MUMBAI – The National Basketball Association (NBA), Multi Screen Media, the NBA’s broadcast partner in India, and Magic Bus, a non-profit organization that works with youth from vulnerable communities, today announced a partnership to develop a comprehensive NBA Cares program in India. Through this partnership, weekly basketball programs will be used to promote education, health, and fitness to boys and girls ages 7-14 starting in June 2013.
The announcement was made today by NBA Commissioner David Stern, Multi Screen Media CEO Manjit Singh, and Magic Bus CEO and Founder Matthew Spacie at a Magic Bus NBA Cares clinic for underprivileged youth at the Mastan YMCA in Mumbai, India.
The event is part of Stern’s first trip to India. The NBA, which opened its first office in Mumbai in 2011, has conducted more than 450 grassroots events in 10 cities in India over the last five years.
Magic Bus and the NBA will identify a community in Mumbai and launch a pilot program for underprivileged youth that will include a jointly-developed basketball curriculum. The program will include intensive weekly sessions that will feature basketball activities and teach life skills in the areas of education, gender equality, health, and fitness. The program is part of Magic Bus’ “sport for development” approach that has positively impacted 250,000 children and 8,000 youth mentors across India to date.
“Social responsibility is an important part of our mission,” said Stern. “We are proud to work with our partners at Magic Bus and Multi Screen Media to promote the values inherent to our game — dedication, discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship — and the importance of fitness and good health among Indian youth.”
Basketball also will be integrated into existing Magic Bus programs in 12 Indian communities and NBA coaches will conduct basketball and fitness clinics for youth enrolled in each community. NBA legends and players who travel to India in the next year will also participate in clinics for Magic Bus youth.
“We are thrilled to partner with the NBA to pilot a program where we will use basketball as a base for our award-winning ‘sport for development’ curriculum,” said Spacie. “The Magic Bus curriculum works to help provide youth with guidance to make dignified life choices from childhood to adulthood, and integrating basketball as a sport for development can diversify our program benefits to help more and more children learn and grow.”
“We at Multi Screen Media are committed to Magic Bus as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility program,” said Singh. “This is a great collaboration aimed to bring basketball to under privileged children. It will help children compete in a new sport and become active and improve their health. The NBA and Magic Bus will provide a great platform for under privileged children across the country to showcase and nurture their talent.”
Sony SIX, India’s premier sports channel, is aimed at youth in India who are interested in a diverse variety of sports. Sony SIX, together with the NBA, endeavors to inspire youth across India to play basketball and provide them opportunities to excel in the sport. Sony SIX will highlight the achievement of Indian athletes in basketball along with providing exclusive coverage of the NBA in India.
The NBA opened an office in Mumbai in 2011 and has hosted more than 450 events in 10 cities over the last five years. The NBA has comprehensive television coverage through its partnership with Multi Screen Media and a robust digital presence through its localized website (NBA.com/India) and social media. More than 20 NBA players and legends have traveled to India over the last few years to conduct a variety of basketball activities including NBA All-Stars Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, and Pau Gasol and legends Dominique Wilkins, George Gervin, and Sam Perkins.
In 2008, NBA Cares activities in India began with Basketball without Borders, the NBA and FIBA’s basketball instructional camp for young people that also promotes leadership, education, sportsmanship and healthy living. The NBA has created eight places for kids and families to live, learn and play in India, partnered with a variety of local and international organizations, and also conducted the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA and the U.S. State Department Sports Envoys programs.
About Magic Bus
Magic Bus (www.magicbus.org) is a non-profit working with 250000 children and 8000 youth from some of India’s poorest neighbourhoods. At Magic Bus, we move children out of poverty by nurturing them on a journey through from childhood to livelihood, using a curriculum based on sports and other activities. This sport for development curriculum focus on the vital inputs of education, personal and community healthcare, gender equality and livelihood to ensure that young people make the right choices from childhood all the way through to gainful employment. Local community leaders are trained to deliver an award-winning curriculum that uses sport as a metaphor to address complex development issues through the formative years of a child’s life. Every participant is offered a livelihood programme which focuses on ensuring young people actually get a job.
About NBA Cares
NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated than $210 million to charity, completed more than 2.3 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 760 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, in 23 countries and territories on five continents. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.
About Multi Screen Media
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) backs Multi Screen Media Private Limited, which is India’s leading television network. It comprises of Sony Entertainment Television (SET), one of India’s leading Hindi general entertainment television channels; MAX, India’s premium Hindi movies and special events channel; SAB, a family comedy entertainment channel; PIX, the English movie channel; MIX a refreshing Hindi music channel and SIX, India’s Premier Sports Entertainment Channel. Multi Screen Media’s channels are available across the Globe and influence over 400 million viewers in the Indian sub-continent, and the South Asian Diaspora worldwide.
SONY Entertainment Television, Sony HD, MAX, SAB, MIX, PIX, SIX, SIX HD, AXN, Animax, Aath, Discovery Channel, Discovery Channel Tamil, Animal Planet, TLC, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo Discovery Kids and Discovery HD World, it also distributes the leading News network in the country – the TV Today Network channels – Headlines Today, Aaj Tak and Tez and the premium Sports’ channels – Neo Prime & Neo Sports.