology and a classic banking product.

The development strategy may remind someone of VTB United League, but this is not so, we are going our own way.

The fact that a large bank sees among its partners one of the largest 3x3 basketball leagues in Europe indicates the correctness of our decisions, and the practical experience of our colleagues only strengthens our confidence in choosing a strategy.
As for the affiliate program, are new activations planned in the framework of cooperation with UralSib Bank?

I can't disclose details yet, but I will slightly open the curtain...

A lot of activities are planned in digital communication channels, this is a priority area for interacting with a modern consumer, therefore, it was not for nothing that I said above that partnership has a high-tech aspect.

Briefly outline the concept, we are talking about creating a specialized integrated product that combines the key properties of classic banking products (lending, investing, insurance, loyalty) and covering the needs and interests of all groups of our target audience. We tried to take into account the interests and problems of fans, fans, professional athletes, coaches and clubs.

In addition, this product will be easily adaptable, if I may say so, i.e. a sport is also a custom attribute. It should be a unique symbiosis, and it is doubly pleasant that UralSib Bank chose basketball as the starting product at this sports ground.
After all that you've heard, perhaps you would like to appeal to all fans of the best ball game.

League President Sergey Gennadyevich Fomin, I and our team wish only one thing: 3x3 and 5x5 basketball develop. We, in fact, do not divide these disciplines, because we will not deny the fact that our entire team came from 5x5 basketball. We wish the new Olympic discipline - 3x3 basketball - to grow and strengthen. Basically, basketball is basketball and it doesn't matter if it is one ring or two. Yes, there is a significant difference in interpretation in terms of physical contact, game dynamics, certain tactics, but together with Sergey Gennadievich we expect basketball to develop in all its manifestations: sports and organizational component, management and marketing. All this will give the entire 3x3 world community significant growth and determined in the aggregate the development of our favorite sport in the territory of not only Russia but Europe, as well as on a global scale, together with FIBA and RBF.

The main slogan of the league is the phrase "Become the first". This applies not only to teams, but also to all those involved in the United League Europe 3x3 project. Basketball 3x3 is a new, dynamically developing Olympic discipline that will win its wide audience in world sports after the Olympics in Tokyo 2020!

Be the first to join us and see you in Grodno on the United League Europe 3x3 qualifying round on December 15th!
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