NBA Continues Push For Global Growth With Increasing Int'l Events, Dedicated Staffers
The increasing number of NBA Int'l events, with "more than 125 in 67 cities and 27 countries outside the U.S. this year," represents "bringing the NBA to its customers," according to Jonathan Feigen of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. NBA Int'l President Heidi Ueberroth said, "Our ability to reach them has significantly changed. Digital technology -- we're at an inflection point there. ... Just talking about the Philippines and Taiwan, we've got games on pay TV, free TV, streaming to mobile devices and customized. We have dedicated staff in all of those countries working on the social media networks." Feigen notes NBA-licensed products are "manufactured, marketed and sold by more than 300 licensees in more than 125,000 retail locations in 100 countries and on six continents." The NBA has "63 million followers in China on Twitter-like microblogs Sina and Tencent Weibo," and over 150 NBAers have accounts on those platforms. Ueberroth said the NBA is "continuing to take a long-term view in committing to markets." Feigen notes while games are "returning to some nations, the Rockets and Pacers will be the first NBA teams to meet one another in the basketball-mad Philippines." The NBA also is "staging its first games in Brazil and in the cities of Manchester, England, and Bilbao, Spain." But the "greater change" since the '04 Rockets-Kings game in China is the "appeal is no longer so much about the novelty of NBA games in far-flung nations and the celebrity of one-name stars such as Yao." While Rockets G Jeremy Lin "will be treated as Taiwan's favorite son," Rockets players like Dwight Howard and James Harden, "are far more well-known and more popular" than Yao Ming's teammates in '04 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/8). Lin today was "mobbed by reporters and photographers on a Manila basketball court" after the Rockets and Pacers arrived for Thursday's game (AP, 10/8).