Running London's Only Pro Basketball Franchise - With Vince Macaulay - Ep. 35 -

Running London’s Only Pro Basketball Franchise – With Vince Macaulay – Ep. 35

Vince Macaulay

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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