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16 January 2015

NBA and BT Sport’s The Supporters Club partner to develop and inspire young Londoners

BT Sport’s The Supporters Club has teamed up with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in a partnership to support Greenhouse, a London-based sports charity that uses sport to engage hard-to-reach young people. 

The programme, Greenhouse Sports Basketball, which has been running in London for eight years with funding from Greenhouse’s principal sponsor Prudential, aims to use basketball to encourage the development of life skills that will be invaluable to young people from some of London’s most deprived areas. The partnership builds on the existing multi-year relationship between BT Sport and the NBA for exclusive UK television coverage of the NBA on BT Sport.

BT Sport’s The Supporters Club has provided a substantial grant that will see the Greenhouse program rolled out into an additional five London secondary schools in Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Newham, Camden and Brent, with the NBA providing basketball coaching materials and a number of basketball training clinics to these participants.

The partnership was unveiled this week at Bow School, East London, by NBA legend John Amaechi, former WNBA star Allison Feaster plus Arsenal Ladies and England footballer Rachel Yankey, who appeared on behalf of The Supporters Club, at a special basketball session run by Greenhouse Sports for 40 youngsters.

NBA player and children

Jene Elzie, NBA vice president Marketing and Communications EMEA, said: “We are proud that we can partner with BT Sport’s The Supporters Club on such a significant project. Greenhouse is an impactful charity that helps struggling young people through the motivation of sport. The NBA focusses on core values like community and youth development which makes partnering up with this charity a perfect fit for us.”

The announcement builds on The Supporters Club’s funding of projects in London. Last year, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation secured a substantial grant over a three-year period from a new partnership between BT Sport’s The Supporters Club and the Premier League.

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “Today’s announcement deepens the successful rights relationship between the NBA and BT Sport. It also builds on The Supporters Club’s growing presence in the sport for development sector, and, adds the NBA to the Premier League and Premiership Rugby as key BT Sport partners with whom The Supporters Club works. The Supporters Club has proved to be a powerful force for good, with BT Sport customers raising millions of pounds to help young people in the UK and overseas through sport.”

Michael de Giorgio, CEO and founder of Greenhouse Sports, said: “We are delighted that we can build on the success of Prudential’s support to use basketball to reach more young people in London through this exciting partnership with The Supporters Club. This comes at a particularly exciting time for the charity as this week; we officially announce our name change to Greenhouse Sports”.

The Supporters Club aims to build a better world through sport by changing the lives of disadvantaged young people. So far The Supporters Club has partnered with Comic Relief to fund 24 sport-inspired community projects – 14 in the UK and 10 overseas, with over 92,000 people now giving monthly donations.