The Italian Brands Basketball League Lands at Barclays Center

Francesca Di Matteo (February 04, 2020)
They step into the court for charity, with basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his deep ties to Italy on their minds. They face each other with honesty and passion in the sacred temple of basketball, Barclays Center, with two goals in mind: to win but also to promote the best strategies to communicate the Italian brand in the US. Who are they? New York’s Italian entrepreneurs, the members of the Italian Brands Basketball League, the first basketball association of Italian managers.


Presented at New York’s Italian Trade Agency office, the initiative stemmed from the brilliant intuition of Simone Barazzotto, the owner of a communication and creativity studio of the same name and President of Basketartisti, the Italian national artist basketball team, which turns 20 this year. 

“For the twentieth anniversary, I thought of creating a bridge between Italy and New York. Italian Brands Basketball League (IBBL) will see Italian entrepreneurs hit the court for the first time to take on the seasoned national artist team. We’ll see who wins!” Simone Barazzotto states with sportsmanship and a pinch of irony. 

In just a few months, the challenge garnered the adhesion of various Italian brands. The members of the IBBL playing at Barclays Center will be entrepreneurs Paolo Beretta (Salumificio Fratelli Beretta Spa), Ottavio Missoni (Missoni Spa), Alessandro Schiatti (I Love Italian Food), Letizia Airos and Francesca Di Matteo (Your Italian Hub), Sebastiano Peluso (Discovery Italy), and basketball champions Antonello Riva (former national team player, Cantù and Milano) and Chris McNealy (former NY Knicks.)

The Italian National Basket Artisti team will be comprised of actors Roberto Ciufoli and Stefano Nosei, the Artistic Director of Virgin Radio Italia DJ Ringo, web influencer Valentina Vignali, Sky Sport Journalist Stefano Meloccaro, and Radio 105 DJ Pippo Palmieri.

“This is only the first in a series of games that we will hold in the course of the year,” comments Barazzotto, “the next one will be in April, when more teams of entrepreneurs will face each other on the basketball court, all in the name of charity.”

The proceeds of the donations, which can also be made online here, will all go to the project Ciao Fabri, in memory of Fabrizio Frizzi, the television conductor who passed away two years and was made Honorary President of the Basket Artisti Italiani Association after having played on the team for 15 years.

The sum raised will give two young Italians the opportunity to attend an American college.