Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) announces its global partnership with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) ahead of the FIBA Ba...
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) announces its global partnership with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
Under this four-year partnership, Smart is granted exclusivity in the category of telecommunications worldwide. The agreement also provides key commercial rights across all FIBA competitions, including the men's and women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, FIBA Continental Cups for both men and women, FIBA Youth World Cups, the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022, and FIBA's pinnacle event, the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023.
With 5G technology, Smart will play an essential role in the activities going into and during the much-awaited global basketball event. For the first time, the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 is set to take place across three nations: the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan, from August 25 to September 10, 2023. The Group Phase will be held across all three host countries, with the Final Phase to follow in Manila, Philippines. FIBA and Smart will work together to create a wide array of exciting experiences for both athletes and fans around the world.
Smart is also supporting FIBA’s “Don’t Miss A Beat Challenge” with athletes from Gilas Pilipinas, TNT Tropang Giga, NLEX Road Warriors, Ateneo Blue Eagles, San Beda Red Lions, and other celebrities, as well as and other exciting activities leading up to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
This historic alliance comes after the strong finish of Gilas Pilipinas in Manama, Bahrain, resulting to the Philippines holding the top spot in Group A.
“I hope all of us will take pride and joy in not only seeing the World Cup logo but in hosting the World Cup. With Christmas just around the corner, and the pandemic still looming over us, it's great to have good news that will lift our spirits,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT Chairman and SBP Chairman Emeritus.
PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio said that this is a milestone not only for the telco firm, but more importantly, for the nation.
“This is a huge step in bringing our athletes closer to the world stage. PLDT and Smart have always been at the forefront when it comes to supporting Filipino athletes and their journey to greatness,” Panlilio said. The telco executive has also been recently elected as the Philippine Olympic Committee’s first vice president.
FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Smart Communications Inc. as a FIBA Global Partner. Joining forces with a leading telecommunications company such as Smart will bring unrivalled opportunities in the lead up to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. Giving our fans the best ever experience, whether at home or in arenas, is a crucial aspect of any FIBA event, and even more so for this showcase competition. We are looking forward to working with Smart to harness their state-of-the-art technologies and 5G capabilities to deliver the most connected and engaging FIBA Basketball World Cup to date."
In a video message during the unveiling of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 logo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte also shared his excitement about this momentous event in Philippine basketball.
“I join the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, and our partners, Japan and Indonesia, as we launch the official logo of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. While the logo represents a composite of the various cultures of the host countries, its essence is actually a heart which represents the dedication and commitment of the Filipino athlete -- ang puso ng atletang Pilipino,” President Duterte said.
“Government has played an essential role in securing the hosting rights of this World Cup. And I assure everyone that this administration will also play a vital part in making this historical event a success. Congratulations, FIBA and SBP at mabuhay ang Pilipinas, mabuhay ang Gilas,” he added.
Igniting Filipinos’ passion for hoops
As part of the country’s largest integrated telco PLDT, Smart has always been leading in bringing sports and technology together. To support the return of the Philippine Basketball Association’s hardcourt action even during the pandemic, Smart has powered the ongoing PBA Bubble in Pampanga with Smart 5G. This is the first 5G-powered broadcast of the basketball league in the country.
This has paved the way for the use of TV cameras equipped with 5G to help capture the on-court action efficiently. There is also a 94-foot-wide LED screen beside the court, where the players can see their spectators. Smart has also pioneered the use of wireless 360 cameras powered by 5G in the PBA bubble.
The Philippines will also host the last window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers in February, along with Japan, Qatar, and Bahrain.
“Connectivity enables the sport, while the sport provides an avenue for the application of new technology,” said Panlilio.