" Top titles, marketing operations, championship projects ... How the NBA weaves its network internationally - NEWS-SPORT
Top titles, marketing operations, championship projects … How the NBA weaves its network internationally

Top titles, marketing operations, championship projects … How the NBA weaves its network internationally

As a new game is expected in Paris in January 2023, the NBA continues to increase its international presence. With its attractiveness, it has been able to export to all continents while preserving its historical identity.

In Uncle Sam’s place, it’s really the Old Continent athletes who have dominated and attracted all the attention for several seasons. The golden belt of the 2000s, of the European trio Pau Gasol – Tony Parker – Dirk Nowitzki produced children who grew up quickly.

Since 2019, no American player has managed to win the supreme MVP title – which honors the best player of the regular season. Milwaukee Bucks Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo won the award twice in 2019 and 2020, before Denver Nuggets’s Serbian center Nikola Jokic ascended the throne in 2021 and 2022.

Their foreigners Luka Doncic (Slovenia / Dallas Mavericks) and Joel Embiid (Cameroon / Philadelphia 76ers) participate in this phenomenon of international influence in the NBA, where 109 non-American players currently play. No less than 39 countries are represented in the Grand League.

Paris, the new European capital of the NBA

Enjoying a strong global audience (30% increase in global subscriptions to its official digital platform from Passing the League), The NBA had to find the ideal area to set up its European nerve center. Headquartered in London, where it has its offices, the American basketball league is gradually starting its move to Paris.

In 2020, the NBA made the decision to host a regular season game at the AccorArena in Paris-Bercy. A success that made NBA commissioner Adam Silver happy: “We are seeing tremendous interest from people who are still trying to buy tickets, from the media and from an unprecedented number of sponsors.”explained afterwards.

A historic event they will renovate in January 2023 when the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons will be based in the City of Light.

Another highlight: The NBA is preparing for the long-awaited opening of its official store in Paris scheduled for the summer of 2022. 300 square meters of three-storey shopping, which will be located at 20 Boulevard Saint-Michel (arrondissementi 5), exactly in the Latin Quarter between the Pantheon, the Sorbonne and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. It will be the third NBA store in Europe after London and Milan. Note that Spain does not have an official store but an NBA café in Madrid where basketball matches are broadcast.

An international program at the helm

Since 2001, the NBA has been working to develop its program Basketball without Borders which organizes training camps for public awareness initiated by FIBA. With a focus on improving basketball skills, these camps promote leadership, education, sports behavior and healthy living through an HIV awareness and prevention campaign.

To date, the NBA – through its program BWB – is located in 23 host cities in 20 countries. More than 2300 participants from 120 different countries have participated in these training camps since 2001. Four days where the best young talents aged 19 and under gather from Asia-Pacific, Europe, America and Africa.

Two Cameroonians Pascal Siakam (left) and Joel Embiid (right) highlight the development of basketball in Africa. Dan Hamilton / PANORAMA

The NBA announced last week that the next edition of Basketball without Borders will take place at Sport Village Assago and Bocconi Sport Center in Milan, Italy, from Wednesday 1 June to Saturday 4 June.

The NBA is entering new markets

In recent years, the NBA has always emphasized its side of globalizing basketball, especially by hosting pre-season games abroad against home teams: Real Madrid in Spain, Olympia Milan in Italy, Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Israel or Flamengo in Brazil. While Brazilians are more accustomed to “jogo bonito” in football, they are also interested in basketball and especially in the American League, which closely monitors this growing market.

China is the next big NBA project. Through marketing and sponsorship deals, several NBA players are closely linked to Chinese basketball-enabled legend and former player Yao Ming, now Minister of Sports in Xi Jinping’s government. Friendly matches also took place in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Since 2019, the NBA has hosted a regular-season game a year in Mexico with the goal of boosting the basketball spot among their Latin American neighbors. They even went so far as to create a Mexico-based G-League (youth development championship) franchise: Capitanes de Mexico.

Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks Slovenian star was present at the 2019 Mexico City match. Cary Edmondson / REUTERS

The same is true in India, where the NBA has hosted preparatory matches since 2019 at the urging of local Bombay multimillionaire Vivek Ranadivé, owner of the Sacramento Kings team. But also in Tokyo, Japan in October 2022 where the NBA took advantage of the arrival of American-Japanese Rui Hachimura in the Washington Wizards to attack the Japanese market.

The UAE will host teams from Milwaukee and Atlanta in October for two pre-season NBA games. These will be the first two matches played in the Middle East between the two NBA teams. “Hosting NBA Games and Events in Abu Dhabi is part of our quest to boost basketball worldwidesaid Mark Tatum, deputy commissioner for example. These matches are part of a multi-year agreement between the NBA and the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi.

An NBA Championship in Europe?

The NBA and FIBA ​​are said to be working together to create a European conference. An agreement is even close by brand. Like the WNBA, NBA Africa or G-League, this division would be a third-party race managed by the NBA.

The Spanish daily adds that nothing will be done without the approval of national leagues. This project aims to become the largest European basketball competition in history. Another way to boost the economy and marketing of FIBA ​​clubs.

Currently, seven clubs are said to be ready to join the project of leaving the Euroleague and will have the heavy task of convincing other home teams, including Baskonia, Barcelona and Real Madrid. A project similar to what we have seen with the Super League in football.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver would have already warned Jordi Bartomeu, the current president of the Euroleague, about his intention to establish this European Conference with FIBA ​​and consequently to contact the big European clubs.

The last big point to enjoy with the birth of this NBA Europe: the Euroleague rights that belong to IMG. In 2015, this multinational sports company signed a 10-year contract for 630 million euros ensuring the organization of the Euroleague.

Batum, Fournier, Gobert … The French in the NBA in the picture

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