By Barry Janoff
June 12, 2013: Tencent, a leading provider of comprehensive Internet services in China, has signed a deal with four-time NBA MVP LeBron James.
As part of the alliance, James will serve as spokesperson for NBA2K Online in China. The game is based on the 2K Sports' NBA2K video game series and was co-developed by Tencent Games, 2K Sports and Visual Concepts China, James will appear in ad campaigns and other promotions to support the game in China. He also will be given the opportunity to provide creative input on game modes and in-game content.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
James is among the most popular NBA players with fans in China, not only for his on-court play with the Miami Heat and his appearance in the nation during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, but also through Nike, which has sponsored annual tours of China starring James and other athletes who sponsor the shoe-apparel brand. This past October, the Heat faced the Los Angeles Clippers twice during the NBA China Games, which the league said marked James' ninth visit to the nation.
James had the third best-selling NBA jersey in China in 2012, according to the most recent sales figures released by the NBA, behind only Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.