Friday, March 20, 2009

NBA "Slam dunks" in Asia

In October, the NBA Denver Nuggets and the Indiana Pacers will have their preseason games in Taiwan and China. This is not the first time that NBA teams have played in Asia. However, it will be the first time Taiwan has played host to the NBA.

In the article "Two NBA teams to play in autumn preseason games in Taiwan, China" indicated that:

The NBA has played six games in Japan since the 1990s, and has held preseason games in China since 2004, after Chinese star Yao Ming joined the Houston Rockets in 2002.

The article also noted that,

Both the Taipei and Beijing games will be aired live on TV in the United States, South-East Asia and the greater China area.

These upcoming basketball games serve as one of the United States’ many public diplomacy tools. There are two beneficiaries of these displays of dribbling, jumping, and hoop-swishing prowess. First, the United States can benefit from having two games played and aired in the region. Basketball may pique the interest of those in Asia watching the games and motivate them to learn more about the U.S.

The other beneficiary will be the Asian host countries. By having the games played and aired locally, it might influence and interest those watching, whether they are in the U.S. or in the Asian region, to travel to Taiwan and/or China. China is still a step ahead of Taiwan, as they have a hidden ace in the form of Yao Ming - a Chinese public diplomat for those interested in sports. While Yao Ming himself will not play in these two games, the very fact that the NBA is in Asia may bring Yao Ming, and therefore China, into sharp focus.

Thanks to the NBA’s traveling plans, the U.S. and the Asian host countries will all score points.

No comments:

Post a Comment