All The World's A Stage: Stern Talks About NBA's Dedication To Global Push
NBA Commissioner David Stern appeared on NBC Sports Network’s “CNBC Sports Biz: Game On!” Friday and discussed the league’s international efforts. The league will again hold a regular season game in England, while preseason games are taking place in China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Turkey. When asked by CNBC’s Brian Shactman why the league is behind a “continual push” to play in foreign countries, Stern said, “This is just continuing a series of moves we’ve made. We've got offices all over the world and we've got television sponsorship, merchandising events all over the world.” Shactman said expanding the brand “is an easy sell,” but to what “extent do you actually expand profitability?” Stern: “Our games are on TV in 215 countries in 43 languages and in none of those countries do we give it away. So that's a very profitable opportunity for us. adidas in China, for example, has 6,000 shops and 2,500 of them sell NBA merchandise, as well as our online presence which is expanding in China as well. So there are commercial arrangements that accompany this expansion that make it more profitable for us to do it than not to do it.” Shactman cited Navigate Research as estimating that international media rights, licensing and merchandising netted the league some $450M this year. The league's “international revenue has grown more than 10% every single year since 1992,” and Navigate estimates the NBA “will earn $1B in international revenue by 2022 and $1.7B 10 years later.” Shactman: “The NBA’s international business could generate more than a quarter of the NBA's revenue in 20 years” (“CNBC Sports Biz: Game On!,” NBC Sports Network, 10/5).
GOING GLOBAL: In Orlando, James Fredrick reports last night's Hornets-Magic preseason game in Mexico City drew 18,133 fans to Ciudad de Mexico Arena, and they "stuck around to relish the last few moments of hosting NBA players." The league has "not announced whether it will play any other games in Mexico" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/8). Meanwhile, in Ft. Lauderdale, Ira Winderman notes the Heat left yesterday for Beijing, and while "plenty of cultural and corporate events will be mixed into the schedule, there also are a pair of exhibitions and four practice sessions scheduled over the week." Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is "insisting the week also will be about basketball." However, with the "drudgery of last week's training camp at AmericanAirlines Arena behind them, Spoelstra said that there is "no need solely for non-stop basketball" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/8).