The London Lions have enjoyed great success both domestically and in the EuroCup this season, with both the men's and women's sides achieving historic milestones, setting a high standard for themselves in the seasons to come. When it's all said and done, their 22'/23' rosters may go down as one of the best British Basketball sides ever, not only for the impact that they've had on the court, but also off of it.
Since 777 Partners –– who are also majority shareholders in the British Basketball League with a 45% stake –– took over in ownership in 2020, the moves made by the Lions roster has definitely been felt, not only by opposing BBL teams but also across Europe. The acquisition of players such as Kosta Koufos & Sam Dekker –– both of whom have a ton of NBA experience –– as well as picking up some of the best British talent in Luke Nelson, Bradley Kaboza, Josh Sharma and others, has resulted in a team that has been dominant domestically and in a word, historic when it comes to Europe.
The same thing goes for the women. Azania Stewart, Holly Winterburn, Kiki Herbert-Harrigan, Taylor Murray, the list goes on. Their domestic season has been almost identical to that of the mens, with a 52-game win streak that spanned all the way back to 2021 and at the time of writing, 2 out of 4 domestic titles. They've also had a historic run in Europe to say the very least, advancing all the way to playoffs where they would eventually bow out in the round of 32.
All their on-court success has enabled them to have as much impact off the court as well as on it. From the in-game entertainment, to the clothing collaborations, the London Lions have been able to introduce aspects of not only London's culture, but also British Basketball to those who were unaware of the game and all of its crossovers into other cultures with groundbreaking collaborations and partnerships that showcase fashion, art, music and more.
It's that ability of this sport to be able to fluidly crossover into so many other cultures that not only makes it incredibly unique, but also provides opportunities for so many. Not only that, but it gives the game an incredible amount of potential to grow because of the amount of people it can connect with through more than just what goes on on the court.
Thus far, the Copper Box Arena, home to the London Lions, has hosted names such as K-Trap, Steff London, Strandz, Henrie, Yung Filly, Guvna B and D Double E as part of the entertainment, all of whom are popular figures within the entertainment & music industry in the UK.
Clothing & apparel collaborations have included basketball handbags with TOMME Studios, a puffer jacket with Half Decent Day and most recently, a cold varsity jacket with Beautiful Struggles which also managed to make it's way onto Hypebeast, the leading online destination for news on all things streetwear, fashion and more.
Finally, and most recently, the London Lions announced their partnership with Stock X who are one of, if not THE leading online marketplace for all things concerning streetwear, sneakers and more. In principal alone, this could be described as the perfect partnership. Working together with an online marketplace that primarily focus on sneakers and sneaker culture, something which fans of the game of basketball could say would not be where it is today without the game itself.
Everything mentioned speaks volumes as to the efforts London are making to centre fashion, music and art at the centre of what they're doing.
"WE’VE BEEN HOLDING OUT FOR AN AUTHENTIC PRINCIPAL PARTNER WHO SHARED THE SAME VALUES. STOCKX COULD NOT BE A BETTER PARTNER IN THAT RESPECT, AND WE ARE EXCITED TO GET TO WORK WITH THEIR TEAM ON OUR SHARED MISSION IMMEDIATELY."
OLLIE EMERY, CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER AT THE LONDON LIONS
The impact they've had on the game thus far can't be denied. It can be seen not only their results and their partnerships, but with the amount of people they have been able to bring to their games. The Copper Box Arena now gets filled up. Games are louder. The atmosphere is greater. It's something that every British basketball fan has been wanting for a long time now. They definitely have a lot more to do, but the London Lions are certainly on the right track.