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Volume 10 No. 25
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NBA Global Games Set To Kick Off; Stern Relishes Int'l Legacy In Final Go-Around On Job

The NBA will tip off NBA Global Games 2013 with eight preseason games in eight cities in six countries and territories beginning Saturday. The NBA Global Games includes 12 teams playing 10 games (eight preseason and two regular season) in 10 cities in seven countries and territories. This will be the most NBA teams to play internationally in a single season in league history. All eight preseason games will air live on NBA TV in the U.S. and the NBA League Pass Int'l, and will be televised in 215 countries and territories (NBA). NBA teams will travel 116,341 miles. The NBA will issue 1,138 media credentials. A total of 20 int'l players from the NBA will participate (NBA). The AP reported NBA Commissioner David Stern's final months "are the NBA's boldest yet when it comes to playing internationally, and he thinks bringing the league around the globe will remain important long after he's left office in February." Stern: "Numerically, without question, to have 10 games this season, it's our most ambitious. It's really just a continued statement to our international audience of our attempts to play games in their time zones and to demonstrate that we think it's a global game and we appreciate their support and interest" (AP, 10/2).

NO SECOND THOUGHTS: The USA TODAY's Sam Amick wrote Stern "isn't having any second toughts" about steping down Feb. 1. Stern: "Someone asked me today, when was the last time that you didn't have to do something? I think it was when I went to camp as a teenager." Stern admits that he "wasn't sure how far the NBA's reach could go when this global mission began." Stern: "I think it's an old business lesson -- you sense that there's an opportunity, but anyone who tells you that they know the parameters of it is telling you a story." Stern said of the global approach: "You just push and you try, and so because we began working with FIBA in '87, we had the first McDonald's championships in '88 in Madrid. ... And then FIBA suggested that we go to the Olympics, so that happened really sort of spontaneously in an interesting kind of a way. It was one opportunity after another, and here we are." As for the notion that "the growth of these Global Games may lead to the day when NBA teams are housed in Europe or beyond?" Stern, who plans to stay involved with the league as a consultant and will focus on int'l growth, "knows one thing for sure: it won't be happening during his time as commissioner." Stern: "I don't know the answer (to that question), but we're beginning to take the steps. I think at some distant point in the future, it may result in serious consideration of (more int'l) franchises, but that's better for talking than for doing at this point" (USA TODAY, 10/1).

INT'L PUSH: In London, Emily Steel reported the league "is launching its first marketing push specifically targeted at international fans." Called “One Game, One Love,” the campaign "is part of an attempt to broaden the appeal of the sport -- and by extension, its business -- across countries and cultures." It includes TV spots in 10 languages across 43 countries and territories as well as print, online and social media adverts. Boosting the int'l appeal of American sports "is a crucial strategy for the leagues to develop their businesses beyond cultivating the next generation of fans in the US through marketing to younger demographics." New global fans "translate into more lucrative media distribution deals, merchandise sales and other partnerships." Sports consultant David Carter, who directs the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, said, "When you build a truly global league, the value of the franchise will go up" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/3).

COMING TO MANCHESTER: In Manchester, Anthony Jepson reported the NBA "will descend on Manchester's Printworks" for a four-day Fan Zone ahead of the league's first game in the city. Former and current players from the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder "will join dance teams and mascots in a celebration of all things NBA." The Fan Zone is "a free outdoor fan festival taking place at the city centre venue" from Saturday through Tuesday (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 10/3).

2013-14 NBA Global Games Schedule:





Preseason Games




Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul

Oct. 5

Istanbul, Turkey

Ulker Sports Arena

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Bilbao Basket

Oct. 6

Bilbao, Spain

Bizkaia Arena at the BEC

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Oct. 8

Manchester, UK

Phones 4u Arena





Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers

Oct. 10

Manila, Philippines

Mall of Asia Arena

Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers

Oct. 13

Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei Arena





Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards

Oct. 12

 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

HSBC Arena





Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Oct. 15

Beijing, China

MasterCard Center

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Oct. 18

Shanghai, China

Mercedes-Benz Arena





Regular-Season Games




Minnesota Timberwolves vs. San Antonio Spurs

Dec. 4

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City Arena

Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets

Jan. 16

London, UK

The O2