By Barry Janoff
October 3, 2013: Claiming that "Every aspect of what we are doing will be growing," NBA commissioner David Stern this weekend will officially launch the international leg of the league's pre-season, which then will carry over to the regular season with an increased presence worldwide.
For the 2013-14 season, NBA Global Games includes a record 12 NBA teams playing ten games — eight preseason and two regular-season — in ten cities in seven countries.
NBA games will be played for the first time in Brazil; Philippines; Bilbao, Spain; and Manchester, England.
The league for the first time will be playing international regular-season games in two countries in the same season: Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs playing in the Mexico City Arena (Dec. 4); and the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets traveling to the United Kingdom for a game in The O2 (Jan. 16).
According to the league, NBA teams collectively will travel 116,341 miles.
The global travel will come with a bevy of marketing partners and activation. For the second consecutive year, the NBA's series of games in Europe will be presented by BBVA, the league's official bank partner.
Other league partners that will have a presence include adidas, Nike, Coca-Cola and its Sprite brand and Spalding.
The NBA is adding its own marketing support with a global campaign, "One Game. One Love," which will debut for international fans in each of the eight cities across five continents hosting games as part of NBA Global Games beginning on Oct. 5 in Istanbul.
The spot opens on a sequence of NBA players and fans going through their pre-game rituals. As the opening tip-off arrives, text offers, "It's been 107 days, 2,568 hours, 154,080 minutes. And now the game we love is back. New season. More amazing. From the first tip, it's the NBA. And it’s for all of us. One Game One Love.” (See the full spot here.)
Two pre-season games in China between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors will take place in the MasterCard Center in Beijing (Oct. 15) and Shanghai's Mercedes-Benz Arena (Oct. 18). (See the full schedule here.)
The league said that 14 NBA.com international sites would offer local language and insight. On location, about a dozen NBA legends are scheduled to make personal appearances. In addition, NBA Cares events are being scheduled for ten cities in seven countries and territories on four continents.
All eight pre-season games will air live on NBA TV in the U.S. and on NBA League Pass International, and will be televised to fans in 215 countries and territories. The NBA will also engage with its social media community of more than 455 million fans and followers on a global basis in real time and provide unprecedented behind-the-scenes access for fans.
Many of the players wearing the best-selling NBA jerseys in the world will have the opportunity to expand their reach during the NBA's global games.
According to adidas' international sales for the 2012-13 season, the Top 15 best-selling jerseys are:
1. LeBron James, Miami Heat 2. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls 3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers 4. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder 5. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat 6. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks 7. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers (now with the Houston Rockets) 8. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets 9. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers 10. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics 11. Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers 12. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers 13. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunde r 14. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics (now with the Nets) 15. Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets.
The top-selling NBA jerseys in the U.S. for the 2012-13 season:
1. LeBron James, Heat 2. Derrick Rose, Bulls 3. Kobe Bryant, Lakers 4. Kevin Durant, Thunder 5. Carmelo Anthony, Knicks 6. Dwyane Wade, Heat 7. Dwight Howard, Lakers 8. Deron Williams, Nets 9. Blake Griffin, Clippers 10. Rajon Rondo, Celtics.
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