Marketing Featured APAC

NBA steps into Singapore to expand APAC presence

Singapore — The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced that the league will expand its presence in Asia-Pacific by opening an office in Singapore.

The Singapore studio joins the league’s Manila and Mumbai offices in reporting to NBA Asia managing director Scott Levy based in Hong Kong and will expand the league’s existing efforts in the region, such as live game distribution, youth development programming, interactive fan events, merchandise sales and social responsibility efforts.

NBA games and programming reach fans in the region through the league’s 20 media partners that span 11 countries and territories and eight languages.  NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service, has recorded double-digit subscriber growth in the region over the last three seasons.  The league also has more than 35 million followers on social media across the region.

The prominent league has staged 17 preseason and regular-season games in the region, most recently in 2019 when the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors played two preseason games in Tokyo, Japan. In 2013, the Rockets and Indiana Pacers played their preseason basketball game in Manila, Philippines.

On the expansion to Singapore, Levy said that ver the past two decades, Asia-Pacific has proven to be a major growth region for the NBA.

“Opening an office in Singapore reflects the enormous opportunities to build on that positive momentum by working more closely with our valued partners and bringing our passionate fans in the region closer to their favourite NBA teams and players,” Levy commented.

Since 2007, the NBA has engaged more than 40 million boys and girls across the region through the Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball program.  Meanwhile, the Jr. NBA Coaches Academy program that aims to teach trainers how the sport should be coached has reached more than 88,000 teachers across seven countries regionwide.

With the opening of the Singapore office, the NBA adds another studio to its current 15 markets worldwide.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Basketball is still Filipinos’ top sport interest—even on Twitter

Manila, Philippines – Despite the ongoing pandemic, sports is still making a mainstream comeback, and now more than ever, being amplified across social media platforms such as Twitter. In the Philippines, sports still dominates the online discussions among Filipinos with basketball echoing its popularity on Twitter.

According to the latest statistics released by the platform, discussions about basketball in the Philippines generated over 6.2 million tweets, a jump of 6.90% versus 2020. In particular, most of the basketball-related Tweets were due to the excitement brought by the NBA All-Star and NBA Playoffs in 2021. The hashtag #nbaallstar was also often used, while Lebron James (@kingjames) and Stephen Curry (@stephencurry30) were some of the top players Filipinos Tweeted about in 2021.

Meanwhile, online discussion about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics also prevailed among Filipinos’ sport discussion, with weightlifting athlete Hidilyn Diaz being the first ever Filipino athlete to win gold in the Olympics, and Filipino skater Margielyn Didal who captured people’s hearts with her cheerful nature on and off the skating rink.

There has been a notable uptick in discussion as well in the realm of esports, when Blacklist International, the esports team under Tier One, emerged as champions in the M3 World Grand Finals last December 2021. Other esports discussions include #GenshinImpact being the most-tweeted about hashtag in gaming, while interactive games such as Valorant and Mobile Legends were on the rise as well in 2021.

For Maurizio Barbieri, head of sports and gaming partnerships for SEA and Greater China at Twitter, Twitter and sports will always have a special and tight relationship, adding that as events faced postponements and cancellations last year, sport fans on Twitter kept the passion and fervour alive by cheering, encouraging, and celebrating the wins together wherever they were.

“As competitions resumed this year, the built-up anticipation resulted in a global frenzy that transcended borders, with Twitter connecting the like-minded community to give them front row seats to all the action and a valuable avenue to participate in the excitement,” Barbieri said.