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World Team Looks Ahead to Next Year in USA Game

March 3, 2016 by Richard Cox in World with 0 Comments

World Team Looks Ahead to Next Year in USA Game

One of the common criticisms of sporting leagues in the United States is that their media and advertising campaigns are very country-specific.  From a business standpoint, this means that large markets are often missed and that organizations like the NBA, NFL, and MLB unnecessarily avoid key demographics that would ultimately drive revenue numbers.

Because of this, we have started to see more of an international focus in each of these sporting entities.  The NFL has started to play some of its gaming scheduled in London, England and the NBA has initiated its World Game where athletes from different countries are able to square-off against the US team.  These types of strategies will likely go far in terms of the ways new audiences will be exposed to US sports.

World Team vs. NBA’s Rising Stars

This month, the central basketball event will clearly be seen in the 2016 March Madness bracket.  But last month, the NBA’s World Game was played and featured many of the league’s rising stars against players from countries outside of the US.  When we are talking about “rising stars,” it refers to freshman and sophomores (NBA league players in their first or second year)   As expected, it was a high scoring affair with the US team edging out their World rivals by a score of 157-154.  Taking home the game MVP honor was Zach Lavine, who scored 30 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Levine hit 13 of 20 shots from the field, helping push the US team to victory.

Slam Dunk Contest

The game was played on the day before the NBA slam dunk contest, which is often viewed as one of the highlights of the league’s all-star weekend.  Levine won the event last year during his rookie season, and was widely expected to show a repeat victory in the event despite a strong rivalry with Aaron Gordon.

The showdown managed to live up to the hype, with both players scoring impressive rounds on several occasions.  Levine did turn out to be the victor, however, securing his place in NBA history as a repeat winner of the slam dunk contest during his first two seasons in the league.

Sizing Up All-Star Weekend

In all, these events managed to generate viewer rating that were higher than what has been seen in recent years.  The World Game and Rising Stars Challenge was coupled with an epic slam dunk contest that excited fans and brought in new audiences from diverse countries.  At this stage, this is a clear goal for the NBA so when all of this is taken together we can say that the weekend was a success in terms of the ways it managed to engage the global audience and expand on the international footprint the NBA is looking to create.  Next year, the World team will look to improve on its performance and create a bigger challenge for the NBA’s newest rising stars — and we will all be watching to see if they are able to accomplish this feat.

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