Mumbai: The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Times Internet Limited (TIL), a subsidiary of Times Group, today announced a digital partnership to launch the first-ever dedicated NBA section on the Times of India website .
The NBA becomes the second sports league after the Indian Premier League (IPL) to partner with the Times Group in India, highlighting the growing popularity of basketball and the NBA in India.
The new dedicated NBA section on the Times of India website will reach more than 12 million users per month. The NBA section will provide fans with comprehensive daily updates on the latest NBA news and scores, and will feature original columns from Times Group journalists. Daily video highlights, photo galleries and articles from NBA analysts will be offered, as well as in-depth features on the league and its players. Furthermore, journalists from the Times Group will travel to the 2011 NBA Finals to provide on-site and behind-the-scenes coverage for fans in India.
“We are proud to be associated with one of the most recognized sporting leagues in the World,” said Rishi Khiani, CEO, Times Internet Limited.” The NBA is the premier men’s professional basketball league in North America. With the growing popularity of basketball globally, and more recently in India, we plan to leverage our audience to help popularize the sport further and drive newer audiences to the game.”
“The Times Group has unrivaled reach in India and they are an ideal partner to help showcase our game and engage more NBA fans throughout the country,” said Heidi Ueberroth, President, NBA International. “We are in the midst of one of our most exciting playoffs in recent memory and the innovative, in-depth sports coverage provided by the Times Group allows us to bring fans in India closer to the game.”
The NBA is committed to growing popularity of basketball in India and is currently in the second season of the Mahindra NBA Challenge — the largest multi-city, community-based basketball league in India. The NBA has marketing partnerships in India with adidas, Coca-Cola, EA SPORTS, HP, Mahindra, Nike, Reebok, and Spalding; has record television coverage this season on Ten Sports and Sony Pix; and recently launched the widest assortment of jerseys and merchandise ever in India in 200 adidas stores.
Additionally, in partnership with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), the NBA is promoting the sport on all levels. NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility program, has hosted numerous youth and coaching clinics over the past year. Basketball courts are being refurbished to facilitate access to the game and promote participation among youth. Around 15 NBA or WNBA players have traveled to India to conduct clinics and raise awareness of the game. The NBA is also working closely with the BFI to identify coaches for India’s National Team.