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Basketball in Italy - Statistics & Facts

Invented in the U.S. towards the end of the nineteenth century, basketball did not need a long time to become a very popular sport, soon spreading well beyond U.S. borders. In Italy, it developed during the first decades of the 1900s, considering that the Italian Basketball Federation (FIP) was founded in 1921. According to data published by the FIP, the federation recorded roughly 363 thousand memberships as of the 2018/2019 season. Whereas the number of male athletes went down compared to the 2007/2008 season, they still accounted for most memberships. On the other hand, there were about 21 thousand female athletes in the federation as of the 2018/2019 season.

Despite the slight decrease in memberships, revenues of the Italian Basketball Federation increased significantly between 2013 and 2019. This figure peaked at 44.6 million euros in 2019. In this sense, member fees are an essential source of income. Looking at sponsorships, another significant source of revenues, Spalding allocated the highest budget by far in 2020, followed by Barilla.

The Italian Basketball Federation delegates an association called Lega Basket to organize the Lega Basket Serie A (LBA), namely the highest league in Italian professional male basketball. As of the first half of the 2019/2020 season, AX Armani Exchange Milano, known as Olimpia Milano, was the LBA team recording the highest attendance at games, while Segafredo Virtus Bologna recorded the highest revenue. As of the 2018/2019 season, Olimpia Milano won the highest number of LBA championships, followed by Virtus Bologna. Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the 2019/2020 season ended early and this year’s title will not be assigned.

In terms of international competitions, the men’s Italian national basketball team managed to win the EuroBasket twice and obtained two silver medals at the Olympic Games as of April 2020. The women’s national basketball team also won the EuroBasket once as of the survey period.

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Basketball in Italy

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