NBA has announced that Ben Morel will step down from his role as NBA senior vice president and managing director of Europe and the Middle East at the end of July.
Morel, who has been in his current role since 2011 and with the NBA in various roles since 1998, will work on finalising business plans for the upcoming year and then intends to pursue personal interests and other opportunities.
During Morel’s time leading the NBA in Europe and the Middle East, the league’s popularity throughout the region reached all-time highs. He was instrumental in many initiatives, including partnerships with Perform, beIN Sports in France and the Middle East, and Movistar in Spain, resulting in NBA games and programming being broadcast in 61 European and Middle Eastern countries and territories in more than 36 languages.
Morel also spearheaded the launch of NBA Sundays, the first weekly live primetime games on Sunday evenings in Europe. NBA Sundays are now in its fourth season and has expanded to include primetime games on Saturday evenings.
During Morel’s tenure, the league continued to bring the live NBA game experience to fans, including the first-ever regular-season games in Europe in 2011, eight consecutive sold-out regular-season games in London, and preseason games in Germany, Italy, Spain and Turkey.
The league’s youth and grassroots development grew under Morel’s guidance and now feature 33 Jr. NBA leagues in 19 European countries, including the launch of Jr. NBA programmes in France, Greece and Israel.
“Ben’s leadership has played an important role in the sustained growth of our game and business across Europe and the Middle East,” said Tatum. “We appreciate Ben’s contributions to the NBA over the past 20 years and wish him continued success in the next chapter of his career.”
“It has been a privilege to be part of the NBA’s international growth and I am thankful to all my fantastic colleagues, as well as the NBA’s leadership for their support,” Morel said. “I’m proud of the many accomplishments and how basketball and our business in Europe and the Middle East has continued to grow. While the last two decades have been truly amazing, it is the right time for me to move on with my own personal ambitions. I could not be more excited for what the future holds.”
Morel originally joined the NBA in March 1998 in the league’s merchandise group and was named department head of the consumer products group in 2003 in the league’s former Europe headquarters in Paris. Since 2008, Morel has been based in the NBA’s London office.