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Inspiring suppliers to innovate basketball

  • Sport & Lifestyle
  • Innovation & Growth Services
achilles design basketball sports

FIBA and the need for innovation in basketball

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) governs the game of basketball worldwide. FIBA has the mission to increase the importance of this beautiful game. To do so, the federation understands that it’s key to continuously innovate basketball. To strengthen the business of basketball, we must think of new value propositions for basketball equipment, innovative business models and service designs.


Collaborations with members of the FIBA network is critical to boost the value of basketball. That’s why FIBA wants these venue suppliers and manufacturers of basketball equipment to be inspired. They must feel empowered to work on innovative basketball products and services. Enter Achilles Design. FIBA asked our innovation consultant (Per Mans) as a public speaker to inspire and guide the members of this partner network.


The focus of our talk had to be on persuading and onboarding the FIBA network. We had to make these companies enthusiastic about the many possibilities to innovate their own product designs, their service designs and their business models.


Getting the FIBA audience on board

First we had to understand our audience. We’re talking about hundreds of companies from around the globe, coming together for a virtual innovation event. Many companies are also competitors from one another. That means they would not be as open as we’d like to share thoughts and innovative ideas. So we were challenged to keep our audience engaged with very few interactions - just a few live polls during our talk.


We started off with a high-energy video on sports innovation trends that we’ve created to shake up our audience. Only then we started the actual presentation. In our slides we could have just summed up and illustrated the many innovation opportunities for basketballs, flooring, hoops, fan engagement, training wearables ... But that would become boring fast. Bye bye innovation appetite.


To keep our diverse audience engaged we told the story of a fictional character named Emma. Using design thinking and storytelling techniques, we follow her from a very young age, through her entire basketball career until she retires from playing and adopts supporting and management roles. In all chapters of her life she approaches the game differently, with new user needs and desires. Each chapter allowed us to talk about different value propositions and innovation areas to consider. This format proved to be extremely engaging and empowering to our audience.

The result
From the FIBA headquarters in Geneva, the virtual live event was casted to all the suppliers and manufacturers around the world. Per, one of our innovation consultants got on stage and told the story of Emma. Through the story he touched upon the many innovation possibilities that could give Emma a better user experience. In just 90 minutes, each participant has felt the need to innovate and took this can-do attitude back to their companies, along with a set of  disruptive ideas to pitch in front of their managers. We're curious to see the next innovations they'll launch!

Curious about the live event? Then take a look at the recap video.