NBA Plans First Games In India To Boost Ties With Fans, Media, Marketers
Thursday, December 20, 2018 at 05:09PM in NBA, NBA, NBA India, sports marketing

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

December 20, 2018: As part of an on-going strategy to expand its presence worldwide, the NBA said that next season it would play its first games in India.

The NBA India Games 2019 are scheduled for Oct. 4-5 as part of the league’s pre-season, in the NSCI Dome, in Mumbai.

The teams making the trip are the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings, the latter majority-owned by Vivek Ranadivé, the NBA’s first Indian-born majority owner, who is a native of Mumbai.

The NBA said the games would also be the first played in the country by a North American sports league.

“Our inaugural NBA India Games will help further untap the enormous basketball potential in a country with a thriving sports culture and a growing, young and engaged population,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said via the league/

“We thank the Kings and Pacers organizations for participating in this historic event.”

The NBA India Games 2019 will be promoted by BookMyShow and AEG and supported by a roster of marketing and merchandising partners.

The league is providing information via a dedicated Web site.

The games will air live in India, and will reach people in more than 200 countries and territories via TV, digital and social media.

In addition to the games, the league and its partners will conduct “interactive fan activities, Jr. NBA youth basketball programming and NBA Cares community outreach events that will bring the NBA experience to fans in Mumbai.”

Since 2006, more than 35 current and former NBA and WNBA players have visited India on behalf of the NBA.

The NBA office in Mumbai opened in 2011.

According to Ranadivé, “The world wants to watch basketball and India is a fast-growing new frontier.

“As an Indian-American, it is an honor to help bring this historic moment to the country where I was raised. The sport is experiencing tremendous growth in India and we are excited about continuing to expand the NBA’s reach to fans across the globe.”

More than 350 live NBA games are available each season on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ted 3 and Sony ESPN, including 78 games with Hindi commentary.

The 2018-19 season also includes five consecutive Sunday games — from March 10 to April 7 — that will air in prime time in India, marking the second straight year that five games will be televised in prime time.

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