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Ownership Group Led by DCB Sports Purchases Rights to First Location-Based BIG3 Team Franchise in Los Angeles

BIG3 Teams Will All Represent Home Markets Starting with 2025 Season

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, the BIG3 announced the first-ever purchase of rights for a BIG3 team to represent a home market. Purchasing the rights is a consortium of investors led by DCB Sports and includes a mix of professional athletes and celebrities. The Los Angeles-based BIG3 team will debut in season eight (8) in 2025. Since the BIG3’s formation in 2017, all teams have been centrally owned and operated at the league level. Season seven (7) will be the final BIG3 season operating under this existing model, and following this summer’s season, all teams will transition to representing home markets.


“My partners and I are thrilled to be joining Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz in professional 3-on-3 basketball,” said Managing Partner of DCB Sports, Gary LaDrido. “We believe that the BIG3 can shape the future of basketball; the gameplay is dynamic and nuanced and the product on the court appeals to a global audience. I can’t wait to continue to grow this game with this group for years to come.”

The highly successful breakout league expanded from eight (8) to 12 teams in 2019 and plays the professional sport FIREBALL3, a much-improved version of traditional 3-on-3 basketball. Until now, BIG3 traveled to different cities each week and teams were not associated with home markets. Ownership groups of the first four franchises will be announced prior to this season’s June 15 tip-off in Oakland, CA, followed by at least eight (8) other markets to be named after this season, which concludes with the BIG3 Championship, All-Star, and Celebrity games on August 18, 2024, in Boston, MA. Two (2) of the 12 initial markets will be Toronto, CA, and London, UK, where the league hosted the 2023 Championship and All-Star games at the iconic O2 arena.

“This is a historic day for the BIG3,” said BIG3 CEO and co-founder, Ice Cube. “We could not be happier to entrust part of our league to Gary and this seasoned group of sports investors ahead of our most important season yet. We have all-star basketball talent, millions of loyal fans around the world, and we are one of the most viewed sports programs of the summer on CBS. Basing our teams in home cities allows BIG3 to engage local communities and fanbases and bringing in ownership groups each with their own sports expertise, business, and capabilities beginning in 2025 will allow BIG3 to grow exponentially. I know that DCB Sports will do right by the people of Los Angeles and together, we’ll continue to change the game.”

Over its seven-year history, the league has cultivated one of the most diverse and engaged fanbases across all five major sports, averaging 14,000 fans in-arena each weekend and another 515,000 viewers on CBS last year. BIG3 successfully attracts historically underserved sports audiences; 50.5% of BIG3 viewers are non-white and 44.5% are female. Live audience demographics mirror those watched on television. The median age of attendees and viewers is the youngest of the five other major sports leagues. Starting this summer, all international games and 50% of non-CBS games domestically will air on X (formerly Twitter).

“DCB Sports is a natural fit to be among the first owners in our league,” said BIG3 President and co-founder, Jeff Kwatinetz. “We are partnering with owners who have deep ties to their cities, bring new perspectives to the table, and are looking to better their communities through basketball; recognizing that sports teams should give back to the communities they represent instead of simply taking from them. This purchase and transition to city-based teams allows us to be more than just a weekend, and to expand the off-the-court parts of our league such as our Young3 program. We believe this transition will allow us to continue our upward trajectory in fan acquisition as well as to continue to innovate both the game as well as to align our core principles with those of our fans, players, and Hall of Fame coaches. I know that this DCB group is truly committed to putting down BIG3 roots in Los Angeles and I can’t wait to see what we can do together.”

DCB Sports is also invested in TGL San Francisco, which plays in the new golf league founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, Venezia FC of the Italian Football League, and most recently made a strategic investment into the National Thoroughbred League, where they also acquired the Los Angeles Team. Matt Sherman, the former Senior Director of Growth Strategy at the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), is joining DCB Sports as a Partner and will lead the basketball vertical.

“The BIG3 is the pioneer of the global professional 3-on-3 game, and the league’s momentum and influence continues to grow each year; among their fans and the impressive roster of premier 3-on-3 players set to compete this summer,” said DCB Partner, Matt Sherman. “In addition to building out the Los Angeles franchise, we hope to help drive innovation within the global basketball ecosystem and be a catalyst for growth and connectivity internationally. The BIG3 is the most dynamic blend of culture, entertainment, and sports, and it’s exciting to see what the league has in store for this next chapter.”

To learn more about the BIG3 go to BIG3.com and follow @thebig3 on X and Instagram. Tickets for the 2024 season are on sale now at BIG3.com/tickets.

ABOUT BIG3:

On January 11, 2017, the BIG3 was born. The first-ever professional FIREBALL3 league is the brainchild of producer, actor, and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, who shared a vision of a player-centric league focused on entertainment and innovation. The BIG3 is a league with no garbage minutes, where trash talk is allowed, defense is emphasized, fast-paced action, and where every point – whether it’s a 4-point or 3-point shot – counts. Any given BIG3 team has hall of famers, icons and trailblazers, and the next best 3-on-3 player.

The league has led the sports industry in diversity and opportunity, becoming the first professional sports league to implement a mental health policy, favor CBD as a pain management alternative to opioids, enlist female coaches of men, and appoint a black Commissioner in Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, who is also professional sports first former player serving as Commissioner. The inaugural CEO was the legendary, incomparable Raider executive Amy Trask. This January 2024, BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube was honored at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, where he received the inaugural Ice Cube Impact Award, acknowledging individuals making substantial contributions to their community, the first non-player to be recognized. Founders Ice Cube and Jeffrey Kwatinetz are missioned to better society as BIG3 pursues business success while also helping to break down stereotypes, promote diversity in sports, create opportunities for black, brown, and female athletes beyond the court, and support the black, youth and basketball communities overall.

Contacts

Hannah Palacios, hannah@big3.com

Written by SerieAUKWire

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