Archive | Was The Decision all about China? RSS feed for this section

Basketball Pioneers: LeBron James wanted US $5 million to come to China last year

September 17, 2012

0 Comments

According to an anonymous Chinese general manager, LeBron James wanted to play in the CBA last year for US $5 million.

How things change in a year.

Roughly one year ago, the NBA lockout was raging and rumors of a mass overseas player migration were swirling as the work stoppage in the States seemed to have no end in sight. With its huge market, the Chinese Basketball Association and its group of mega-rich owners quickly emerged as one of the favorite rumor mills, with everyone from Enes Kanter and Glen Davis to Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant being linked to some move with a Chinese team.

Concerned with how the sudden influx of NBA-caliber talent — and the potential for an equally sudden exodus if the NBA lockout ended — the CBA abruptly put an end to all of that, passing a rule that forbade teams from signing players under NBA contract while also restricting eligible players from including back-to-the-NBA clauses in their Chinese contracts.

The results of that decision were mixed. While the league enjoyed unprecedented popularity both at home and abroad after attracting J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and Aaron Brooks among other high profile NBA players, the individual teams that signed them struggled both in creating profits and achieving the lofty goals they set for themselves in the pre-season.

The aftershocks of NBA-in-the-CBA experience thus has some teams re-thinking their big spending, money burning ways, with such ideas as a salary cap being proposed to get the league back on some sort of stable financial footing.

In a story published yesterday in Chinese basketball newspaper, Basketball Pioneers, several CBA general managers were quoted anonymously saying, among other things, there needs to be more due diligence inside of front offices, first in understanding the global player market, then in calculating a player’s monetary worth.

The debate on how to prevent teams from lighting their own money on fire will continue on, and the article itself is just a small blip in the overall issue. A small blip, that also includes this nugget: According to a separate GM, LeBron James wanted US $5 million to sign in the Middle Kingdom, a figure that upon consideration was ultimately deemed to high by team decision makers.

“Clubs need to be sensible,” said the GM, speaking anonymously. “If there was another big name superstar [who wanted to play in China] and wanted a price that’s too high, then there’s no way a team is going to accept that. Last year, [LeBron] James said he’d come for US $5 million. We couldn’t accept that.”

Whether that number is true or not, or whether the three-time MVP and reigning NBA champion was seriously considering playing in the CBA, is officially unknown. But it it believable? Considering all of the names who were being linked to China, of course it is. And considering what the major companies who back James (see Nike) would have stood to gain by having the best player on the planet play in what is potentially the biggest market on the planet, LBJ-to-China, like Kobe-to-China (which by the way happened before the league stepped in, if you believe Chinese media) was very likely on the table.

LeBron and the Miami Heat will come to China in October to play two pre-season games against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Continue reading...

Jordan commercial reminds us why China matters

October 29, 2011

2 Comments

Why China?

It’s a question we immediately tackled when we first started this China/basketball blog back in September 2010. The really short version: Because China matters. Like, really matters.

We believe it because everywhere you go in this country, you see people playing basketball. We believe it because Yao Ming was being nominated for a spot in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame a mere month after retiring. We believe it because random outdoor games between foreigners and Chinese can draw the occasional 100 or so passerbys who are down to watch some free hoops. We believe it so much in fact, that we are in a small minority that believes LeBron James’ “Decision” to take his talents to South Beach was made in part to appeal to what is potentially the largest market in the world, China. As time has gone on, we believe it more and more.

Nike’s newest Jordan Brand commercial reminds us — again — why China is such an important spot on the basketball map.

Featuring the trio of Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, the commercial, dubbed “Love the Game,” aims to show everyone that despite their status perennial NBA All-Stars, these guys are just like the many people around the world who go out and play for the love of basketball. Not for endorsements, not for paychecks, not for fame — for love. Noting more, nothing less.

The commercial is interesting for a number of reasons, but what makes it so effective is its depiction of basketball as a game without sexual, racial, religious or even geographical boundries. Wade is seen in southern Florida hooping in seperate games with teams from the Miami Kiwanis Club League, the Flamingo Senior Rec Center League and the Dade County Municipal League. Paul balls in New Orleans and North Carolina, playing in the NOLA Inter-Parish League and the Bayou Women’s League. Melo does his thing in the northeast, playing in a Williamsburg pick-up run, a Five-Star Basketball Camp and a Jewish Under-40 League in Brooklyn, New York.

The message of the commercial is clear: If you love the game, the game has a spot for you somewhere. As big fans of basketball bringing people together — and as fiendish pick-up basketball junkies — we think that’s pretty cool.

But not surprisingly, it’s the commercial’s last scene that ultimately wins us over for good. After playing separately in their own areas in the U.S., the three meet up in NiuBBall’s home base of Beijing, China for some good old-fashioned nighttime run at the Drum and Bell Tower. And though cool in and of itself, the real reason we love this spot is because it is in harmony with our stomachs.  Keep a close eye on the screen at the 1:41 mark. Look familiar?

