The shining trophy that will be awarded to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion at the end of this week's 2012 Final Four arrived in ceremonial fashion to Istanbul on Monday afternoon. Mr. Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball president and CEO, handed over the trophy to Mr. Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Airlines, upon landing this afternoon at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. The arrival marked the symbolic start to a week's worth of exciting basketball, charity and social events as the two executives welcomed each other on behalf of their respective organizations, which have been working together for two years and throughout the current one toward the 2011-12 season's crowning moment on Sunday at Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul.
Since becoming the title sponsor of the competition in the summer of 2010, Turkish Airlines has continued to strengthen the scope of its relationship with Euroleague Basketball at every opportunity. Most recently, Turkish Airlines became the official founding patron of One Team, the innovative new Corporate Social Responsibility program that joins basketball and business in the pursuit of helping communities in need. Turkish Airlines deputy general manager Mr. Faruk Cizmecioglu will be among the guests at the Final Four's official symposium on Friday to shed light on how the airline voted Europe's best in 2011 dedicates itself to social responsibility through sport.
Its arrival started off a busy week for the trophy itself, too. Before being lifted over the heads of the champions on Sunday, the trophy will tour Istanbul so that fans can see it up close and take pictures with it. It's first stop will be Thursday morning at the Intersport store in Kanyon Shopping Center, accompanied by a quartet of Final Four superstars: Nenad Krstic of CSKA Moscow, Chuck Eidson of FC Barcelona Regal, Richard Dorsey of Olympiacos Piraeus and Sarunas Jasikevicius of Panathinaikos Athens. Subsequent stops at another Intersport location as well as the Devotion Fan Zone in famous Taksim Square are on the trophy's schedule before it makes its appearance at courtside for Sunday's title game, ready to be won by this season's Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion!