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NBA turn up the heat in china

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

This Sunday, Shanghai sees two of the NBA’s top teams grace us with their presence at one of the city’s most prestigious venues, the Mercedes Benz arena.  Miami Heat will be taking on the LA Clippers in a game that has prompted NBA fever to sweep China, just as Linsanity did back in February when Jeremy Lin set the world of basketball alight with some outstanding match winning performances, a true zero to hero story.  However it will be a different group of players entertaining the thousands of fans this Sunday.

SO WHO’S PLAYING: Clippers star Blake Griffin and Chris Paul will come up against their Olympics Gold Medal winning Team USA teammate and three-time NBA MVP Lebron James. These stars will be joined on court by Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom.  The talent on show will be spectacular.

Now one might wonder why the Heat traveled half way across the world just for 2 pre-season exhibition games.  Well there are about 300 million reasons.  That is the estimated number of people who play basketball in China.  When you take this into account the trip takes on a whole new significance.  This exposure in the Far East will be a great leap forward for the NBA’s plan for global domination.

You want proof of the NBA’s international presence?  Tickets for the game in Shanghai sold out in just 2 hours!  In fact, according to the NBA, all 2012-13 pre-season games in Istanbul, Berlin, Milan, Mexico City, Barcelona and Beijing sold out well in advance.


30 years ago, the NBA recognized that a new, untapped basketball market existed.  Thousands of miles away, the sport was growing fast in the largest country in the world.  Since then, the NBA has engaged with the Chinese people like no other sport, with grass roots programs spanning the country.  The results have been hugely successful, as today over 300 million Chinese play the sport and with the NBA visiting the far east on the back of its most-viewed season ever in China, this number will continue to grow.

The sports popularity in Asia contributes enormously to the NBA’s $5 billion industry.

But why is this relevant to SOCIAL MEDIA?

Here’s a few facts:

The NBA is the most followed league on social media in China

On China’s Sina Weibo and Tencent QQ the NBA has 52 million followers.

The NBA has 6.1 million followers on Twitter.

More than 50% of the NBA’s Facebook followers are foreign.

“A big part of our strategy is making the game more accessible through technology,”
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