NBA casts its net in India

Written by Anushree Chandran | Updated: Jul 31 2013, 00:06am hrs
National Basketball Association (NBA), the premier mens professional basketball league in the US, has joined hands with broadcaster Sony Six to launch a travelling, interactive basketball festival in September,which will combine the best of music and entertainment. The tournament will have stop overs in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai and over 500 teams are expected to participate in it. The 3-on-3 tournament, a shorter version of the basketball game, equivalent to the Twenty20 format in cricket, will culminate with the national finals in Mumbai, and the winning team will get to compete against three NBA legends for the first time.

NBA Jam will engage both the passionate and professional fan with a mix of basketball and live entertainment, said Yannick Colaco, managing director of NBA India. Sony Six is an ideal partner that is committed to developing basketball further in India and we are excited to bring an authentic NBA experience to fans across India. The number of teams are up from 400 last year and will include womens divisions for the first time. We have remained true to our mission to grow and celebrate the game and to develop it in India. We have grassroot programmes that are helping us popularise the sport. For instance, we have trained over 2000 local coaches. In the spirit of localisation, we have opened a full-fledged office in India, launched a local digital platform, a local Facebook page, Twitter handle and Instagram presence. The fan following on these local platforms have increased by over 400% in the last year, over the previous year, he said.

Colaco says that the NBA is working with sponsors such as Adidas, Nike, Reebok.

Splalding and Sprite to publicise the sport in India. Sony Six will create content around each event stop, integrating celebrities from the networks top shows, and will air a 60-minute programme showcasing the national finals.

NBA Jam celebrates basketball and NBA culture with free fan activities including a slam dunk contest, basketball clinics, 3-point shootouts, skills challenges, and more. A technology boutique will feature social media fan integration, an NBA photos and video wall, and a gaming zone for fans. Each stop will also feature free concerts from leading artists to keep fans entertained.

NP Singh, chief operating officer at Multi Screen Media (MSM) which runs Sony Six said, We are looking to engage with the youth on the global sports that they follow via social networks or other digital video platforms.

Media buying agency Zenith Optimedia said that a property like the NBA is young and energetic and offers interesting possibilities for the discerning advertiser. After all, how long can you milk cricket remarks Satyajit Sen, chief executive of Zenith Optimedia.