On 10 August, VTB United League, a new European basketball club tournament established under VTB support held its presentation and drawing procedure in Moscow. Among the attendees were Sergei Ivanov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergei Chernov, President of the Russian Federation of Basketball (RFB), Vasily Titov, Deputy Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board, Andrey Belyaninov, Chairman of RFB Board of Trustees, and Andrey Shirokov, General Director of VTB United League.
The new tournament is aimed at strengthening Russian positions in the European basketball arena. In future, VTB United League will be able to compete with the existing European Cups.
In the forthcoming season eight leading teams from five European countries will take part in VTB United League, in particular, Russian CSKA, Khimki, UNICS, Ukrainian Azovmash, Donetsk, Lithuanian Zhalgiris, Latvian VEF and Estonian Kalev. The League format implies a preliminary round that will take place from 14 October 2009 to 10 January 2010, and Final of the Fourth to be held on 20-21 January 2010.
According to Vasily Titov, VTB Deputy Chairman: "Today, we are opening a new page in the history of European Basketball. We hope, that in the near future the best teams of the Old World’s leading basketball empires will play in the League and our tournament will be more and more popular with both professionals and amateurs."
VTB traditionally supports Russian basketball. On 18 December 2008, VTB and the Russian Federation of Basketball entered into Sponsorship Agreement under which VTB became General sponsor of the Women’s National Basketball Team. According to the Agreement VTB will provide sponsorship support to the women’s team, helping Russian sportswomen prepare to the Olympic Games, arranging competitions and other events to be held under the RFB aegis. The Agreement is signed for the period up to 2012 to enable the team to get ready for the London Olympic Games.
Since 2008 VTB has been General Sponsor of the Women’s National Basketball Team in Russia. It took active participation in preparing the team for the Olympic Games in Beijing where the sportswomen won bronze medals.