Report prepared by Claude Nembhard, Executive Director
Ontario Basketball (OBA) experienced another difficult pandemic-affected year in 2020-21. The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the worst challenges the organization has ever faced. The club basketball season was all but lost for the year, with no OBL or sanctioned OBA games or tournaments played. Ontario Basketball would like to recognize the challenges our member clubs faced during this period. The pandemic also halted the 2020-21 OSBA season, cancelled all coaching clinics, and cancelled National Championships and Summer Games. Luckily, towards the end of the fiscal period, Ontario Basketball was able to slowly get back to basketball, beginning with a 3×3 tournament hosted at Athlete Institute in early August 2021, and with the launch of modified Mega Hoops programming for clubs and community groups.
As indicated in the 2020-21 Audited Financial Statements, this proved to be an exceptionally challenging year. Provincial restrictions and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected many businesses and sporting organizations including the Ontario Basketball Association (OBA). Given the difficult environment, the OBA realized a net loss for the year of $113k. While we anticipated a difficult year, support from federal and provincial government emergency relief grants including wage and rent subsidies, along with action taken by the OBA to reduce expenses, resulted in a better-than-expected financial result for the period. And, despite a prolonged disruption, due to the growth and popularity of the sport in recent years, the OBA continues to maintain a healthy financial position with reserves of $1.4 million. With the Ontario government lifting many restrictions on sporting activities and facilities in October 2021, we optimistically look forward to playing and promoting basketball again!
The previous fiscal year saw the layoffs of many full-time and contract staff due to financial strain. Thankfully, the organization was able to bring laid-off staff back to work in phases during the fiscal year, and all laid-off staff who chose to remain with the organization have since been brought back.
This year saw the departure of Andrew Beange – Coordinator, MIS, Finance & Administration, Tyler Harding – Manager, League Development, Bianca Bohn – Coordinator, Membership & Events, Trina Savoie – Senior Director, Finance, Linnaea Harper – Coordinator, Basketball Development, and Jason Jansson – Executive Director. We want to recognize their time and hard work as OBA staff and wish them all the best with their current and future endeavours.
As the recognized Provincial Sport Organization for basketball in Ontario by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Cultural Industries, Ontario Basketball continued to meet all expectations and criteria of the Sport Recognition Policy through 2020-21. OBA complied with and followed all government restrictions and legislation to ensure the health and safety of all Ontarians by creating a Return to Play Plan, which acts as a multi-phased approach to safely resuming basketball activities both for its membership and the basketball community at large.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, we would like to thank the Ontario Basketball membership and all stakeholders for their tireless support of and commitment to amateur basketball across the province during this difficult time. We look forward to the gradual resumption of basketball for 2021-22.
Report prepared by Joseph Moutoussidis, Director, Business Operations & Finance and David Coulthard, Treasurer
Revenue for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2021 was $1.0 million compared to $3.2 million in the prior year representing a decline of $2.2 million or 67%. This reduction was due primarily to the inability to offer our core programs including tournaments and clinics. The OBA did receive COVID-19 subsidies to support us during the year totaling $549 thousand compared to $172 thousand last year when programming was limited to approximately six months.
Expenditures for the year of $1.1 million were lower than last year by $1.9 million representing a decline of 63%. The reduction is primarily attributable to costs associated with running events. There were virtually no costs for this part of the operation saving $1.5 million. Further fiscal restraint was also required resulting in operations being scaled back accordingly. Employee lay-offs resulted in personnel costs declining by $340 thousand with COVID-19 wage subsidies providing an additional $292 thousand benefit.
Overall, results for the year included a loss of $113 thousand compared to a $127 thousand profit in the prior year. Reserves remain strong at $1.4 million, representing a decrease of $173 thousand.
The Ontario Basketball Association continues to have as a priority, the management of our operations with fiscal prudence while striving to deliver the best programming possible to our members.
Finally, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to our staff for their patience and dedication to Basketball Ontario during what has been a very difficult period.
Clubs & Competitions Report
Report prepared by Mike Barbin, Director of Clubs & Competitions
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club basketball season was all but lost for the year, including OBL, sanctioned tournaments, Ontario Cup, Provincial Championships, and the OBL All Star Game. Ontario Basketball would like to recognize the challenges our member clubs faced during this period.
