NBA launches outreach for China, global audience

World Today

Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) shoots against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals on Thursday, June 5, 2014 in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Soobum Im, Pool)

The championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA) is underway. This year, the league has introduced a number of initiatives for its global audience, including for social media sites in China and other countries.

The NBA Finals started Thursday in San Antonio, Texas, featuring a rematch between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. Miami has played in the last three NBA Championships, winning the last two. San Antonio has the most international players in the NBA, 9, though none are from China.

The NBA Finals is a chance to crown the league’s champion, and the initiatives that are being launched this week will increase engagement with international fans across a number of platforms, an NBA official said. The first-time endeavors include interacting with players on social media and new broadcast partnerships.


The NBA has more than 625,000,000 social media followers across all league, team and player pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Sina and Tencent, according to an NBA press release.
“With a great Finals taking place this year – a rematch of the Spurs versus the Heat – it’s a perfect time for us to capture the world stage,” said Matt Brabants, senior vice-president of Global Media Distribution and Business Operations for the NBA.

This year’s championship series is being broadcast in 47 languages with coverage available in 215 countries and territories. For fans in China, China Central Television (CCTV), China’s national TV station, will be onsite in the U.S. to produce a feed of all the games, with commentary and infographics in Mandarin.

Beijing-based NBA in China has relationships with a number of television and digital media partners, including a partnership of more than 25 years with CCTV. Sina Corp, a leading online Chinese media company that maintains a web page for each of the 30 NBA teams, will stream every game live online in China. It will also provide additional content through Sina Weibo, the popular Chinese micro blog service, and the company’s Sina Sports mobile application.

Further information:

Follow the NBA on Twitter@NBA
Official NBA Facebook page
Sina coverage of 2014 NBA Finals

Report compiled with information from China Daily.