Images from the 2010 IMG World Congress of Sports Labor concerns widespread Stories from the 2010 IMG World Congress of Sports Tennis: The challenge of bridging divisions in a growing global game Social Media: New tools help reach fans, also hear what they’re saying Consumer Insights: Effects of economy push brands to more activation Sports Emmys: NBC’s work in Beijing leads nominations Joe Gibbs: Owner of race team reveals an early lesson in NFL Globalization: China, and the NBA’s efforts there, top the discussion Sports Emmys: NBC’s work in Beijing leads nominations
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Globalization: China, and the NBA’s efforts there, top the discussion
Published April 6, 2009
Four of five panel participants and 40 percent of the audience identified China as the international market or region most ripe for development. Other emerging markets, like Dubai and Russia, are weakening, said Keith Harris of investment banking firm Seymour Pierce.
The NBA has the most robust operation in the country, creating NBA China last year and selling an 11 percent interest in the organization to five stakeholders for a total of $253 million, a model that will likely be used for growth into other geographical regions, said Heidi Ueberroth of the NBA.
“I think the NBA has done it right,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
MLS has expanded outside the U.S. to Canada, and Garber said that MLS will use expansion franchises in Seattle and Vancouver as a gateway to the Far East.
The NBA and professional golf drew an interesting comparison, with the NBA’s international growth traced to the 1992 Dream Team and golf trying to re-create such a curve by bidding to join the Olympic program in 2016. “There’s no single event that would be bigger for golf’s globalization,” said Joe Steranka, CEO of the PGA of America.
Peter Foss, president of Olympic sponsorship and corporate sales for GE, a TOP sponsor, said 50 percent of his company’s revenue now comes from outside the U.S., fueling the interest for more international sponsorships. “We became an Olympic sponsor because of Beijing,” he said.
Stories by staff writers Tripp Mickle, Jon Show, Eric Fisher and John Ourand. Photos by Alex Gort Sr. / Gort Productions.