Over the course of the next 14 months, the clock will count down the days, hours, minutes and seconds leading up to the tip off of FIBA's flagship competition on 30 August 2014. The special event took place in a party atmosphere in the Puerta del Sol area of the city. A number of leading names in international basketball were on hand to witness this momentous occasion, including Spanish national team player Fernando San Emeterio, Spain legend Jorge Garbajosa, three-time NBA champion A.C. Green as well as Amaya Valdemoro, who on Sunday helped the women's national team claim the title at EuroBasket Women 2013 in France.
Among the distinguished guests who participated in the event were: Pedro Corral, the Art, Culture and Athletic Council of the Madrid City Council; Don Miguel Cardenal, Secretary of State of Sports; Doña Lucia Figar, State Counselor of Madrid Region for Education, Youth and Sports; Javier Núñez, Tissot Representative.
More than 50,000 people gathered during the day to see the unveiling of the countdown clock and also found out the slogan for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup: 'in your hands'.
It symbolises the fact that the tournament is for everyone and will involve people from all around the world.
The slogan fits perfectly with the logo for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup which was inspired by the concept of ‘the basketball dance’. Two hands, symbolising the body part most directly involved in both basketball and Spanish dance, create a dynamic graphic that blends expressive gestures.
FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said: “The hands are a strong symbol of our sport. 'In your hands' means that we need everyone to make it the best FIBA Basketball World Cup ever.
“It's not only the best players, but also the fans from all over the world, those in the venues, those in front of their TVs or on the digital platforms. Each and every person can be a part of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.”
Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) President Jose Luis Saez expressed his confidence that the tournament will live up to expectations of being the best ever.
“Four years ago we faced the challenge of organising the best event in the history of basketball,” he said. “With 14 months to go before the FIBA Basketball World Cup tips off, we are convinced that we will make it possible.
“The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup will not only be a basketball event. It will also feature projects to do with the economy, society and sports in Spain and the rest of the world.
“The economic support and involvement of big companies in the different areas of sponsorship has created an important bond of generating global wealth.”
Over the weekend and leading up to Monday afternoon's launch event, 2014 basketballs were distributed throughout Madrid in order to spread the basketball fever.
Music, cheerleaders as well as games and activities for kids around the Spain 2014 Road Show Truck provided the entertainment aspect of the event.
The official website of the tournament, fiba.com/spain2014, was also launched on Monday. It is the source for all the latest news about the continental championships that serve as qualifying tournaments for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. It is also the place to find all the information about the promotional activities on the road to Spain 2014.
It was also announced that ticket sales for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be launched later this month.
About the FIBA Basketball World Cup
Known as the FIBA World Championship from 1950 until 2010, the FIBA Basketball World Cup is the flagship competition of the International Basketball Federation.
The first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup took place in Argentina in 1950 with the host nation prevailing in the Final against the USA.
Since the first staging of the tournament in Buenos Aires where six teams did battle, the field has grown exponentially to feature the 24 best teams from around the world.
Yugoslavia have won gold in five of the 16 editions of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, while the USA account for four and the Soviet Union for three.
Since 1998, the winners of the FIBA Basketball World Cup get to celebrate their crowning moment by holding aloft the Naismith Trophy, named after the inventor of basketball, Dr James Naismith.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup has been the centre stage for some of international basketball's biggest stars - from Oscar Schmidt and and Nikos Galis to Pau Gasol and Kevin Durant and many in between.
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