The Art of Globalization or How the NBA Conquered the World [Partie 2/2]

The first part of this analysis, published on January 19, focuses the reader’s interest on the historical details that have made the NBA League win the hearts of sports fans on both sides of the globe.

The NBA is a model of success in terms of communication

The use of social networks is one of the cornerstones of the development of CBA at the international level. It is without a doubt that the sports league has been able to best adapt its content to this new medium of communication, which is ideal for reaching a global audience. League commissioner Adam Silver knows the vast majority of fans will never have the opportunity to attend a live game. Social networks provide an opportunity to reach and retain previously unreachable audiences. The league mainly uses Twitter and instagram live coverage of matches. The highlights of each meeting are published almost immediately to use it the buzz created by dunka alley oop or one bell beater. This is allowed by the intrinsic nature of basketball due to ownership being limited to 24 seconds, perfectly fitting the standard of immediacy enforced by social networks. Although the time difference means nighttime for European audiences and daytime for Asian audiences, the ever-present recaps are particularly appropriate for these markets. The league decided to choose a strategy “abundance” by filling social networks with content. So, in addition to meetings, the NBA also publishes exclusive content on its social networks, such as interviews with players, coaches or personalities close to the NBA ecosystem.

Credit: ONEFC

As this chart shows, the Major League social media strategy appears to be optimal. Indeed, the NBA is the most watched sports league on social networks in 2021. Although it benefits from a lower television audience than its two main competitors in the American territory. National Football League and Major League Baseball), Adam Silver believes that social networks will gradually try to acquire broadcasting rights to sports championships in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors. With that in mind, the NBA commissioner wants to position his league as well as possible for future negotiations.

It is also a display of American culture. sanctuary Thanksgiving, Memorial Day in honor of Martin Luther King, the national anthem before every game, the NBA calendar is filled with events that highlight local culture. In addition to these events, League has a significant influence on fashion through the player muse. Also, the NBA ecosystem is ubiquitous in rap texts, including French texts. It represents an ideal, avant-garde universe and model of success. The ultimate factor in cultural propaganda, the NBA Global Games Push the NBA show directly into foreign territory. These meetings include preseason games as well as regular season games. They mainly take place in countries targeted by the League to develop market share.

Mexico is also particularly famous for the NBA. During his last visit to Mexico in December 2022, during a regular season game, Adam Silver even confirmed his desire to make the Mexican capital the 31st NBA franchise: “I believe it is our clear destiny to continue to grow, both in the United States and outside of the United States.”. Between 2014 and 2022, at least 11 regular season games were played in North America’s largest city. Only Japan surpasses Mexico in the number of regular-season games, with 12 between 1990 and 2003, indicating a marked decline in interest in the archipelago. recent decades. Only two other countries have hosted regular season games: England with 9 games between 2011 and 2019 and France with 2 games between 2020 and 2023. Although the latter attract less interest and media coverage, they are the gateway to the NBA in target countries, as the triad of Mexico-England-France in the 90s could host regular season games in 20 years. So, between 2004 and 2019, the NBA organized 25 of these preseason games in China, and in 2019, it entered the Indian market for the first time by organizing 2 games there. Yes, it’s the NBA Global Games In full accordance with CBA’s communication strategy, they are also an expression of its desire for sustainable development.

A global economic model based on growth

Since Adam Silver took the helm of the NBA, he has focused on international expansion, particularly in emerging markets. Since the late 2010s, there has been tension between China and the NBA tweet Daryl Morey calmed down. In 2019, the League even entered into a partnership Ali Baba and Tencent To develop its own offer in China. Ali Baba It allows the NBA to flood the Chinese market with various spin-off products, while Tencent broadcasts matches and other video content as an official digital partner. The league has also signed a partnership agreement with China’s Ministry of Education to develop the basketball experience in the country from elementary school to higher education. This deal includes the arrival of NBA players, coaches and legends. In addition, tutoring from local coaches and physical trainers is also on the program. In addition, many academies have been established in China to nurture and discover new talents to reveal the next Yao Ming.

At the same time, the NBA also turned to India, where it intends to take advantage of a real structural gap with a lack of infrastructure and professional leagues. He is very interested in this market, which has an immeasurable potential, with more than a billion new followers and potential consumers. To ensure its growth in India, the NBA has decided to favor a strategy that has already proven itself in China. The aim is to replicate the Yao Ming phenomenon in India. Thus, it relies on its national pride by importing India into the NBA, and not the other way around, a strategy perfectly suited to the heightened nationalism that exists in India. With this in mind, it has established numerous academies designed to train and discover new talent. Currently, there is no talent emerging in India that can compare to Yao Ming. While waiting for a possible market explosion one day, it is still struggling to establish itself due to the popularity of cricket and football in the country.

Finally, the NBA is also looking at the African continent, where it recently launched the Basketball Africa League (BAL). The BAL is the first professional league created by the NBA outside of the United States. The league is also present on the continent through the NBA Care, this time for reasons not related to sports, as this organization aims to work on social issues such as education, youth and health. The NBA’s footprint on the African continent is therefore strong, akin to real sports as well as ideological control. Africa is arguably the most favorable geographic area for NBA mass growth, with the continent already home to the current Yao Ming in the nation of Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam. The presence of African players in the NBA is likely to fuel the American dream among young people from less developed countries than the West. By building a league of its own there and bringing its values ​​there through various means, including NBA Cares, the NBA is in the process of monopolizing the African market more directly than it has in India and China.

Thus, CBA has made the conquest of new markets the main goal of its growth strategy. This strategy benefits from a dual interest: capturing television rights, as well as developing and discovering new talent that will strengthen the League in sports. The advantage of this strategy not only places CBA in the virtuous circle of sustainable growth, but also gives it cultural and economic dominance in the European market as well as in the world market. Local rivalries take a backseat in both media and sports, with the NBA attracting talent from around the world and causing a real drain on the muscles.

Theo Noël and Remy Bessiere

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