Basketball club owner banks on further success
One man keen for another victory for Kazan is its president Evgeny Bogachev.
Before becoming the president of Unics Kazan, Bogachev created one of the most effective banking systems in Russia. Today, Tatarstan's banking sector has one of the highest capitalisations.
“Like any bank president, I must check how effectively the money is working,” Bogachev says. “But actually this so-called social burden has become a hobby for me. I dedicate all my free time to basketball. I try to be involved in all processes, especially now, with the financial crisis. I monitor everything from player and coach selection to practices which I try to visit as often as I can”.
During the ten years of Evgeny Bogachev's presidency, Unics has always been in the top three of the Russian Superleague, and the club won the FIBA Europe league and the Russian Cup.
But one major gong continues to elude the team – the Superleague title. Hopes are being pinned on the next generation of local players, who have everything they need to achieve this much desired triumph.
“We have a great basketball arena which would not have been completed if it wasn't for the Republic's President Mintimir Shaimiev,” Bogachev says. “And I'm particularly proud of our reserves, Unics 2 which have already generated a lot of quality players that now have contracts throughout Russia. We also have several teams for children that we support financially. The only thing that's missing is a boarding school which I dream of establishing in the future.”
The citizens of Kazan are probably some of the most fortunate people in Russia when it comes to watching professional sport. The Republic's government has been generous with resources to keep it that way.
Fans can find top level athletic entertainment virtually year round
Although all the sport clubs are autonomous in Kazan, sports development is somewhat centralised by the authorities. And this shows when you look at sponsors of teams which are usually partly state owned. This kind of support proves effective when you look at the results. Market or no market – success needs fostering.