The Chinese New Year was celebrated February 19 and the National Basketball Association took advantage of a global marketing opportunity. The NBA understands the importance of global marketing and has been able to expand their brand to countries outside of the United States —  something some other sports fall short of doing. Because one of the NBA’s biggest international market resides in China, they took the opportunity to incorporate one of the country’s largest cultural events.

The commercial features James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Jeremy Lin of the Los Angeles Lakers and the mascot for the Chicago Bulls. The NBA specifically chose these players and teams because of their affiliation with the international brand. All three teams have international players on their roster. Not to mention, Jeremy Lin is the first Chinese-American professional basketball player. The NBA also outfitted the players in special uniforms with Chinese writing on their team jerseys.

The ad is also accompanied by a record 56 live games broadcasted in Greater China, a donation of 1,600 basketballs to elementary schools in China and a giving initiative to feed underprivileged communities in China. This campaign is a great example of a brand striving for authenticity and consistency through all of their integrated marketing strategies. From using Chinese dialogue in their campaign to donating to Chinese citizens, there are no obvious inconsistencies throughout the campaign.

What else do you think the NBA could do to enhance their already impressive global marketing?

– Nick Bolick, Olivia Sadler & Patrick Wagner