Gyms for Kids
The highlight of this fiscal year for the Clubs and Competitions department was the Gyms for Kids initiative:
Gyms for Kids distributes $44,500 in gym rental reimbursements to 82 club teams
Ontario Basketball is pleased to announce that the Gyms for Kids (GFK) Committee will distribute a total of $44,500 to 82 member club teams across 9 regions of Ontario.
OBA’s Gyms for Kids Committee was created to improve and facilitate access to gyms for OBA member clubs. Funding was made available to offset the costs of bookings for practice facilities made prior to the most recent province-wide lockdown. OBA affiliated club teams who registered for the 2020-21 season were eligible for GFK reimbursement.
Ontario Basketball would like to thank all GFK Committee members for their hard work to make this happen: Barbara Capes & Mike Quigley, who represented the OBA Board of Directors*, and Vanessa Lodge, Rachelle Abella, James Campbell, Kevin Barnes, and Jason Hope, who participated as Membership Representatives. *Claude Nembhard was also involved with GFK as a Board member but stepped down after being named Executive Director.
We would like to thank all our member clubs, facilities, and host communities for their ongoing support during this challenging time. We are pleased to resume OBL and Championships in 2021-22.
In the summer 2021, Ontario Basketball created the Ontario Basketball Super League in partnership with Canadian Youth Basketball League and Hoop City. The OBSL is intended to provide the best competitive structure to crown the best boys’ teams in the province. As CYBL and HC comes into the Ontario Basketball governance it will allow us to normalize game rules, fair play environment, and the basketball culture, while having the highest level of competition in the province.
On the girls side, Ontario Basketball is excited to partner with JUEL of Ontario (operated by the Canadian Basketball Alliance – CBA). In its first year, the partnership between JUEL and OBA will focus on governance with the alignment of rule sets, game rules, and competition dates to create a universal standard and avoid scheduling conflicts. OBA will also become an active member of the JUEL board, as well as recognize and sanction JUEL and JUEL Prep games. JUEL and OBA will work on a system going forward that provides a premium and an equal opportunity for OBA affiliated teams to participate in JUEL and JUEL Prep. This creates a holistic developmental environment for athletes, provides coaching certification to JUEL and JUEL Prep Coaches and ultimately grows and develops girls’ basketball in the province.
Basketball Development Report
Report prepared by Kauri Lafontaine, Director, Basketball Operations
The 2020-2021 Ontario Basketball season saw a shutdown of the National Coaching Certification Programs and evaluations. During this time Ontario Basketball supported Canada Basketball in the development of a new Learn to Train curriculum that hopes to be launched in 2022 (pending Coaches Association of Canada approval).
The OBA Coaching Department continues to build a database to provide each club across the province with a breakdown of the coaches that were currently in our system and where they were at in their certification process. This will be a practice that we will continue as it has been extremely beneficial in assisting clubs in getting their coaches certified at the correct level for the age and stage of competition they coach, as well as keeping open communication with clubs as to where their coaches are along the pathway.
Quest for Gold Coach Bursary
Quest for Gold (Q4G) provides education-based subsidies for competitive to high performance coaches, including those at the club, high school and post-secondary level. Q4G is also instrumental in delivering financial assistance to Provincial Sport Organizations for coach training related costs. The program aims to ensure that Ontario’s developmental and high-performance athletes receive the best coaching possible by providing a series of enhancement programs and resources for coaches and PSOs. The Q4G Coach Bursary, which is offered through the Coaches Association of Ontario, has been a major support to the training and certification of coaches in Ontario.
With the inability to run courses and complete evaluations Quest for Gold supported coaches who did take the opportunity to do training in the multi-sport space. We will continue to use this resource as we return to the delivery of NCCP certifications.
Ontario Basketball’s community portfolio adapted and continued to offer the Mega Hoops program for interested coaches across the province. Although we were not able to activate our partnership in schools, the program developed an Active Start curriculum to add to the already built FUNdamentals. The curriculum was adapted to meet COVID guidelines in the summer of 2021 and was encouraged to be delivered in an outdoor setting.
The OBA Development team-built packages for programs that included a t-shirt and a basketball for every participant along with curriculum and outdoor chalk to support coaches in the execution of the program. The team will continue to offer the program to interested parties and activate partnerships within the school program when available.
Ontario Summer Development Program
The Ontario Summer Development Program was unable to operate this summer due to COVID-19. The program will look to return in the summer of 2022 with the Ontario Summer Games taking place in Mississauga.
