The NBA is a global brand, with a mandate to bring to the sport of basketball at its highest levels to all corners of the globe. By the same token, the United States is an international, multicultural country. Reaching out to a diverse fan-base is not only great PR, it’s just smart business.
Noche Latina launched during the 2006-07 NBA season to celebrate “the growing support of NBA fans and players across Latin America and U.S. Hispanic communities with special telecasts and in-arena festivities, including distinctive NBA team uniforms.”
Bringing the NBA to China has been an out-front goal of Commissioner David Stern and his crowd. Providing activities and tributes that cater to the league’s domestic Asian and Asian-American fans is one part of expanding the NBA’s Chinese foot print.
The NBA hosted its first ever Chinese New Year celebration last season. This season’s Chinese New Year celebration, following the success of last season’s, will feature 23 live games shown and streamed on the Internet in China from February 7th to 14th, along with Chinese-themed tributes in seven NBA arenas.
It will also feature the Blazers and the Rockets (the former team of Yao Ming) wearing specially designed shooting shirts in their match-up Friday at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Here’s the official release from the team:
TRAIL BLAZERS TO WEAR SPECIALLY DESIGNED ADIDAS SHOOTING SHIRTS FOR NBA CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION 2013
League to Usher in the Year of the Snake with a Record 23 Live Games Over Eight Days Shown in China and Seven NBA Teams Recognizing the Holiday In-Arena
PORTLAND, Ore. (Feb. 7, 2013) – The Portland Trail Blazers will wear specially designed adidas shooting shirts when the team takes on the Houston Rockets on Feb. 8 as part of NBA Chinese New Year Celebration 2013. The NBA is honoring its Chinese fans by hosting the league’s largest international tribute ever from Feb. 7-14.
All 24 NBA teams playing on Feb. 8, Chinese New Year’s Eve, will wear the shooting shirts from adidas, the league’s official on court apparel outfitter. The limited-edition shirts will be available for fans worldwide at NBAStore.com and in China at nba.TMall.com.
The league will usher in the Year of the Snake with a record 23 live games televised and streamed in China over eight consecutive days. Five NBA teams will host in-arena Chinese New Year-themed celebrations and two additional teams will have signage recognizing the holiday.
The inaugural NBA Chinese New Year Celebration, which was created last year and featured 21 live games and two in-arena celebrations, reached 96 million viewers across TV and digital. This year, the program has expanded with more games, events and teams participating.
“Chinese New Year is the most important festival for our fans in China, and we are happy to once again celebrate with them and their families,” said David Shoemaker, CEO of NBA China. “Thanks to the support of our great partners, we are celebrating the Year of the Snake with more NBA programming than ever before and a comprehensive array of Chinese New Year-themed fan activities in China and the U.S.”
The in-arena celebrations tip off on Feb. 8 in Washington, Beijing’s sister city, when the Washington Wizards host the Brooklyn Nets. The other teams hosting in-arena celebrations include the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, and the Toronto Raptors. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers will also have in-arena signage recognizing the holiday.
Fans in attendance of the in-arena celebrations will experience a variety of elements and activities that pay tribute to Chinese culture, including food, live performances and entertainment.