Le Lézard
Classified in: Sports and recreation
Subjects: Contract/Agreement, Product/Service

BIG3 Announces Miami Expansion in $10 Million Deal


Today, the BIG3 announced that a group of investors led by media, sports, real estate, and hospitality executive Heath Freeman has purchased the rights to the second-ever location-based BIG3 franchise with plans to base the team in Miami. Freeman will take ownership for the 2025 season, when all BIG3 teams will represent home markets. This announcement follows the purchase of rights to the LA-based BIG3 franchise by an ownership group led by DCB Sports, also for a reported $10 million, with both teams debuting in the BIG3's eighth season in 2025.

"I am honored to join Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz at the BIG3 and bring a new professional basketball team to Miami," said Freeman. "BIG3 is shaping the future of basketball; the gameplay is dynamic and nuanced and the product on the court appeals to the audiences in this incredibly fast-growing region. Basketball fans across South Florida can rest assured that this franchise will soon add to our great region's winning sports pedigree."

Freeman brings with him the support of the city of Miami, including Mayor Francis Suarez, who has been an active supporter of the BIG3 coming to Miami. Suarez has previously attended multiple BIG3 games and met with league co-founders Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz to discuss the BIG3's potential for community outreach and youth programs should a franchise come to Miami.

"We are thrilled to bring a BIG3 franchise to Miami," said Mayor Francis Suarez. "I love BIG3, the league is doing amazing things, and the city is going to rally around our team!"

Among other investments in sports, Freeman is Managing Partner of the Florida Freedom, which plays in the PBR (Professional Bull Riders), and is based out of the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, FL. He is also Executive Chairman of the AVP, the premier beach volley league in the world. The AVP recently announced the launch of a new league this fall, with eight teams set for its inaugural season.

"This announcement has been a long time coming," said BIG3 CEO and co-founder, Ice Cube. "Our fans in Miami have been loud these past few years, and we couldn't be happier to, alongside this group, bring the BIG3 to them permanently. In Heath, we've found a partner who is passionate about developing communities and creating meaningful change for the better. This market has the unique distinction of mirroring the growth and expansion that is currently underway in our league, and I am confident that Miami will be an ideal home for our second BIG3 franchise."

Season seven, which is currently underway, will be the final BIG3 season operating under the touring model. In 2025, when the Miami franchise will begin play, all 12 previously-league-owned BIG3 teams will transition to representing home markets.

"Heath is emblematic of the types of owners we are seeking out for all of our franchises," said BIG3 President and co-founder, Jeff Kwatinetz. "Quite simply, he is a winner with an incredible vision for the growth of BIG3 as well as an understanding of how the league can truly become a vital leader in the sports landscape. He wants to build a winning franchise. His dedication to revitalization, eye for talent, tenacity, and desire to compete, demonstrate to Cube and me that this is the right partner; not only to bring a winning BIG3 franchise to a city that has been dedicated to the BIG3 since the league's early years, but to commit to making a difference in this city at a time of dramatic change and growth. I'm excited to welcome Heath and his investors to our league and look forward to building this franchise alongside them."

To learn more about the BIG3 go to BIG3.com and follow @thebig3 on X and Instagram. Tickets for the 2024 season are on sale now at BIG3.com/tickets.

ABOUT BIG3:

On January 11, 2017, the BIG3 was born. The first-ever professional FIREBALL3 league is the brainchild of producer, actor, and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, who shared a vision of a player-centric league focused on entertainment and innovation. The BIG3 is a league with no garbage minutes, where trash talk is allowed, defense is emphasized, fast-paced action, and where every point ?whether it's a 4-point or 3-point shot ? counts. Any given BIG3 team has hall of famers, icons and trailblazers, and the next best 3-on-3 player.

The league has led the sports industry in diversity and opportunity, becoming the first professional sports league to implement a mental health policy, favor CBD as a pain management alternative to opioids, enlist female coaches of men, and appoint a black Commissioner in Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, who is also professional sports first former player serving as Commissioner. The inaugural CEO was the legendary, incomparable Raider executive Amy Trask. This January 2024, BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube was honored at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, where he received the inaugural Ice Cube Impact Award, acknowledging individuals making substantial contributions to their community, the first non-player to be recognized. Founders Ice Cube and Jeffrey Kwatinetz are missioned to better society as BIG3 pursues business success while also helping to break down stereotypes, promote diversity in sports, create opportunities for black, brown, and female athletes beyond the court, and support the black, youth and basketball communities overall.


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