International sports marketing agency Sportfive has appointed Chris Russell to the role of director of global basketball sales.

The appointment comes after Sportfive won the contract to sell sponsorship and global media rights to the Basketball Champions League and Fiba Intercontinental Cup to the end of the current 2023-24 season.

Although the fellow agency Team will sell the rights from the 2024-25 season onward, Sportfive maintains a strong presence in the sport, having in the past worked with major franchises such as the LA Lakers and Chicago Bulls among others.

Russell joins the company from Spanish soccer giants FC Barcelona, where he served as head of business development between November 2021 and January 2024.

Over this time, FC Barcelona announced several prominent global partnerships, including most recently a partnership with technology and home delivery company Rappi.

The Latin America-focused partnership sees Rappi serve as the official delivery partner of the Barcelona men’s and women’s teams in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Brazil, Uruguay, and Ecuador.

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Most importantly, between 2015 and 2020, Russell served as the manager of global partnerships for North America’s National Basketball Association (NBA), the world’s richest and most prominent basketball league.

During his time at the NBA, Russell oversaw several global partnerships as the league expanded worldwide, with regular-season global games taking place in Mexico City, Mexico, Paris, France, and London, England, taking place during his time at the league.

Sportfive has a large portfolio of sports partnerships both in and out of basketball. Most recently, the company agreed a deal with the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) governing body to renew its partnership for the Olympic 2024-28 cycle.