NBA forms commercial partnership with top Brazilian league

Friday December 12th, 2014

The NBA has reached an agreement with the top Brazilian basketball league, Liga Nacional de Basquete, that will see the NBA take over the Brazilian league's marketing, advertising and licensing deals, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

The partnership will allow the two leagues to share best practices, increase fan engagement and develop new business through enhanced marketing initiatives and game presentation.

According to a statement from the NBA, the partnership aims to expand to other areas, including basketball operations, overall player development and community outreach.

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The two leagues said the goal was to increase the popularity of basketball in the South American country of 200 million people and to "attract more fans and bring in new business ... through marketing strategies that will focus enriching the product of basketball."

Financial terms were not released, nor was the length of the deal, though both sides said the contract was a "long-term" agreement.

"Basketball is very popular in Brazil and one of the fastest-growing sports in the country," said Arnon de Mello, NBA managing director in Brazil. "The NBA is very happy with this partnership. It allows us to dream bigger. We will help with the growth and development of the sport."

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Some NBA officials traveled to the agreement's announcement ceremony in Sao Paulo, held just two months after the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers played a preseason game in Rio de Janeiro.

The Heat-Cavaliers game was the second preseason game the NBA has held in Brazil, one year after the Bulls and Wizards played the first-ever NBA game in Brazil.

The seven Brazilians currently in the NBA -- Leandro Barbosa, Bruno Caboclo, Vitor Faverani, Nene Hilario, Lucas Nogueira, Tiago Splitter, Anderson Varejao -- are the most ever.

- Christopher Woody
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