The Board of the Sal’s NBL has appointed their first fulltime General Manager in a decade.
Justin Nelson is the current General Manager of Australia’s largest professional women’s basketball team, the Melbourne Boomers. Mr Nelson will step into this newly created GM role in February next year.
NBL Chairman, Iain Potter, says this appointment is to help continue building the League which has experienced tremendous growth during the last few years.
“The Sal’s NBL has not had a fulltime GM for over a decade, so it’s a sign of the League strengthening. We are really delighted to have secured a leading Australian administrator with proven basketball experience. We believe Justin will bring a strong fan-focus to the League and help to continue lifting the product into the upper echelons of New Zealand’s domestic sporting entertainment,” says Mr Potter.
Speaking from Melbourne as the Boomers look to make the WNBL playoffs, Mr Nelson says he’s anticipating a busy start when he takes up the reins about eight weeks before the 2019 season tips off.
“The opportunity to play a key role in continuing to deliver a successful and entertaining product to the people of New Zealand is something I am very much looking forward to.
“The skill level of the players and the passion the fans have for their teams is something I continue to hear many people talk so positively about. The connection between the elite level of the game and the community is so important, and the Sal’s NBL is very focused on this.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with all nine clubs and the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes. There will be a strong focus on revenue, fan engagement and our brand across all levels of the League. These will be the pillars that help drive each club and the League forward.
“The vision is for every game in the NBL to be an entertaining night out, a chance for the family to enjoy extraordinary basketball talent, to be a part of the show and to meet their idols. It will continue to be a dynamic product that commercial partners will want to be a part of.
“I also appreciate what Basketball New Zealand and the NBL has done for the League to date. The innovative mind-set to create a livestream product that they own, working with great partners including the TAB and Sal’s Pizza, and building a solid foundation of fans that appears to be set for bigger things, are all fantastic achievements. The future looks bright for the Sal’s NBL.”
Mr Nelson will be based in Wellington, working within the Basketball New Zealand office. Potter says his initial priority will be meeting the teams’ management, attending games during the early rounds in each venue, and then setting a strategy to not only run the League, but grow it.
The final touches are being made to the Sal’s NBL draw, which is set to be officially announced early in the New Year.