The British Basketball League is in discussions to score a multi-million pound investment, MVP has learnt.

It is understood American financiers, said to be 777 Partners – the new owners of London Lions – are prepared to inject as much as £5m in return for a non-majority stake if an agreement can be reached.

“It’s very real,” said a source within the BBL.

Any money, proposals suggest, is not expected to find its way directly to the BBL’s eleven members clubs but will instead be used to improve the marketing of the game and help fund an improved media deal.

It remains unclear whether the constituent teams, who co-own the league, have agreed to sign off on any purchase, the latest in a line of potential investments in the domestic sport which have been floated over the years. No consensus has yet emerged despite weeks of discussions, one club told MVP.

Earlier this year, the BBL had an application for a £1 million government bailout rejected despite claiming it was at risk of financial collapse due to coronavirus.

However it is slated to begin its season at the start of October, even though a number of teams – including last season’s pacesetters Glasgow Rocks – have admitted they will struggle for viability if forced to play indefinitely behind closed doors.

“The BBL is a second tier league at the moment,” said another source close to the talks. “Putting money into infrastructure would allow us to move up to be a more visible league within Europe and start improving the product.”

The sport’s myriad governing bodies, including British Basketball, Basketball England and Basketball Scotland, are thought to be prepared to acquiesce to the deal, whose value may be predicated on an extension of the BBL’s ten-year operating license.

While research has suggested basketball is the second-most played youth sport in the UK, it has struggled to translate that into popularity at the professional level with crowds and visibility at a fraction of its spike during the 1990s and 2000s which was largely underwritten by investors from the USA.

If concluded, it would be the second major trans-Atlantic infusion into the BBL following that of the initial tranche from Miami-based 777  after buying the BBL’s reigning champions, London.

The BBL declined comment.

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