New beginning for the Chinese Basketball
With 300 million fans, the Basketball is the second sport the most practiced in China after table tennis. The success of the Chinese star Yao Ming has prompted many young people to become interested in basketball, especially since 2002, his first season in the NBA. However, he retired in 2011 after nine seasons with the Huston Rockets. Some have announced the end of Basketball in China. What about today?
The loss of a sports icon
The retirement of Yao Ming is a real blow to the millions of basketball fans in China. His success in North America is exemplary.
Thus, on 1 May 2005, the People’s Republic of China decorates him with the title of “model worker”. Its popularity in China even allows him to easily participate in the NBA All-Star Game (players are selected by fans by a global vote on the site of the NBA.)
As a symbol of modernity and international reputation of his country, Yao Ming was chosen as the flag bearer of the Chinese delegation at the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games.
22,000 users felt that his retirement would be “the end of an era” on a survey website Sina.com.
Since the announcement of the retirement of Yao Ming, some announced a decline of basketball in China. It is true that the sport is less popular and gradually disappears behind the emergence of Tennis and Football.
A money pit
The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) has not found a viable business model. Despite subsequent recruitment of NBA stars, his popular success was not accompanied by adequate financial returns.
Returning barely cover their costs, many clubs are losing money. Some have not the possibility to engage in a new season, as the club Yunnan Bulls.
According to Zhang Mingji, director of club Shanghai Sharks, for an investment of 35 million yuan of the 2011 season, the club has raised only 13.5 million yuan from advertising revenue, user fees its name and an insufficient aid from the CBA.
This deficit is due to several reasons:
– Chinese Basketball Association Clubs have almost no benefit from the financial impact of the spread of games on the CCTV.
– The league revenues are handicapped by the limited capacity of the stadiums and the common “distribution” of free tickets to the privileged people.
– The virtual absence of derivative products of the CBA, knowing that 20% of total revenues in the NBA are from its derivatives.
New beginning for the Chinese Basketball
Following the loss of popularity of this sport, and the crisis of Chinese clubs, the Chinese Basketball Association is committed to a new dynamic: In order to shine his national teams by recruiting two new coaches: Panagiotis Giannakis and Tom Maher.
National Men’s Team
The Chinese Basketball Association has recruited there are more than a month Panagiotis Giannakis, nicknamed “the Dragon” as coach of the Chinese team for four seasons.
Panagiotis is the former coach of the national team of Greece that he led to the European title in 2005. He is the current coach of the club CSP Limoges which is the most efficient French club (all disciplines included), with the most important European prizes.
His new position within the Chinese national team is very bad impression for the Limoges club with whom he is still under contract for one year. However, he explains that his new job in China will not prevent to honor its contract to full extent.
Panagiotis is more than hope for the revival of basketball in China. The 7th june 2013, nearly a month after joining the China basketball team, he directed his first match against Australia on concluding a 61-55 victory.
However due to a legal and discipline committee of the National Basketball French League a few days after this victory, the future of China Panagiotis remains incertains. To be continued.
Women’s National Team
Following numerous budget cuts in women’s basketball in Britain, Tom Maher was not reappointed as coach although his work has been acclaimed.
Having already led the Chinese women’s national team to the 2006 Beijing Olympic, where he led his team to the 4th place, he is a prime target for the Chinese Basketball Association. He agreed to renew the experience in early 2013 for four years with the aim of guiding his team on top of the podium at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.
The backup plan in the NBA
The leaving of Yao Ming is an economic blow for the NBA which has lost a lot of audience in Asia. Indeed, the world’s largest market that is China succumbed to the charms of the NBA for 10 years thanks to the prowess of its national star.
According to a survey, 57% of Chinese will not watch the NBA because of the retirement of their ambassador.
However, a new talented player gives interest to Chinese fans by its unexpected performances: Jeremy Lin, a Chinese American. He was noticed in the team of the New York Knicks and currently plays in the former club of Yao Ming, the Rockets Huston.
David Sterne, the commissioner of the NBA believes that Jeremy Lin will have an impact on the Chinese basketball:
“Jeremy Lin will enable young chinese to have a unique dream. This is an opportunity for the Chinese basketball and the NBA Development … We will see Chinese players and their families working on the best way to succeed in the NBA. The most important is to develop basketball in China. I do not think Yao Ming will be the last great Chinese player. I think it will only be the first. ”
Taking advantage of this new rising star, the NBA is trying to ride the rebirth of basketball in China and he tried doubled media with the celebration of Chinese New Year!
NBA celebrates Chinese New Year
23 NBA games were broadcast live in China during the eight days of the Spring Festival in 2013. Seven teams celebrated the year of the snake during games.
Many events were held and two American stadiums have been entirely decorated in the colors of the event. Adidas has even made special shirts for the players.
The direction of the NBA confirmed a real desire to integrate to its recurring business the event of the Chinese New Year. In addition, NBA would ideally broadcasts its games each morning in China, in order to create a real tradition for Chinese fans, like the traditional preparation of ravioli family on the eve of New Year.