No threesome on the basketball court, but a conversation at the conference table: BG Göttingen boss Frank Meinertshagen (left) with the HNA reporters Helmut Anschütz and Walter Gleitze. © GSD
He reveals exclusively in the HNA interview what makes the managing director of BG-Göttingen confident about the 2023/24 BBL season.
Göttingen – Things are getting serious for the Bundesliga basketball team BG Göttingen. On September 27th the qualification in Turkey for the Champions League against Den Bosch, and on October 7th the Bundesliga season begins with the home game against Crailsheim. Frank Meinertshagen talks about expectations and hopes – and about the World Cup title and international games.
I hope that children and young people in particular will knock down our doors. I hope that this will also have a positive effect. But only the future will show. But then we have to deal with it better than in 1993, when we became European champions. There was also a run on the clubs. But that failed because there weren’t enough trainers and time in the hall. It is now a task for all of us to prepare properly. Basically, the World Cup title was just great because many people watched the final. That alone is very positive.
The BG is starting its 15th Bundesliga season. Where are the violets currently?
Always in preparation, when you haven’t played a game yet, it’s difficult to assess because we have a very new team by our standards – completely overhauled, a new coach. But a lot has also changed in the league; there has been an incredibly large fluctuation among the teams. The fact is that we had a lot of ups and a lot of downs in preparation, including due to injuries. We are certainly not quite as far along as our ideal vision was.
Has the club hired the right head coach in Olivier Foucart?
Yes, definitely! Because he was the best candidate we had. He completely convinced us with his basketball philosophy, with what he wants to do, but also as a personality. He can lead a team even in difficult sporting situations. He works a lot and hard, and he is also very communicative. In my opinion, everything is going in the right direction with him. It is his first time as a head coach and therefore also a challenge.
Something has changed among the shareholders of “BG-GmbH”.
No, but we are thinking about expanding in order to receive new input and want to increase our share capital.
What is the budget for this season and what is the player budget?
The budget will be between 4 and 4.5 million euros. The player budget is a little more than last season, but it is not half of the budget.
What about the sponsorship situation?
It looks good. We will grow again compared to the previous season. But at this time we are not yet where we want to be. The positive thing is that we are incredibly broadly positioned, even broader than before. But the negative thing is that we still don’t have enough big sponsors. We haven’t sold very good advertising space so far, whether that’s the naming rights, both trouser legs are still free, as is the back of the jersey.
How are season ticket sales going?
With around 1200, better than last season. We have now exceeded season ticket sales compared to last year.
From 2032, the BBL is demanding a budget of six million euros and a capacity of at least 4,500 spectators. Is this feasible for the BG?
I’m cautiously optimistic about audience capacity. As far as the budget is concerned, there has been decent growth since 2012, and so I am optimistic that we will also manage the six million euros. But that involves a lot of work.
Did the city give the 250,000 euros?
Yes, they were paid, 200,000 euros from the city, 50,000 euros from the GöSF.
What role does qualification for the Champions League now play for the BG?
The fact that we are allowed to play in the qualifiers is an award for us, that we have achieved that. That wasn’t a given. We wouldn’t have gotten three quarters of the new players if we weren’t playing internationally now.
How big is the financial difference between playing in the Champions League or the FIBA Europe Cup?
It’s like day and night. It’s a huge difference. If we qualified for the Champions League, we would receive a signing bonus of 40,000 euros. For every win you also get money. The referees are paid. DYN broadcasts these games. At the Europe Cup we would have to pay the referees who produce television images themselves. There is also a small payout. Europe Cup is not a subsidy business if things are running optimally in terms of viewer numbers and sponsorship.
DYN will now broadcast the BBL. What distinguishes DYN from the previous channel MagentaSport?
DYN pays more for the rights. The BBL’s main reason for the change was the new concept when it came to advertising, reporting, appearance on the Internet and in print. There is a cooperation with ARD, which obligatorily shows games in the stream. Basketball also reaches a larger target group. The clubs are being held more accountable. For every subscriber who chooses basketball, one euro goes towards youth work.
How long does your contract as managing director last?
Permanent, I can only be removed by the shareholders at any time. (Walter Gleitze/Helmut Anschütz/gsd)
Always very committed to the BG Bundesliga games: Managing Director Frank Meinertshagen with his fists clenched on the sidelines. © Hubert Jelinek
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