NBA Announces Return Of "NBA London Live" With Pistons-Knicks Game Set For London
The NBA today announced plans to return to London with its third regular-season game in Europe featuring Pistons-Knicks on Jan. 17 at The O2, which will mark the seventh NBA game played at the arena. "NBA London Live 2013" also will mark the eighth NBA game held internationally this coming season, including the seven preseason games played as part of "NBA Europe Live presented by BBVA" (NBA). The Raptors and Nets played the first two regular-season games in London in March '11. The league has "previously played 16 regular-season games abroad in Japan, Mexico and Britain" (REUTERS, 10/4).
FOREIGN RELATIONS: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's John Lombardo reports after canceling its international preseason tour last year due to the lockout, the NBA "heads back overseas this week with a more aggressive marketing approach around its scheduled games in Europe, Mexico and China." League partners are using the preseason games "to roll out new or expanded promotions." Longtime NBA partner Sprite is using the tour to "promote its Uncontainable Game' sweepstakes, which will select fans to play at this season’s All-Star Game on teams led by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James." Germany-based SAP, which signed on with the NBA as a marketing partner this summer, will "begin its activation with hospitality and in-arena branding around the Berlin game and the games in China, while 2K Sports is using the games to launch 'NBA 2K13.'" A-B is using the China Games series to "launch promotions around its Harbin Beer brand as part of its expanded partnership with the NBA in China" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/1 issue).