NBA And Sports Marketing Japan Team To Provide NBA Video Highlights To Wireless Phone Users In Japan
NEW YORK AND TOKYO, NOV. 7, 2005 – The National Basketball Association and Sports Marketing Japan will provide basketball fans in Japan with daily video highlights to their mobile phones, marking the first time a North American sports league will provide video highlights to wireless phones in Japan. The agreement also furthers the NBA’s leadership in delivering its content to fans around the world in fresh and innovative ways.
The NBA will continue to engage its growing Asian fan base by providing video highlights beginning at the start of the 2005-06 NBA season for users of NTT DoCoMo – i-mode, KDDI – Ezweb, and Vodafone – Vodafone live!. Highlights will continue throughout the season and will also include footage from NBA All-Star, the Playoffs and The Finals. In addition to video footage, fans will receive NBA news, scores, special columns and information about Japanese players. Fans will also be able to decorate their screen with NBA wallpaper and use NBA-related ringtones.
“With the NBA’s tremendous fan base in Japan, we are confident that the ability to experience the world’s best basketball on a mobile phone will be very popular in a country well-known for their consumption of cutting edge technology,” said Kenneth Berger, Sports Marketing Japan Managing Director.
“From playing regular season games in Japan to our NBA.com/japan web site, we have made a commitment to provide our Japanese fans with every opportunity to enjoy the NBA on their terms,” said NBA Hideki Hayashi, NBA Japan Managing Director. “By teaming with an innovative company like SMJ, we are continuing to provide our fans in Japan with an NBA experience that is customized to their language and culture.”
The NBA was the first sports league to deliver video highlights to mobile phone users in the United States and the first North American sports league to deliver video highlights to mobile phone users in China. The NBA has held season opening games six times in Japan since 1990, the most recent being the 2003-04 season opener between the Los Angeles Clippers and Seattle Supersonics.
About the NBA
Since its founding in 1946, the NBA has become a global phenomenon that transcends national boundaries. With 30 teams in the United States and Canada, NBA games and related programming are broadcast to 214 countries in 43 languages via 157 telecasters. The NBA is one of the largest suppliers of sports television and Internet programming in the world. NBA.com, with more than half of all visits to the site coming from fans from outside of the United States, has nine language-specific international destinations for fans around the world. The NBA is a recognized leader in global sports marketing with 13 offices around the world. The league ended the 2004-05 season with 76 international players from 34 countries and territories on NBA team rosters.
Sports Marketing Japan Co. Ltd.
Established in April 1999 as the marketing & servicing agency of the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ on behalf of FIFA, SMJ has acquired the commercial and television rights from International Baseball Association (IBAF) for the Olympic Qualification Tournaments for 2008 Beijing Olympics. SMJ also purchased the wireless distribution rights for Italian professional soccer league “Serie A” top clubs and operates the mobile site as NTT-DoCoMo’s i-mode service (http://www.sadigest.jp/). SMJ is responsible for developing the NPB clubs brand identity as an exclusive agency of New York based leading sports branding and design firm, SME Branding Inc., as well as working in Japan in support of the licensing and marketing agency for World Wrestling Entertainment “WWE”.