Hutchy’s Sports Entertainment Group secures another pro basketball team

Sports Entertainment Group

Otago Nuggets join investments in Perth Wildcats and Melbourne United

Sports Entertainment Network New Zealand (SENZ), a subsidiary of its Australian parent company – ASX listed Sports Entertainment Group Limited – announced this week it had agreed to terms to acquire the licence for New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) team Otago Nuggets.

Neither SENZ or the CEO of the group Craig Hutchison have revealed the terms of the deal.

The Otago Nuggets returned to the NZBL last season after a five-year absence during which time the business restructured. The team was formerly owned by Ruske’s Nothing But Net Ltd (60%) and Basketball Otago (40%).

The Otago Nuggets were NZNBL Champions in 2020 as they returned to the competition. (Wellington Saints were the 2021 champions.)

SENZ chief executive officer Jodie Simm confirmed that the new expansion into the NZNBL means a greater connection for the growing radio network to the local community.

Simm said in a statement: “Our business has long championed local content for local fans and that’s exactly our plan with the Otago Nuggets.

We are committed to the Otago Nuggets team staying in Dunedin and maintaining a strong connection with the Otago community. We support the resurgence of basketball in the region and will continue to support grassroots participation with our involvement in the Nuggets.”

Long-time SEN/Crocmedia executive Simm was appointed to the Sports Entertainment Group board just last month.

Sports Entertainment Group

Sports Entertainment Group recently acquired the NBL team Perth Wildcats and is a part-owner of Melbourne United.

General manager of the Otago Nuggets Angela Ruske welcomed SENZ: “This new ownership will bring greater commercial opportunities and operational support to ensure the sustainability of the team in the league, which is great for our players and our fans.”

Basketball Otago chair Andy Kilsby added: “SENZ has made a tangible commitment to grass-roots basketball in Otago. There will be fantastic opportunities for Otago talent to develop and progress, as well as a more sustainable provision of top-level basketball in the region.”

Recently appointed chief executive of Basketball New Zealand Dillon Boucher said “We’re really pleased to welcome SENZ to the competition and see yet another big lover of sport come and join the basketball family. Outgoing general manager Justin Nelson and his team worked hard with the Nuggets and SENZ to bring this exciting opportunity to life, it’s a move that will further enhance the growth and coverage of the Nuggets, the League and basketball overall.”

See also: Sports Entertainment Network year of aggressive growth lifted revenue and profit

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