NBA to open London office- 16 May 2007 00:00:00
The NBA has announced that it is to open an office in London as part of its ongoing effort to grow the basketball franchise’s fan base throughout Europe.
The new office, which is planned to open this summer, will focus on grassroots and business development efforts in the UK and throughout Europe as well as handling basketball development leading up to 2012 Olympic Games, working closely with the British Olympic Association and other basketball groups in the region.
The announcement came in conjunction with a meeting today between NBA commissioner David Stern, London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Think London, the foreign direct investment agency for the capital, at NBA headquarters in New York City.
The meeting, which was part of Mayor Livingstone’s trip to New York for the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit, was focused on expanding the NBA’s support of British basketball and the league’s overall efforts to grow the game around the world.
London will host a pre-season exhibition game between the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves on 10th October at the O2 arena with tickets almost completely sold out.
The NBA’s popularity in the UK has been strengthened by the recent success of Chicago Bulls British-born player Luol Deng. Deng will join his fellow NBA countrymen Pops Mensah-Bonsu of the Dallas Mavericks and Kelenna Azubuike of the Golden State Warriors as part of the Great Britain men’s national basketball team in the European national team qualifying tournament this summer.