There’s a global fight going on between businesses, organizations, and even sports bodies over the new playing field that is China. In the realm of sports, the stakes are higher than ever as profits back home are declining and China is proving to be a dream new untapped market filled with enthusiastic sports lovers.
The NBA over the past 20 years has slowly been laying the groundwork for entrance and eventually expansion into China. When David Stern first came to China, he was standing outside of the Chinese CCTV headquarters basically paying the Chinese to display recorded version of their basketball games.
These past 2 years, things have really picked up and the NBA is already fast taking over the lives of the all-elusive 18-35 middle class.
Announcement of NBA China entity, opening 12 NBA caliber stadiums in China, NBA branded reality TV shows on Chinese TV, plans to open 2000 NBA branded retail shops, and more have already taken place. Partnerships with global and local enterprises are speeding up the NBA’s domination over its competitors.
With the NBA struggling mightily back home on it’s home soil – this kind of boost is exactly what was needed. THere has been speculation going around that the NBA could be headed for another lockout in the 2011 season with player wages spiralling out of control in light of the current world financial weather downturn.
What’s in store for the future of the NBA in the Middle Kingdom? NBA’s ambitious plans could well mean securing the last untapped market in the world as well as the prize of most popular sport in the world. Nike and Adidas have already seen their sales increase many fold and the NBA is bound to see similar success.
China is claimed to have over 300 million basketball fans – basketball in Shanghai, basketball in Beijing, is as loved as basketball in New York. But how will the NBA make it all work. Currently there are more questions than are answers – so it is most certainly an area that will be exciting to cover.