Sal’s NBL Seeking New Franchises For Season 2020

New Zealand’s National Basketball League Limited (NBLL) is calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to join the Sal’s National Basketball League (Sal’s NBL) in season 2020. Ideally, the League is targeting entries north of Taupo, New Zealand, while other areas are also welcome to apply.

The NBLL has indicated in its recent 2023 Growth Strategy that the optimum number of teams competing in the Sal’s NBL be from 10 teams up to 12 teams. In 2019 the League has nine entrants.


National Basketball League Limited (NBLL) is pleased to provide this briefing document to interested parties wishing to submit an EOI to participate in the New Zealand National Basketball League - Sal’s NBL 2020.

The Sal’s NBL is the pre-eminent semi-professional men’s basketball league in New Zealand.

The league commenced in 1982 and will have (9) teams competing in season 2019 - consisting of (5) teams from New Zealand’s north island, (3) teams from the south island, and (1) team from Hobart, Australia.

The 2023 Growth Strategy for the Sal’s NBL is built on adopting a fans-first approach to showcasing elite-level, athletic and entertaining men’s basketball. Each business model (League and Clubs) is strongly encouraged to focus on revenue, fan engagement and brand.

The League currently enjoys live streaming of approximately two-thirds of all games, along with a growing media presence and rising sponsorship.

The League recently employed a full-time General Manager based at Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) in Wellington, who is supported in part by an Operations Manager, and a number of other BBNZ staff, including but not limited to - a Commercial Manager, Communications Manager, Communications Coordinator and a Referee Manager.

The League’s growth strategy lays out a plan to grow the Sal’s NBL to a minimum of (10) and maximum of (12) teams. It has identified north of Taupo, New Zealand as key growth area, though prospective franchises from additional areas of New Zealand and Australia (subject to Basketball Australia approval) are welcome to apply.


Sal’s NBL 2020 Dates
The preliminary schedule for the Sal’s NBL 2020 season include a start in late March / early April through to a conclusion in late July / early August.


Expression of Interest (EOI)
The first step for applicants is to send an EOI to the Sal’s NBL General Manager.


Deadline for EOI
Expressions of Interest should be received by close of business (COB) Friday 12 April, 2019. Invitations will then be sent by COB Friday 26 April, 2019 to those being asked to submit a formal bid.


Formal Bids
Formal bids will be due to the NBLL by COB Friday 31 May, 2019. Details of what should be included in the formal bid will be sent to those being asked to submit.


The NBLL will make an announcement on any new 2020 franchises by COB Friday 31 July, 2019.


Who can submit an EOI?
Any parties interested in submitting a formal bid to acquire a Sal’s NBL franchise are welcome to apply by providing an EOI to begin with.


What to address in your EOI?
Interested parties must submit an EOI letter to the League General Manager by COB Friday 12 April, 2019. The EOI should include the following:

a. Proposed Board members
b. Proposed entity structure
c. Proposed venue
d. Proposed team name / colours / logo
e. A brief outline of;
1. projected support base;
2. plans for community engagement;
3. financial support base, and;
4. a summary of the credentials of the Board members.


The NBLL has approved the establishment of a Sal’s NBL franchise bid review team. The team will comprise:
- Sal’s NBL General Manager
- (2) Independent NBLL Board members
- (1) Independent sports acquisition professional

All EOI’s submitted will be reviewed by this group to determine whether the Sal’s NBL will extend an invitation to submit a formal bid. The League General Manager will communicate with all parties who have submitted an EOI by COB Friday 26 April, 2019 to either invite them to submit a formal bid or inform them their EOI was not deemed suitable for further consideration.

Those parties invited to submit a formal bid will receive a ‘NBL Bid Document’ outlining the requirements for a formal bid. Formal bids for a franchise will be due by COB Friday 31 May, 2019.


Key Dates
April 12 – EOI due.
April 26 – decision made on applications to proceed to formal bid.
May 31 – formal bid due.
July 31 – new franchise or franchises announced.


Justin Nelson – Sal's NBL General Manager
Phone – +64 (0)27 2020070
Email –



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