The NBA has expanded its partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to offer fans in China original programming and an easier way to buy merchandise.
Game highlights, original content and classic NBA games will be offered to nearly 700 million consumers through a newly-launched “NBA Section” across Alibaba’s platforms, including business-to-consumer online marketplace Tmall.
The original programming will cover a wide range of popular basketball and cultural topics, including game predictions, fashion, sneakers and memorabilia. The content will be available through the regular season and post-season.
“The NBA is always looking to innovate, and we are absolutely thrilled to expand our partnership with Alibaba,” said NBA China’s chief executive Derek Chang. “We share the same goal, which is to provide fans with one-of-a-kind online content consumption and shopping that leverages the latest technology. We look forward to working with Alibaba to continue to grow the game of basketball in China.”
Last October Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai was added to the board of NBA China. Tsai is an investor in the Brooklyn Nets and majority owner of WNBA’s New York Liberty.
Tmall launched a flagship store in 2012 to sell licensed NBA merchandise.
The move is part of the NBA’s expansion into China and overseas markets. The NBA recently announced it will create a professional league in Africa in partnership with Fiba.