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How teams commercialise players from specific regions

SAITAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 27: Chinese supporters displaying pictures of China's star player Yao Ming during the Eight Finals round of the 2006 FIBA World Championships on August 27, 2006 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

When a leading sports team signs a foreign player, it does so because of their athletic ability. But sometimes that player can also usher in an opportunity to build a sizeable fan base in their home country

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