NBA to celebrate Chinese New Year with fans around the world

BEIJING and NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA) will pay tribute to its largest international fanbase Feb. 19 to March 4 with its biggest ever Chinese New Year Celebration, ushering in the Year of the Goat with millions of fans in China, the U.S. and around the world.

The celebration will feature a record 56 live games broadcast and streamed in Greater China, showcasing 27 of the 30 NBA teams; the debut of “Surprise Door,” the first NBA Chinese New Year television spot, which embraces the diversity of the league’s fans; the unveiling of the first Chinese New Year uniforms; and the tip-off of the Chinese New Year Celebration Season of Giving initiative to support underprivileged communities in China.

“Chinese New Year is a time of joyful family reunion and provides an occasion for us to share in the festivities by delivering the excitement of the NBA right into the homes of our fans,” said NBA China CEO David Shoemaker.  “We truly appreciate the support of our Chinese fans, and we are thrilled to tip off our NBA Chinese New Year Celebration Season of Giving by dedicating a new basketball court in Fujian Province.”

“Surprise Door,” the First Chinese New Year Television Spot:

The NBA Chinese New Year Celebration will tip off with a star-studded television commercial featuring the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, the Houston Rockets’ James Harden, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jeremy Lin and the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade paying a surprise visit to a Chinese family to share in the holiday festivities and watch an NBA game together.

“Surprise Door”

The spot will air from Jan. 27 through March 5 across all of NBA China’s television and digital partners’ platforms, including, mobile and social media assets.  In the U.S. the spot will debut during the contest between the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors on Friday, Feb. 20 (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

First Chinese New Year Uniforms:

For the first time in NBA history, teams will wear specially designed Chinese New Year uniforms that pay tribute to the league’s Chinese fans and their culture.  The Warriors will wear the uniform on Feb. 20 when they play the San Antonio Spurs at home, while the Rockets will wear their uniform on Feb. 21 when they host the Toronto Raptors.  Both teams will wear the uniforms for a combined total of seven games.  In addition to the Rockets and Warriors, the Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards will also celebrate the holiday and pay tribute to Chinese culture with fan giveaways, musical performances, dancers, food, courtside signage, and partner activation.

Chinese New Year Uniforms photos are available for download here:

Credit: adidas

Record 56 Chinese New Year Games Broadcast and Streamed:

China Central Television (CCTV) will feature a slate of 20 marquee matchups beginning Feb. 19 with a doubleheader featuring Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks visiting Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, followed by the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs visiting Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers.

In addition to CCTV, fans will also be able to tune in to Beijing TV, BesTV, Chongqing Satellite TV, Guangdong TV, LeTV, Sina, Tencent, Elta, Fox Taiwan, Taiwan Mobile, Videoland, and Now TV Hong Kong to enjoy the games.

Chinese New Year Community Engagement:

Nine-time NBA All-Star, NBA Champion and Hall of Famer Gary Payton will tip off the festivities and the inaugural NBA Chinese New Year Celebration Season of Giving initiative in China on Jan. 30 with a basketball clinic and traditional Chinese New Year meal with underprivileged students in Nanping, Fujian Province.  Payton will also participate in the unveiling of a basketball court donated to the school by the NBA.  He will then travel to Shanghai to visit the children at the NBA Yao Basketball Club, conduct a basketball clinic for a group of Special Olympics athletes and share in the joy of the holiday by giving out special NBA Chinese New Year gifts.

As part of the NBA Chinese New Year Celebration, the NBA will donate more than 1,600 Spalding basketballs to elementary school students in each of China’s 34 provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions and special administrative zones.

As official partners of the NBA Chinese New Year Celebration, Mengniu and American Airlines will engage fans through various marketing initiatives, highlighted by a series of Chinese New Year-themed online and social media promotions in China.  Fans will be able to participate through and the NBA official Sina Weibo, Tencent Microblog and WeChat accounts to win special NBA prizes via the NBA Chinese New Year virtual “Red Envelopes.”