The booming popularity of basketball in China has echoed around the world, with the games regularly broadcast in over 215 countries and with a fan base that includes over 400 million social media followers around the world. But why has basketball taken off globally in a way that other sports have not?
NBA analyst Jared Zwerling has the answer. The lifelong basketball fan has been featured on CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN for his in-depth and behind-the-scenes sports journalism. Currently, his insightful reporting can be found at BleacherReport.com.
Jared Zwerling explains basketball’s global presenceJared Zwerling joins Mike in the studio to talk about basketball’s global presence, NBA’s creative strategies, and other growing trends in the sports world at large.
Over 35 years ago, former NBA Commissioner David Stern agreed to provide free broadcasting rights to China Central Television (CCTV). The risky agreement paid off, helping to build an estimated fan base of 450 million in China. Today, notable NBA players, such as Yao Ming, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant are household names across much of Asia. According to Zwerling, the success of the league can be attributed to Stern’s work to market the league’s individual stars.
“These players are magnetic personalities,” Zwerling said. “They have sneaker brands that resonate internationally. They’re traveling internationally. So you know they’re just larger than life personalities – their height, their stature on and off the court, it just speaks volumes.”
Zwerling joined Mike in the studio to talk about basketball’s global presence, the NBA’s creative strategies for expanding the brand, and other growing trends in the sports world at large.
Follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter: @JaredZwerling