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NBA Global Games Marginally Profitable, But Stern Claims That's Not The Objective
Published October 11, 2013
OVERSEAS GAMES ARE TRENDING: CNBC.com's Mark Koba noted the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB all have played overseas in recent years, and the "shuffling of pro teams to far-off places may seem out of order to American fans, but the moves are part of a growing trend to globalize U.S. sports." Analysts said that it is "not likely to abate anytime soon." Univ. of Indianapolis marketing professor Laurence DeGaris said, "The main reason for them staging more events overseas is because the U.S. sports market is very mature and cluttered, so the real growth opportunities lie outside the country." MLB Senior VP/Int'l Business Operations Paul Archey said, "If you want to be a global sport, you have to play in the overseas markets." Analysts said that if one league is "slightly ahead of the others in reaching a global audience, it's probably the NBA." The NBA "has some 14 offices overseas and has a long history of being the most global of sports leagues." An NBA spokesperson said that by the end of the preseason games, the NBA "will have staged a total of 146 games in 20 countries" since '78. Ketchum Sports & Entertainment VP Shawn McBride: "The exposure the NBA has in other countries has helped it attract players. You're seeing players from Europe, South America, Africa and Asia play in the league on a regular basis" (CNBC.com, 10/9).