International Basketball

Breaking Down The Boundaries of International Sport: NBA Announces First Game In Africa

 In the vibrant worlds of business and commerce, the development of mobile technology has done much to break down the issues once posed by international boundaries. The same cannot be said for other markets, however, where the presence of geographical barriers continues to impact on concepts such as popularity and accessibility.

Take sport, for example, where even the emergence of international television channels and video streaming has been unable to create truly international domestic leagues. This is why the idea of club teams across multiple sports playing friendly and competitive games overseas has become increasingly popular in recent times.

Soccer was one of the first sports to develop international market opportunities. As the popularity of the English game has grown, for example, it has become a globally renowned product that is beamed into the homes of millions across the world. Many of the leading teams also conduct pre-season tours abroad, taking in nations such as China, South America and North America. As a result, the Barclay’s Premier League now has a truly international fan base and incredible earning potential.

American Football has subsequently followed suit, expanding beyond its domestic shores to export its product internationally. With the Super Bowl such a globally renowned sporting fixture and increasingly popular in the UK, for example, there are usually a handful of competitive NFL matches now played at Wembley during every calendar year. With the NBA having recently announced that it will play its first ever exhibition game in South Africa on the 1st August at the Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, yet another sport is also expected to emerge into a global, thriving and ultimately lucrative marketplace.

Whether you consider the exposure that it creates or the gate receipts generated by international fixtures, the primary advantage of a truly global sporting market is higher turnover generated by teams, brands and governing bodies. After all, the owners of broadcasting rights can capitalise on their sports popularity in international countries, while teams can also benefit from their share of this revenue. Teams can also sell more merchandise in the international marketplace, creating higher annual revenues and a more diverse source of income.

Fans can also benefit, however, despite the potential costs of international travel. After all, NBA fans who like to bet and watch the playoffs live will now have additional exhibition games to wager on, while the potential for competitive basketball games to be played overseas should also not be discounted. The development of mobile technology and real-time gambling apps already means that customers can place their bets on an array of international sporting events, but a higher prevalence of those featuring their favourite teams only adds an exciting dimension to the process. If the English Premier League authorities ever decide to play competitive games overseas, the online gambling market would be one of the biggest and clearest winners.