3×3 (pronounced 3-on-3) is a basketball discipline that involves three players per team and uses one basket. 3×3 is the most developmentally appropriate form of basketball for young players learning the game. Fewer players on the court means that there is more space for players to move and more opportunities for players to handle the ball. Additionally, athletes control substitutions and timeouts, which decreases their reliance on coaches and increases the opportunity to develop their decision-making skills.
This summer Ontario Basketball partnered with the Athlete Institute to deliver a one-day 3×3 tournament for males and females aged U10 to U19 across 10 courts. This tournament was not only an opportunity to get our players back playing but to introduce them to the 3×3 style of play that was featured in the Olympic games taking place at the same time. 96 teams competed throughout the day and at the end divisional champions were named after an exciting playoff round.
Referees completed 3×3 training from OABO Provincial Interpreter, Mike Kim and FIBA Carded 3×3 Official Kayla Herdman. This was also an opportunity for officials to experience the 3×3 setting.
Ontario Basketball will continue to grow and run 3×3 programming in the summer months providing an opportunity to players and officials within that pathway.
High Performance Report
Report prepared by Carmelo Mallia, Manager, High Performance
Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association
Due to the ongoing pandemic and associated health measures, Ontario Basketball (OBA) cancelled the OSBA competitive season. A decision of this magnitude was not made lightly. The health and safety of our members are of utmost importance and a competitive start date prior to January 2021 appeared to pose too many risks in relation to the contraction and spread of COVID-19.
This cancellation came with a full assessment of the current sports landscape in Ontario as it relates to safety protocols amid the pandemic, and endeavors to anticipate future progress in the same way OBA responded with Phase 3 of Return to Play protocols in late July.
The health and safety of our members and basketball community is of the utmost importance, and at this time it appears that starting the competitive schedule for OBA earlier than January 2021 could result in an increased risk for the spread and contraction of COVID-19.
Despite the ongoing challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to announce the addition of several new programs to the OSBA during the past fiscal year:
The OSBA is pleased to announce ten new programs (2 Women’s, 8 Men’s) joining the league for 2021-22
Ontario Basketball and the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association are pleased to confirm the field of competition for the 2021-22 OSBA season. Two new programs will join on the women’s side, while nine new programs have been added to the men’s side.
OSBA Women’s League
13 teams who competed in the 2019-20 OSBA season will return for 2021-22, plus J. Addison Prep, who joined the league in 2020. In addition, two new teams will join for a total of 16: Royal Crown (Scarborough, ON), and Scarborough Prep (Scarborough, ON).
OSBA Men’s League
Nine programs return (including J. Addison, who joined in 2020) and eight new programs have been added to the OSBA men’s league for 2021-22.
The eight new additions are: Fort Erie International Academy (Fort Erie, ON), Hodan Prep (Vaughan, ON), New Horizon Academy (Burlington, ON), Niagara Prep (Niagara, ON), Royal Crown (Scarborough, ON), Scarborough Prep (Scarborough, ON), Scholastic Academy (Toronto, ON) and Victory Academy (Brampton, ON).
Team Ontario consists of the top male and female basketball players in the province in the U15 and U17 age categories, and the teams are a continual medal favourite at the annual Canada Basketball National Championships. Team Ontario’s coaching staff also represents some of the top coaches in Ontario. Between the four teams, Team Ontario has won gold at over 70% of the national championships since 2002. In addition to the four provincial teams that compete at Nationals, Ontario Basketball established the U14 Boys and Girls development teams to support the Team Ontario program by preparing young players to compete at the provincial level.
CANADA BASKETBALL 2021 15U NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS CANCELLED DUE TO ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
TORONTO, Ont. (February 4, 2021) – Canada Basketball announced Thursday the cancellation of the 2021 Canada Basketball 15U Men’s & Women’s National Championships due the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Canada Basketball, in consultation with the National Championships Committee, which is made up of PTSO members, local hosts and partners, reached the decision to cancel this summer’s championships.
Despite the cancellation, Canada Basketball will continue to work with the National Championships Committee on alternative options for 15U and 17U identified provincial team athletes. Canada Basketball will share additional details on these options, as well as announce the hosts for the 2022 Canada Basketball 15U Men’s & Women’s National Championships at a later date.
