North American basketball league the NBA has signed a long-term partnership with the Brazilian Liga Nacional de Basquete (LNB) in a bid to drive the development of the sport in the country.
Talk of a “pioneering” partnership between the organisations was first reported in October, but the tie-up was formally unveiled at an event in Sao Paulo today (Thursday). With the overarching goal of increasing the popularity of basketball in Brazil, the two bodies – along with the Confederação Brasileira de Basketball (CBB) – will work together to leverage new business for the LNB under a strategic marketing plan.
Created in 2008, the LNB brought together leading clubs in the country. The 2014-15 season, which began in late October, has seen 16 teams feature in the Novo Basquete Brasil (NBB) – the top division of basketball in Brazil.
NBA executive Jason Carrily said: “The NBA has always had commitment to Brazil and sees the country as a strategic place for long-term planning. The LNB has done a tremendous job with the NBB in these past seven years and we look forward to continuing this trend in the coming years. We hope to help in development in various areas, such as marketing, entertainment and administration and we believe that together we can attract more interest to Brazilian basketball. We hope that the NBB can become one of the largest basketball championships in the world.”
For the next year, the partnership will expand and cover other areas, including new business involving the NBB, basketball operations and development of athletes.
LNB president Cássio Roque added: “After the LNB built gradually over the past six years counting on the full support of our major supporters, the Ministry of Sports, Globo and CBB, it's time for a very significant step in the advancement of our league. With this partnership with the NBA, we will be able to work on projects and new actions that will stimulate basketball growth in Brazil, as well as provide a better and more exciting product to our dedicated fans.”
Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena hosted a pre-season game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat on October 11 (pictured) and the LNB partnership will form part of wider expansion strategy, under which the NBA is attempting to increase its presence in markets around the world.