Role of NBA in the Globalization of the American Culture
Read to know more about the role of NBA in globalization and how it has uplifted the face of the American culture in terms of sports.
Globalization has been a hot topic at the political and economic forefront of everyone’s minds due to the ongoing development and interconnectedness of people and communities worldwide. In the realm of sports, it has also received a lot of attention. The National Basketball Association has also shown itself to be the fastest-diversifying professional league in the US regarding globalization in the sports industry.
Just recall the Warriors and Cavaliers’ 2016 championship series. Between the two sides, there were not just three Australian players but also starters from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Brazil, Nigeria, and Russia. The NBA’s commissioner, Adam Silver, notes that when looking at all thirty clubs, “we have a league where 25% of [the] players were born outside the US.” Additionally, the NBA is coming off a record-breaking 2014–2015 season that saw the participation of over 100 overseas players.
Internationalization is a gradual process, making it difficult, if not impossible, to generate a patriotic love for anything that is not already deeply ingrained in local tradition. But what if you could use something that isn’t currently part of a community or even hundreds of communities?
The 1992 Olympic Games served as the NBA’s entry point into the non-American sports markets when it embarked on its globalization initiative at the beginning of the 1990s (at the time, there were only 21 international players in the NBA). This was quite successful. The US returned from Barcelona with the gold medals and having developed a very alluring NBA presence among many nations as the “Dream Team,” made up of NBA all-stars. This was just the beginning of a journey that has produced fourteen NBA offices worldwide and a sizable London headquarters that transmits to 118 nations in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Now that the 2016 Summer Olympics are approaching, there are big hopes for further extending influence because NBA players will represent many nations.
Although the Olympics are superior to other platforms for drawing attention to the NBA, Adam Silver and the rest of his team must rely on something different than this competition that occurs once every four years since doing so would be spreading their marketing too thin. Fortunately, the NBA has been able to conduct overseas pre-season tours by nurturing some previously developed ties, largely started through the Olympics.
For instance, Johannesburg, South Africa, held its first-ever series of NBA games this past pre-season, creating the groundwork for a new market and fan base. Luol Deng (@LuolDeng9), a two-time All-Star from Sudan who participated in the match in Johannesburg, said the following after the game: “Basketball is a sport that is expanding, is played all over the world, and is currently popular in many regions. Many Africans have always had strong feelings about it. Additionally, they could not watch [NBA] Basketball as they were growing up. They can now do so and take a more active role. Simply put, it’s great.”
It’s obvious that abroad pre-season games and the occasional regular season foreign game play a significant role in advancing the globalization of the NBA when combined with the Olympics, but how may this plan be implemented as a daily approach rather than just an event-based one? Similar to how basketball players’ diversity is growing yearly, the NBA has also seen a multicultural expansion in its ownership.
Mid-May 2013 saw the acquisition of the Sacramento Kings by Mumbai native Vivek Ranadive, who joined Israeli-born Micky Arison and Moscow-born Mikhail Prokhorov as owners of the Brooklyn Nets (owner of the Miami Heat). The NBA has already noticed an increase in its worldwide following, particularly through each of these clubs, due to the integration of non-local leadership into several teams. These leaders have been employing their influence and contextualization to identify tactical means of increasing their nations’ involvement, largely motivated by the enthusiasm Ranadive brings to the table.
Also Read: Does Talent or Persistence Play a Primary Role in a Basketball Career (sportsdigest.in)
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