“As we continue to work together in the fight against COVID-19, in consultation with basketball and medical leaders from across Canada, we’ve arrived at the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Canada Basketball National Championships,” said Glen Grunwald, President & CEO of Canada Basketball. “We will be exploring options to bring the basketball community together safely this summer and are already looking forward to resuming nationals in its traditional format in 2022.”
Basketball PEI was to host the 2021 Canada Basketball 15U Men’s & Women’s National Championships from August 1-8, 2021 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, while the 17U age group was originally scheduled to compete at the Canada Summer Games. However, last fall, the Canada Games Council (CGC) and Niagara Host Society announced that the Canada Summer Games in Niagara had been rescheduled for August 6-21, 2022.
Quebec swept all four competitions in 2019, winning the Canada Basketball 15U/17U Men’s & Women’s National Championships in Fredericton and Victoria.
NIAGARA 2021 CANADA SUMMER GAMES POSTPONED DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The Canada Games Council and the 2021 Canada Games Host Society have decided to postpone the 2021 Canada Summer Games until the summer of 2022
September 16, 2020 (Niagara, ON) – The Canada Games Council (CGC) and the 2021 Canada Games Host Society, after consulting with the Niagara Region, the Province of Ontario and the Federal Government, have made the difficult decision to postpone next year’s Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games. The Games were originally scheduled to take place in August 2021 but, due to continued public health concerns relating to the coronavirus pandemic, they will be rescheduled to the summer of 2022.
Held every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games are the country’s marquee event for amateur sport representing the highest level of national competition for thousands of up-and-coming Canadian athletes. More than 5,000 participants and 4,000 volunteers are expected to take part in Canada’s largest multi-sport event in the Niagara Region.
Given the uncertainty created by the ongoing pandemic, the decision to postpone the Games was made, first and foremost, to ensure the health and safety of all the athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers and spectators expected to attend this event. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic would likely prevent us from delivering a phenomenal Games experience, both in terms of sport competitions and cultural events. By postponing the Niagara Canada Games, we will be able to better protect the health and safety of Games participants, the Niagara community and visitors from across the country, while delivering an extraordinary Games experience.
No decision has been made yet on the new dates for the Canada Summer Games in Niagara, but both the CGC and the Niagara Host Society are aiming for the rescheduled Games to take place during the summer of 2022. Both organizations will continue to monitor developments relating to the pandemic and to safeguard the health of all participants, staff and volunteers. We will continue to provide updates to all our stakeholders on the postponed Games, as they become available.
Despite the ongoing challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to host the following five (5) virtual sessions for our women’s provincial team program:
March 14, 2021
- 2022 Canada Summer Games Information session / Return to Sport presented by Meghan Buttle from CSIO for 2004/2005 student-athletes & parents/guardians
- 75 Student-Athletes & Parents
- Information session for 2006/2007 student-athletes & parents/guardians
- 62 Student-Athletes
March 22, 2021
- Gold Medal Model: Know Yourself / Know Your Teammates / Physical Pillar presented by Christine Camozzi from CSIO
- 30 Student-Athletes
April 11, 2021
- Gold Medal Model: Exploring the Individual Performance Plan (IPP)
- 35 Student-Athletes
April 26, 2021
- Gold Medal Model: Social/Emotional Pillar Review, Mental Pillar with Mike Mackay & Shooting Individual Performance Plan (IPP)
- 20 Student-Athletes
May 16, 2021
- Gold Medal Model: Goal Setting & Individual Performance Plan (IPP) + Aaliyah Edwards & Kellie Ring guest speaking
- 25 Student-Athletes
Quest for Gold Recipients
The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI) announced that it was investing in the sport and recreation sector by supporting four initiatives. One of these was a $6.36 million investment in the Quest for Gold Canada program. Unfortunately, the Quest for Gold Ontario program was not included in that investment and funding was postponed for the 2020-2021 cycle.
Unfortunately, despite the ongoing challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to host any regional tryouts or training sessions this year.
