Ice Cube’s BIG3 Summer Basketball League Hires New CEO, Gears Up For 2021 Season
After graduating from Syracuse University in 1995, Chris Hannan spent 24 years advancing in the sports industry. He became an executive at Fox Sports and then Endeavor, the big agency. But two years ago, Hannan accepted a job as director of marketing for Hemp Hydrate, a startup that sells hemp-infused water and other products. He enjoyed his time there, even though he missed being in a sporting environment.
Now he is in a position that marries his background in marketing, media, sports and high-tech businesses. Hannan was recently appointed general manager of BIG3, a three-on-three half-court basketball league with many former NBA players. The league was based in 2017 by acclaimed rapper / actor / entrepreneur Ice Cube and Harvard Law School graduate and music and entertainment veteran Jeff Kwatinetz. Kwatinetz, the former CEO Hannan replaced, will remain heavily involved.
During the interview process, Hannan spoke with Ice Cube and Kwatinetz as well as Clyde Drexler, league commissioner and former NBA star guard, and Amy Trask, chairman of the board of directors of the league and former CEO of the Los Angeles Raiders.
“Once I started talking to them, it was obvious to me,” Hannan said. “Looking at the team they put together, it was very exciting.”
BIG3, launched in 2017, canceled its season last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. But he is expected to return in June and play his games 10 straight weekends, culminating with a championship in August.
During the league’s first three seasons, she played games in various cities across the United States at major venues such as the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. . This summer, he plans to organize the games in a single city, at one or more sites. Hannan has negotiated with the cities and plans to make a decision in the coming weeks.
BIG3 plans to allow players to travel back and forth between their home and the host city, although all players and staff undergo routine Covid testing. Nonetheless, this is subject to change based on restrictions in place on interstate travel and government-mandated quarantine protocols.
“We will have to react to what the government and health officials tell us,” Hannan said. “The most important thing for this season is the health and safety of the players and everyone involved in the organization of these events.”
Joe Johnson, seven-time NBA All-Star and Most Valuable 2019 BIG3 player, has pledged to return this summer. Other expected players are former NBA players Amar’e Stoudemire, Nate Robinson and Marreese Speights. Legendary players Nancy Lieberman and Lisa Leslie, coaches of the last two BIG3 Champions, also plan to train again.
“We are very happy with the situation we are in to bring back the key numbers for this league,” said Hannan.
Each of the 12 teams in the league will have five players. BIG3 will officially announce some of the players in the coming weeks and host a combine project and open trial in May or early June to complete the rosters.
From this season, the BIG3 will expand its pool of potential players. He will lower the age limit to 22, down from 27 in 2019 and 30 in the first two seasons, and he won’t require players to have professional basketball experience like they did in his previous years. previous seasons.
League matches will take place on Saturdays and Sundays. CBS
In addition, they chat with companies to serve as sponsors. BIG3 this week revealed a deal with Monster Energy, which will display its logo on the field and in arenas and sponsor a game highlight on the league’s shows and social media channels. Hannan plans to announce deals with fantasy daily food, gaming, automotive and fast food companies in the coming weeks.
Prior to the pandemic, Monster Energy and other brands typically offered in-game promotions and activities for fans, but that could change this year due to social distancing protocols and potential limits on the number of fans who can attend.
“I don’t know what we will be able to do with the fans and the (marketing) and experiential activations on the sites because nobody knows where we will be in terms of regulations with Covid,” Hannan said. “Brand activation is a very important part of improving the fan experience, but what we can do this year is wait and react according to our situation from a scientific and medical point of view. “