The NBA is back and expanding its global reach. Here's how

As international interest in NBA games rises to record levels, the league is exploring new ways to cater to its global fans.

The NBA is back and expanding its global reach. Here's how

According to a source familiar with the situation, global business represents about 10% of team and league revenues. The Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antietokounmpo, a Greek player from Athens, won the opening night game on Tuesday. The league's no. Engelhardt stated that "they're driving significant interest both in their own countries and throughout the world." She said that the NBA Basketball School and Basketball Without Borders programs have seen "tremendous" success. Engelhardt stated that the NBA brings basketball to international fans via events, merchandise and branded attractions, as well as live games. Final part of international strategy is to make NBA programming more localized and accessible, including boosting its social media community. Nearly 70% are not Americans. Prime Video, the NBA's official media partner in Brazil will stream exclusively 123 regular-season games live. French basketball player Victor Wembanyama gesticulates while arriving at San Antonio International Airport, San Antonio, Texas on June 23, 2023.

The league is also catering to specific markets, like in India, where they've partnered with Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh to celebrate the cultural significance of basketball in the country, Brabants said. The NBA also has more than 400 international branded stores, like Brazil's
NBA Park in Brazil
, which opened last November.

The international reach plays a significant role in the NBA's strategy as it looks to craft its
next media deal
. League officials have previously relayed their interest in broadening the NBA's reach through television and media across the world.

"We saw record digital and social consumption in several markets across Asia including India - which surpassed 100 million unique viewers across linear television, social media and digital media platforms for the first time ever - and the Philippines, where the league generated a record 923 million engagements across our localized social media accounts," Brabants said.

The league has previously had an
uneasy relationship with China
, which had stopped airing NBA games after a dispute sparked by a Houston Rockets executive sharing an image supporting pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. However, Engelhardt said the market remains an important focus for the NBA as they find ways to make programming accessible.

As international interest in North American basketball continues to rise, Brabants said the league is continuing to assess what their international fans need as the league comes off the most competitive regular season in its history.

"Our international fans are not only passionate, but they are also very knowledgeable and sophisticated -- they follow the same storylines and that resonate in the U.S.," he said.