Professional sports leagues in the United States have been trying desperately to expand their customer bases overseas. It has been a rough ride. NFL Europe seemed more of an expensive joke than an actual expansion plan, the MLB is trying to spread its baseball mentality through the World Baseball Classic (which could actually call this year a successful one), and hockey and soccer have an inverse relationship. These leagues are trying to get bigger followings outside U.S. borders, with small victories along the way.
But slow and steady, dear hare-like friends, is the NBA's strategy for international acclaim. And now with an international advertising campaign behind it, the NBA looks to worldwide status.
Starting this month, with the help of the agency called Global Hue, the NBA is launching its first international advertising campaign. The campaign started in Istanbul, Turkey (Turkey, whose country team gave Team USA a run the last time they played) and will run the ad below along with five additional TV spots.
One game, one love.
When planning for an international message, the key is simplicity. The NBA nailed it. The visuals — people tying their laces, the basketball courts, the fans — these visuals are something all cultures with basketball can relate to. And with the NBA doing traveling games around the world while the ads run, it is simply a smart move.
The NBA is slowly growing fans across the globe. This latest campaign will only help its cause.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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