Growth of Chinese Market Forcing NBA to Continue to Expand in Asia
There is no question that China is a massive NBA market.
The NBA has pushed its way internationally over the last few decades with the aim of expanding globally. Now, with the Chinese market growing how it is, the League is focusing on expanding further into Asia. The Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan look poised to be the next countries on the NBA’s interest list.
“basketball in Southeast Asia has never been greater and it is growing rapidly,” Says Mark Tatum, the NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO. “We have got greater distribution in this region than we ever had before, with 25 different media partners. We just announced a new exclusive deal in the last year with Rakuten, for example.”
As far as the NBA’s continued growth in China, that is another proud moment for the league as per Tatum.
“Three hundred million people played the game of basketball in China. We are the No. 1 sport there. We have a big partnership with Tencent, which distributes our games through League Pass, and they distribute some 600 games or so every year,” he said.
The NBA has a social media following of 1.5-billion users, with half of the traffic coming from outside the United States. A big chunk of that international side comes from Asia, making further expansion in the continent the most logical next step for the League.