The National Basketball Association (NBA) is North America’s premier professional men’s basketball league. For the last 30 years, the league has enjoyed unprecedented financial success as NBA players have begun to receive contracts in excess of millions of dollars. Basketball is one of America’s most popular sports and has rooted itself in the urban culture of America’s youth. Merchandising and broadcasting revenue streams have been fueling the NBA’s growth for decades. A trend began in the 1980s that required the NBA to explore a new strategy to capitalise on previously unexploited markets. As the popularity of the sport spread, athletes from all over the world began to compete at a professional level. Fans in new markets had national basketball icons and the popularity of the sport exploded in every corner of the globe. Merchandising and broadcasting opportunities overseas were nearly as profitable as those in the United States. In an aggressive attempt to continue the globalisation of the sport, Commissioner David Stern launched an initiative to further expand the sport to overseas markets. The case discusses: (1) the global expansion of NBA franchises, (2) opportunities for international expansion of an American pastime, (3) market selection, (4) culturally sensitive management techniques, and (5) exportation of American culture. All the above factors have to be considered in order to evaluate the feasibility of franchising overseas.
SOM, A. et RAPAPORT, C. (2010). National Basketball Association: exporting the american pass-time. ESSEC Business School.