For episode 35 of the Hoopsfix Podcast we sit down with London Lions owner and CEO Vince Macaulay.
Vince has been involved with British basketball since the ’70s when he started playing as a 16 year old. An aspiring filmmaker, there were no early signs that he would end up in club ownership, until he became involved with the founding of the Brixton Topcats in the late 80’s.
Ultimately he would end up as a BBL franchise owner, leading to now where he is the owner of London’s only professional basketball franchise, in the London Lions.
In this hour episode, hear from Vince Macaulay on:
How he first started playing at 16 years old in Liverpool
His early interactions with Jimmy Rogers and how their relationship was formed
Going to a basketball camp in Derby and how that had a big impact on his career
His early focus on being a film maker
The early days of Division 1
The difference between raising sponsorship for basketball teams then compared to now
The founding of the Brixton Topcats with Jimmy Rogers
Michael Jordan’s visit to Brixton in 1986
How he first ended up with a BBL franchise
London Lions’ humble beginnings as the Hemel Hempstead Royals
Why he wanted to replicate college basketball programmes with a community-supported team
When Hemel became the Watford Royals after a link-up with the football side
John Atkinson’s role in moving the Royals to Milton Keynes
Why the Lions moved from Milton Keynes to London
How difficult it was to move from Milton Keynes after 18 years and give up their community infrastructure
The ten-year partnership with GLL and how that works
Why he thinks facilities are the biggest thing that holds back British basketball
Building a purpose-built facility in London
The other options in Liverpool and Cardiff he was assessing before deciding to move to London
The British basketball market and how difficult it is to get people paying to watch
The importance of talking up the opposition
Challenges of building up a fan base in London
The possibility of London Lions competing in Europe and how soon they are wanting to make the jump
And much, much, more!
As always, I’d love to get your feedback, come back after you’ve listened and lets get some discussion going in the comments.
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