The director of AAC Marek Imre before the new season: We are pleased that AAC is attracting new clubs

The director of AAC Marek Imre before the new season: We are pleased that AAC is attracting new clubs

What all happened during the preparations for the new AAC season? What´s new, what are the expectations? This is what the director of AAC Marek Imre revealed in an interview.

– What have been the preparations for the new AAC season?

„Preparations for the new season started during the Final Four in March, where representatives of the five federations met and drafted the changes in the AAC management and the competition regulations for the next season. After further discussions we approved them at the meeting in Vienna. Based on the requirements and guidelines from FIBA, the LOC (League Organisation Comittee) was formed. Subsequently, we were already working hard on the preparation of the new edition and for the first time in our history we managed to finalize the 16 participants at the beginning of July. In addition, we are still working on evaluating the marketing potential of the AAC brand, monetizing the broadcast rights for the bookmakers and so on.“

What has changed in the whole system of the AAC?

„First of all, the organisational structure has changed. As I mentioned above, we created the LOC, in which each of the five national federations (CZ, AT, HR, SI and SK) has a representative, and we added the managerial position of competition director, and I had the honour to be elected as the first competition director.“

– The list of participants has undergone significant changes. How satisfied are you with the teams that have signed up?

„We are pleased that the AAC is attracting new clubs. We have seen a big increase in interest from new countries as well, but in order to keep travel costs reasonable, we were unable to accept some entries. In addition, we have stipulated in the competition rules that only 2 wild cards can be used outside of our five federations. Of the participants in the last Final Four, only Levice will not continue in the AAC and will play in the Champions League and FIBA Europe Cup respectively. A significant new name is SCM Ohma Mozzart Bet Timisoara, which not only brings quality, but also opens up an interesting new market for us in Romania. The only negative that I personally perceive is the low interest of clubs from Hungary.“

– What do you expect from newcomers?

„As I mentioned before, we expect Timisoara to be of exceptional quality in terms of roster, as well as opening up a new market from a marketing perspective. As for the other participants, I am looking forward to the arrival of the strong BC Geosan Kolín from the Czech Republic, which has made a significant move in the NBL in recent years, and also the interesting Oberwart from Austria, which is steadily among the leading Austrian teams.

In addition, I would also like to draw attention to the fact that the AAC is the gateway to the FIBA competitions – BCL or FEC for many teams. These days, for example, two former AAC champions – Levice and Körmend – they played against each other in the fight for a BCL berth, and Opava and Swans Gmunden, who also have a lot of experience with the AAC, will also play in the qualifiers. This only underlines that the AAC provides teams with selected international experience and a sort of intermediate step between domestic competition and, for example, the FEC.“

– The season starts with the Opening Event in Zabok. Tell us more about why this is so and what do you expect from it?

„Apart from the fact that we expect three quality matches, the aim of this event is to raise the media’s attention to the fact that the new edition of our competition is here. We’re happy to have just the so-called Group of Death to cater for this experience.“

 – And what can readers expect from the AAC?

„In short, thrilling international confrontations of their favourite teams, representing not only their club but also their country in the AAC. The seventh edition will once again take us a little further organizationally and I believe that together we will write another nice chapter in the history of this unique competition.“