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The NBA Global Expansion

American men’s professional basketball league, the National Basketball Association, is one of the most well-known sports leagues in the United States and the whole world. The popularity of the game itself, NBA teams, and signed players is only growing, which in turn explains the Association’s plans for further global expansion. This short paper aims to discuss the benefits and challenges that this expansion might present.

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On the one hand, the existing success of the NBA in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world gives reasons for optimism. It is reported that the NBA is already distributing its games and programs in 215 countries (Reed, 2019). This vast geography and high demand for basketball coverage allow management to make further plans to enter new markets, such as India, and intensify its operations in Africa (Pompliano, 2020). It could potentially bring the NBA new viewers and recruit more players. However, several challenges should be taken into account. First, entering new markets requires extensive strategizing that would allow making the expansion more effective. For instance, while entering the Indian market, NBA executives need to consider the income level of the population.

Moreover, global expansion decisions could be potential reasons for various adversities and conflicts. The example is the recent reputational controversy around the Xinjiang basketball academy, situated in “one of the world’s worst humanitarian zones” (Dellenger, 2020, para. 2). Therefore, when planning further global expansion, the NBA needs to consider multiple factors, ranging from cultural to economic and political.

The NBA’s expansion plans are based on the game’s popularity that stretches over the league, its teams, players, development programs, and merchandise. However, during the implementation of these plans, it is vital to be strategic about going global and acknowledge the possible risks and difficulties. It would allow the NBA to distribute its legacy to wider audiences, preserve its reputation, and achieve further financial successes.


Dellenger, R. (2020). NBA responds to U.S. senator’s letter about league’s relationship with China. Sports Illustrated. Web.

Pompiliano, J. (2019). The NBA’s next step for global expansion. Huddle Up. Web.

Reed, A. (2019). NBA steps up its global plans to take basketball to new markets. CNBC. Web.

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