Steve Rifkind recently announced that he was stepping away from his partnership with Universal Music Group, but the music industry vet (SRC Records, LOUD) now has another business opportunity on the horizon: he recently signed a deal with the upstart American Basketball League.
According to Billboard, Rifkind will be teaming with the league in a branding and promotional capacity. “Integrating the worlds of entertainment and basketball poses a challenge to make sports history,” he said in a statement. “The ABL offers a platform to present an entertainment product which will integrate the US and global basketball worlds. Our vision could change the course of professional basketball.”
The league’s founder, Steve Haney, expressed similar enthusiasm. “Steve Rifkind is a pioneer of not only American music, but American culture,” he said. “Combining our experiences and networks will create a professional basketball product never seen before in America”.
The league, which will begin in January, will have 12 teams and a 24-game schedule, and be the first professional league with international FIBA rules in the US.
Pretty cool. Hopefully this league takes off and gives college players and semi-pros an alternative domestic outlet for basketball. I’m rooting for the ABL and Steve.