The NBA’s commitment to globalization has been unwavering for the past 25 years or so, thanks in no small measure to commissioner Adam Silver, who has spearheaded every effort to develop the league’s brand in countries around the world. But nowhere besides America is the game as popular as it is in China, where players are revered almost as god-like figures.
So it seems appropriate that the NBA is celebrating the Chinese New Year with a quirky new commercial that will air from January 12 to February 12. In the spot, titled “NBA Chinese New Year Secret Envelope,” a grandfather gives his young son a magical red envelope, and out pop mini paper versions of Steph Curry, James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Anthony Davis, who proceed to put on a little show for the family.
Here’s more from the league’s official press release on the annual festivities, which are now in their sixth season:
“The NBA Chinese New Year Celebration has become a wonderful occasion for the league to celebrate and connect with Chinese fans around the world,” said NBA China CEO David Shoemaker. “We are delighted that our teams and players have the opportunity to bring joy and excitement to our fans as they celebrate the holiday with their families.”
To further help usher in the Year of the Rooster, four NBA teams – the Wizards, Raptors, Warriors, and Rockets – will host in-arena activities and events to celebrate various Chinese cultural traditions. Players for those teams will likewise wear uniforms featuring Chinese characters during their home games between Jan. 26 and Feb. 11. Here’s a look:
On Feb. 3, the Rockets will also honor Hall of Famer Yao Ming by raising his jersey to the rafters. During the month-long celebration, fans in China will enjoy more access to televised broadcasts than ever before, including 60 total games featuring all 30 teams.