Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will join the national team this summer - in basketball. Sweden will play Latvia in FIBA World Cup qualifier game June 28th at Hovet in Stockholm. The football star has hesitated whether to join the Swedish football team or not but now the decision is made. It will be basketball.
Basketball is one of the biggest sports on the global scene and also the number one sport in the US. Over 350 million people follow basketball and the FIBA World Cup 2019 will be played in eight cities in China, the biggest emerging consumer market in sports and entertainment. An advancement of Sweden to this tournament would mean exposure to a market Ibrahimovic yet has to conquer. But there are not only business incentives behind the decison. The Bosnian heritage and the connection to Swedish head coach Vedran Bosnic, himself a Bosnian citizen, were factors too.
Zlatan's interest for basketball grew in Paris, where basketball often was played at PSG. In Manchester United, French football star Paul Pogba, an avid basketball fan and good friend of Ibrahimovic, further deepened Zlatan's relationship with the sport. When the Swedish superstar made the move to Los Angeles, he met with Los Angeles Lakers-legend Kobe Bryant who pushed him over the edge. Both have been radiant stars, with more followers than the teams they are playing for, and with global brands of their own.
For the Swedish basketball federation the Easter bunny was generous this year. - Right after the release of this press release we have already signed three new major global sponsors, it's the power of the lion, says marketing manager Johannes Wohlert.
Swedish head coach Vedran Bosnic is extremely happy with the new recruitment. - Brate, ever since your no-look pass against the Island of Faroe I knew you were a natural born point guard, says Vedran Bosnic.
Sweden will play Latvia at Hovet in Stockholm June 28th.
Svenska Basketbollförbundet, som bildades 1952, har i uppgift att leda utvecklingen av basket i Sverige. Prioriterade områden är tävling, utveckling/utbildning och landslagsverksamheten.