Despite the ongoing challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to host the following five (16) virtual sessions for our women’s OHPSI targeted athletes:
Topic: TAS – Fuelling the Female Basketball Athlete
Time: Oct 19, 2020, 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
25 Student-Athletes & 25 Parents
Topic: TAS – Movement Prep and Smartabase (All Athletes)
Time: Tuesday Nov 10, 2020, 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 2: Fuelling for Training (Snack Demo)
Time: Nov 12, 2020, 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 2: Mental Performance – Building on the 3 C’s
Time: Nov 17, 2021, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 3: Meal Planning / Grocery Store Virtual Tour
Time: Nov 26, 2021, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 1: The Performance Nutrition Guide
Time: Jan 18, 2021, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 1: Mental Performance – Introduce the 3 C’s
Time: Feb 1, 2021, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 3: S&C
Date: Jan 4, 2021, 06:50 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 2: S&C
Date: Jan 5, 2021, 06:50 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 1: S&C
Date: Jan 7, 2021, 06:51 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session (All): Physio – How to Return to Sport Safely Post-COVID Restrictions
Date: Jan 12, 2021, 07:19 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 2: Nutrition (Snack Demo)
Date: Jan 21, 2021, 07:15 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 3: Nutrition (Cooking Session)
Date: Jan 28, 2021, 07:21 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 1: Nutrition (Part 2 of PNG)
Date: Feb 4, 2021, 06:50 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: TAS – Athlete Session Yr 2: Decision Making
Time: Feb 8, 2021, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: CSIO / TAS – Head Coaches/S&C/Physio Meeting
Date: Mar 9, 2021, 07:14 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
CSIO ANNOUNCES SPORTS INCLUDED IN THE 2021-23 ONTARIO HIGH PERFORMANCE SPORT INITATITIVE
TORONTO (April 29th, 2021) – Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) is excited to announce that 25 sports have been selected to take part in the Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative (OHPSI) program for 2021 – 2023.
The OHPSI program was designed to support a comprehensive Provincial high performance sport system that allows for sustained success of athletes and coaches at the highest levels of international sport. The goal of the OHPSI program is to identify and support Ontario athletes capable of achieving future international success on Senior National teams in targeted summer and winter Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, and Para Pan American Games sports.
Since inception in 2010, OHPSI has partnered directly with twenty-one (21) Olympic and Paralympic Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs), impacting upwards of 4,600 targeted athletes, coaches, and technical leaders in Ontario.
“Congratulations to all the sports selected to be a part of the 2021-23 OHPSI Program. We believe that creating an aligned performance pathway for athletes and coaches to excel to international podiums will help Ontario lead Team Canada to win more medals at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo and 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games”, said CSIO Chief Executive Officer, Debbie Low.
Through the OHPSI program, CSIO provides leadership, coaching support, sport science and sport medicine services, equipment and technology, competition and training camp enhancements, and facility access to create optimal daily training environments (DTE) for Ontario athletes and coaches. The program also aims for CSIO to build stronger relationships with Provincial and National Sport Organizations (PSOs and NSOs) while providing support to targeted athletes that are demonstrating they are on the pathway towards future international success. This approach is intimately tied and aligned to Own the Podium’s vision and strategy to optimize a targeted approach to increasing Canada’s potential for future international podium performances.
“CSIO is excited to announce that the 2021-23 OHPSI program will include four Project Sports, as well as 21 core sports for the initiative – with a total of 25 sports included for the next two years”, said Director, Performance Pathways, James Brough.
The 25 sports selected to be a part of the 2021-23 OHPSI program includes:
Alpine & Ski Cross
Basketball (M) – NEWLY ADDED
Indoor Volleyball (M)
Rugby 7s (F)
Marketing & Communications Report
Report prepared by Devin Gray, Manager of Marketing & Communications
The pandemic stretched on through the 2021-22 OBA season but with cautious optimism the Marketing and Communications team returned in full with the rehiring of the Coordinator, Business and Communications and Coordinator, Digital Media to support the singular efforts of the Manager, Marketing and Communications. This enhanced capacity on social media and the partnerships front and allowed the marketing budget to remain net positive in F21. The following report focuses on the successes and opportunities to grow stemming from the lost season.
Mailing List Activation
OBA’s mailing list had been used sparingly in the past with monthly newsletters being the main focus. These were crucial to providing direct updates about Return to Play to our members. Recognizing the value of our audience the Marketing & Communications team has been able to leverage their communication vehicles to spur new partnership agreements and revenue for OBA despite not running programs this past year. This includes 31 mailing blasts to the membership list compared to 17 the year prior.
