Sunday, October 5, 2008

Basketball-Go Budućnost

Last night we went to the basketball game between the home team Budućnost (which means the Future) in white and Olympia (from Serbia) in green. Except for having to walk through pouring rain (an incidently flooded streets), it was a wonderful evening. Since it was the first game of the season, everyone got in free. The sponsors for Budućnost (a phone company) gave each fan a small paper flag with the team's name on it, and two of the inflatable "clapper" balloons to use for really rousing cheering. The arena was heavily guarded. You might see the guards just outside the tunnel where the athletes enter. There were also several stationed throughout the seating area.

The rules of European basketball aren't always quite the same as American, it is decidely more physical, which seemed to make the two obvious Americans (Wallace and Crawford are not Eastern Block surnames) on the Olympia team mad (Steve googled and found that both guys had played for Georgetown in college). The best part is that most of the players were really tall, so we got to see a number of slam dunks, and the no-hanging-on-the-rim rule doesn't seem strictly enforced.

We've noticed from watching European Football (soccer) and now in basketball, that professional teams in Europe tend to wear their sponsor's name on their jersey (sometimes more prominantly than their team name). Even the refs last night had a sponsor logo on their shirts.

On Sunday evenings, we've discovered that one channel plays American Football (with the annoucing dubbed over in Serbian) and so we have been able to watch the end of two games so far. The instant replays are sponsored by a local bank! It seems sponsors have found a way to capitalize on everything. In American, I've only noticed this on Nascar vehicles and the driver's jumpsuits. I'm sure that it's only a matter of time before other sports embrace this trend if it means making more money.
This is the first successful shot of the game. "Our" team won :) After finding out that Crawford came from Staunton (less than an hour from our American home), we wish we would have had an oportunity to talk with him.


lois said...

Are the fans allowed to talk with the players after the game? If so, maybe they'll play this team again and you'll get your chance unless the tickets are out of your price range!

Dennis said...

Hi Steve and Laura! Actually the US is also going with sponser names on shirts. Dave Becham (soccer) was in Columbus this weekend and I noticed the sponser's name across the front of his shirt. -Dennis