SBD/January 29, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA Details Plans To Celebrate Chinese New Year Over Eight Days

Five teams including the Wizards will host in-arena events for Chinese New Year
The NBA will celebrate the Chinese New Year from Feb. 7-14 and honor the Year of the Snake with a record 23 live games televised and streamed in China over eight consecutive days. Five NBA teams will host in-arena Chinese New Year-themed celebrations and two additional teams will have signage recognizing the holiday. NBA China marketing partners Harbin Beer and Peak Sports are co-presenting partners of the celebration and will have a presence on broadcast and in-arena. In addition, Peak will unveil an NBA China New Year’s Celebration-themed TV commercial in China featuring endorsers Heat F Shane Battier, Warriors F Carl Landry, Rockets F Patrick Patterson and NBA D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce G Andrew Goudelock. Harbin Beer also will launch NBA Chinese New Year-themed cans in China (NBA). In DC, Michael Lee noted the NBA will “again lean on” former NBAer and China native Yao Ming as the Chinese New Year approaches to “take a yet-to-be determined role” in the eight-day celebration. NBA China CEO David Shoemaker said that last year’s Chinese New Year event “attracted nearly 90 million viewers with the league’s local television partners; he is expecting more than 100 million this year.” He said that the Rockets “remain popular,” and three of their games “will be televised on Chinese Central Television, the nation’s state-run international broadcaster, during the celebration.” Lee noted it “helps that the team currently boasts Jeremy Lin, a Taiwanese American, and an all-star guard in James Harden” (WASHINGTON POST, 1/27).

WASHINGTON CONNECTION: The POST's Lee noted the Wizards franchise “has a long history with China, dating back to when late owner Abe Pollin led the NBA’s first venture to the nation in 1979.” The Wizards will be “one of five teams that will host events at their venue to honor Chinese culture,” along with the Bulls, Warriors, Heat and Raptors. The Celtics and Clippers “will have in-arena signage to recognize the holiday, which actually begins on Feb. 10.” All 24 teams playing on Feb. 8 “will wear specially designed shooting shirts and the league will conduct several online and social media promotions throughout the week” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 1/28).
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