The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Tencent Holdings Ltd announced on Oct. 8 that the two will deepen their mutual cooperation by promoting Jr. NBA and the development of youth basketball leagues in China.
Built on the existing digital partnership between NBA China and Tencent established in July 2015, this cooperation marks the largest international partnership NBA has ever signed overseas.
Starting from October, Tencent will jointly promote Jr. NBA, the international youth basketball program, through its short video sharing platform, Weishi, and one of China’s largest social platforms, QQ Space. At the same time, Tencent will provide live broadcasts of NBA games and competition highlights through the two platforms.
Jr. NBA is a national youth basketball program designed to develop fundamental skills, sportsmanship, and the love of basketball within youths. Its mission is to positively impact youth through basketball.
As part of the cooperation, Tencent will broadcast the Jr. NBA World Championship games live with Chinese commentary through Jr. NBA’s official accounts on Weishi and QQ Space. The global youth basketball tournament brings together elite young teenagers of ages 13 to 14 from all over the world.
In addition, with the powerful socializing capabilities of QQ space, thousands of schools participating in the event will be able to carry out and share youth basketball activities more effectively. Tencent and the NBA will jointly invite a number of star NBA players to China to participate in the event.
“We are pleased to take advantage of Tencent’s existing partnerships to provide more NBA content to our Chinese fans through Tencent’s powerful social networking platform,” said NBA China CEO Derek Chang. “The cooperation between NBA and Tencent has brought unprecedented opportunities for Chinese fans to enjoy and interact with NBA. We are excited to continue to work with Tencent to develop the future of basketball.”
Liang Zhu, vice president of Tencent, has also expressed his excitement and eagerness to provide additional premium NBA content to China. He believes that this cooperation will further promote the development of youth basketball in China and be a cornerstone in basketball education.
With the help of NBA, more than four million students from 4,000 schools across 31 provinces and cities in China used basketball textbooks jointly published by the Chinese Ministry of Education and NBA during the 2018-19 school year. Men and women basketball teams from over 23 provinces and cities in China participated in the Jr. NBA World Championship China Regional Tournament from April to May.