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New Tech Basketball League Start-Up Becoming The Uber And AirBnB Of The Industry

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CBL Exposure League is a tech start-up disguised as a basketball league. Catering to the 50 million amateur basketball marketplace the CBL platform allows for its participants to leverage exposure, career opportunities, and economic development. In just three years the company’s growth is trending at 1,775%. Below is our interview with Jamar Johnson, Chief CBL Commissioner and CEO of CBL Exposure League and CBL Worldwide:


Q: Jamar, can you tell us more about the CBL Exposure League?

A: The CBL Exposure League is a new national semi-pro basketball league platform for the 50 million amateur basketball marketplace in the United States. I created the CBL because I saw a threefold problem. The first problem is something that I had first-hand experience with as a former player. The United States is so rich in post-high school and college basketball talent and most of that talent is desperately looking for legitimate playing and paying opportunities.

The second problem was that the existing pro basketball league business model was not sustainable at the semi-pro level. It prohibited people who really loved the game from getting involved from a team ownership or business perspective. I was interested in starting my own team in the late 90’s, but after doing years of research and talking to other semi-pro team owners that weren’t making any money I decided that I could create something better.

The third issue or inspiration, as I like to call it, was the book “The Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell that was given to me to by Daniel Newham, a co-worker of mine at the time. I had always wanted to play a part in helping people and improving communities, but because I wasn’t a multi-millionaire NBA player I didn’t believe it was possible for me to do anything.

After reading The Tipping Point, I realized that I could use my basketball league idea to create leverage in creating a business opportunity while helping to improve people and communities at the same time. I got really tired of seeing good basketball players and great people lose their self-worth and succumb to depression, street life, drugs, and alcohol abuse.

To this day, I desperately want to put a stop to that by offering the CBL as an alternative to people. Players take pride and know that they are a part of something that they can belong to and non-players have an opportunity to create a business for themselves via our team ownership program that doesn’t cost them anything expect sweat equity. It’s all about instilling value in someone and helping them to keep their hopes and dreams alive.

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Q: Why do you considered CBL as being the Uber and AirBnB of the professional basketball world?

A: The reason we compare ourselves to Uber and AirBnb is because our league uses a similar platform business model instead of a linear or traditional pro basketball league model. With Uber and AirBnB anyone with a vehicle or bedroom can become a taxi, limo, or hotel owner or service provider, and so it is with the CBL. Anyone who loves basketball can become a team owner or player in our league. Most players can already play so there’s no try-outs and no expensive league team entry fees. Our compensation plan is based on a cash prize system, personal commitment, and team performance.

We consider our start-up to be more of a tech company than an offline basketball league because we virtually have no fixed over-head cost and almost 100% of our player and team financial transactions are done online. Any other semi-pro basketball league that would try to adopt our model would be a pure copy-cat of the CBL and it would call for a major shift in how they operate if they were to try and follow our lead.

When I first started the CBL, a very well-known and respected official from one of the semi-pro leagues told me that my idea wouldn’t compete against their brand of storied players and NBA relationships. Since I started the CBL, other semi-pro basketball league fees have dropped from $250,000.00 per year to lifetime league fees as low as $2,500.00 and our player database is already over 10,000. So yeah, I think you can say that we are causing a major disruption in the semi-pro basketball world.

Q: How does the league work?

A: The CBL is a membership based semi-pro basketball league service and platform with a winner takes all cash prize game and tournament system.

Here are some videos that will show you how our league works:
For team owners
For players

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Q: How has the response been for the CBL Exposure League so far?

A: According to other semi-pro basketball league websites around the country the average expansion team growth is a 1 to 2% increase from year to year with an attrition rate (teams that do not return the following year) of about 20 to 25%. In 2016, the CBL is expecting a 3 to 5% attrition rate with a projected 150 teams nationwide, which would be 138% growth from 2014, and 1,775% expansion team growth over the past three years.

The response from players and perspective team owners has been phenomenal and overwhelming at the same time. Last January we created a 90-day social media marketing plan. By the third week of the campaign we had to shut it down because we couldn’t handle the volume of emails, calls, and new teams that we were on-boarding. We have since refined our processes and infrastructure to support the demand that we are projecting for years to come.

Q: What are the future plans of the CBL?

A: Going forward we are going to work with our league’s national sponsors and vendors on the following initiatives; optimizing our operations in the US, increasing our tournament cash prizes plans, creating a plan for the league to purchase the tv/video broadcasting rights of games from our qualified team owners, and global expansion of the CBL brand. Hey, I didn’t name the company CBL Worldwide for nothing!

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Q: Is the CBL investment ready?

A: Yes, but it’s been a challenge when it comes to getting in front of tech angels and vc’s so I have basically bootstrapped the business to date. I think our investment opportunity would be ideal for a current or former NBA players because they would understand every aspect of the business.

Regardless the investor type, I make sure to keep our plan deck, Private Placement Memorandum (PPM), and term sheet up to date and ready to send if ever requested by an accredited investor. I would love to show potential investors why the CBL would be a lay-up (easiest two point shot in basketball) for them!

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