Ontario Basketball invested in StreamYard to live stream interviews and “fire-side chats” with people from our basketball community. In total, 13 live stream events that reached over 15,000 viewers took place hosted by OBA Manager of Marketing & Communications Devin Gray or occasional guest hosts. Broadcasts were streamed live to OBA’s Facebook and YouTube page with questions answered live on air, and allowed us to connect with our community virtually at a time when we still needed to remain physically distant. Content featured OBA’s diversity initiative, Women in Basketball month, and a hilarious and heartwarming ten-year Team Ontario reunion.
Outdoor Court Map
When the Ontario Government began permitted outdoor basketball play again OBA responded by soliciting submissions for the Outdoor Court Map to compile an extensive database of where to play so basketball loving kids could #GetOutAndHoop. Thank you to Emily for the creation and execution of the initiative.
The unprecedented challenge of the pandemic meant many sponsorship were upended when OBA programming was cancelled. All efforts were made to provide make-good value but mailing blasts, sponsored social media content, and contesting can only provide so much value and cannot rival the reach and impact of provincial championships.
The marketing staff has maintained good faith relationships with all partners throughout the stutdown and although certain sponsorship money was not conveyed in 2020, the standard resolution to most partnership deals is to extend the contract by one year. This provides valuable booked revenue for when OBA is able to safely resume activities. Affected partnerships include Nike, Dairy Farmers of Ontario (MilkUP), Raptors, Summer Camps, NBA and Mega Hoops, and National Sports.
The unprecedented challenge of the pandemic continued through the season and OBA’s partnerships were affected by the numerous cancellations. To stay organized and put more formal processes into place a Marketing Dashboard was created through SmartSheet that compiles all sponsor contracts, invoicing information, fulfilment requirements, content calendar, unassigned assets, and marketing budget reports. While we all adjusted to the new normal we discovered new ways to activate on behalf of sponsors and even bring in some new business despite our high-value programs not running.
MilkUP by Dairy Farmers of Ontario
Ontario Basketball’s biggest cash sponsor proved to be a good partner through 2021 by working with OBA to pivot support away from the again-cancelled Provincial Championships while still providing value. In lieu of that sponsorship the DFO supported the Team Ontario Hazel Miner and James Rose awards with donations of $5000 on each recipient’s behalf to the Team Ontario fund to make attending Nationals more affordable for future provincial teams. The DFO also supported the creation of a new award which we worked together to loop in and name after the Superfan Nav Bhatia to reflect his influence on the basketball community. The OBA Nav Bhatia Community Athlete Award presented by MilkUP was awarded to four stdent-athletes in the OUA who each received a $5000 scholarship. All eight of the award winners sponsored by DFO also receives a video profile to help celebrate their achievements while video production followed all COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Total support received was $60k.
In a show of support, our official basketball sponsor Spalding shipped the September 2020 order (worth ~$32,000) despite OBA placing a hold until programs returned. They have continued to support OBA with VIK orders for OSBA and to support the new Mega Hoop Kits. This continued support is thanks to years of a mutually-beneficial partnership and reflects past opportunities where OBA provided additional value, now come full-circle.
Nothers agreement expansion
OBA’s official supplier of trophies and awards is now offering organization-building programs that will benefit OBA clubs so we’re revising our agreement to activate on a few of these opportunities. These include a Volunteer Recognition program, Team Up program for clubs to purchase medals together at a bulk discount, and Grant Writing advice and webinar service to be extended to OBA clubs. Additionally, what was formerly a VIK rebate on sales has been converted to cash rebate to use toward OBA’s DEI initiatives.
With the ongoing Return to Play updates getting more and more promising of a return to the court OBA engaged with Cross-Odor to become the official presenting sponsor of Return to Play. The 2-in-1 solution has court grip in one end and sanitizer in the other allowing all OBA players to return to the courts with safety in mind and without letting their game “slip” after the long layoff. Cross-Odor was activated through graphics, logo placement in RTP announcements, and social media promotion.
To help feed basketball-hungry families that were getting into the game night routine or rushing out to practice, the OBA worked with HelloFresh meal kit delivery to promote their service to members. As part of the partnership OBA member families got a closed-capacity special offer discount, and OBA recruited ambassador families to help create content featuring real basketball families. A fundraising option and special meal kits for the holidays will be promoted soon.
*funding provided by Cross-Odor and HelloFresh will allow OBA to realize its goal of activating a diversity initiative for athletes from under-privileged areas in 2022