As people who live in China, we find the three’s decision to hoop in the Middle Kingdom quite interesting. With Nike’s gigantic travel budget backed by their own large bank accounts, CP3, DWade and Melo could have picked anywhere in the world to play. Yet, they picked China. Why?

Do you really need me to answer?

Continue reading...

Nike has 4 billion reasons to root for the Heat

May 21, 2011

0 Comments

The NBA is a superstar’s league, which means that it is likely going to be the Miami Heat’s league, possibly as early as this June.

While a lot of people back in the States are hoping that ‘Bron ‘Bron and the SuperFriends remain ringless for a long time, the people at Nike are most definitely not.  According to an article in Bloomberg posted online on Thursday, if/when the Heat win a title, the swoosh will stand to make an estimated $4 billion in revenue in the most important and hotly contested hoops market in the world, China.

How they came up with $4 billion, I don’t know.  I just know that it’s a crapton of money — more than the annual GDP of Rhianna’s home country, Barbados and as Henry Abbott on TrueHoop points out, about as much as the NBA’s entire revenue as a global business.

There are other crazy numbers that are flown around in the article.  China-hand, Terry Rhoads, says its “easy to see” Nike’s China revenue reaching the $6 billion mark by the year 2020.  Riding James and Kobe Bryant as their marketing strategy, Nike made $1.96 in revenue last year.

Though not as popular as Bryant, whose distinct low-top shoes can be seen on Chinese feet everywhere in Beijing, James is still the favorite player of many of the country’s hundreds of millions of basketball fans.  Unlike in the U.S., where James is openly reviled by some for airing his free-agency decision on national television, James’ image has still largely remained intact inside the PRC.  Though NBA diehards know about “The Decision” and all of the controversy that surrounded it, most feel unattached to it.

As a friend once said to me, “Why should I care about LeBron’s relationship with Cleveland?  I live in China.  I don’t even know where Cleveland is.”

James said he “doesn’t care what [winning] does marketing-wise.”  As we remain more convinced than ever that The Decisionwas based around conquering the Chinese market one day, we respectfully disagree.

In April, LeBron has put himself in an even better position to command China and the rest of the Asian market by buying a share in Liverpool FC, one of Europe’s biggest and most distinguished soccer clubs.  For an athlete who has admitted his main goal is to become a “global icon,” the Liverpool move makes a ton of sense in realizing that ambition.

None of these billions can happen, however, without the Heat winning first.  Chinese fans are all about winning and being the best, which is why they remain obsessed with Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and China’s gold medal count in the Olympics.  Without a title, James will still remain quite popular here.  But, if he and Nike has any ambitions of taking over this important and lucrative market, the Heat will have to be throwing a championship parade — not a “Yes. We. Did.” — in downtown Miami sometime around the middle of June.

Continue reading...

More evidence that The Decision was all about China?

April 15, 2011

0 Comments

Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images AsiaPac

The case for LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach in order to appeal to the biggest market in the world, China, might have grown with the announcement that James’ LRMR Branding & Marketing are formally partnering up with John Henry and Tom Werner’s Fenway Sports Group “to become the exclusive world-wide representative” for the Miami Heat forward.  As part of the deal which includes world-wide representation for the two-time NBA MVP, James will also receive a minority ownership stake in FSG’s newly purchased English soccer club, Liverpool.  FSG also owns the Boston Red Sox.

One can question James’ loyalty to his fans, but nobody can question his commitment to following through on his promise to become “a global icon.” And as the Wall Street Journal points out, Liverpool, also have ambitions of being a global soccer club, specifically a global soccer club with a large footing in the Asian market.  The Reds are sponsored by Hong Kong-listed bank, Standard Chartered, who recently expressed their desire for the club to go out and sign high-profile Asian players in order to appeal to fans in the world’s most populous continent.

Already a part of Nike, one of the most China-savvy companies on the planet, James’ move to join up with FSG and Liverpool further announces his beliefs that the Middle Kingdom is fit for… well, a King.  Maybe he miscalculated fan reaction in the States to The Decision, but when it comes to expanding his brand in China, James knows what he’s doing. Which leads us to think even more that linking up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami wasn’t about the American market, but rather billions of potential consumers in China and elsewhere.

Continue reading...

Was The Decision all about China?

December 29, 2010

3 Comments

As we approach 2011, LeBron James and The Decision are kind of old news.  His move to south Florida to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh has been prodded and analyzed from every conceivable (and unconceivable) angle, with people from all walks of life contributing to the merciless beatdown of a once well-liked and respected athlete.

He did it for the rings.  He did it for the friends.  He did it so he could live in South Beach.  He did it so he could win rings while living in South Beach with his friends.

He did it for… China?

While people speculated for two years about which American city would give LeBron his best chance at becoming a billionaire global icon, better known to many as the New York Knicks’ entire sales pitch, was The Chosen One basing his potential one-billion dollar decision not on the U.S. market, but rather on 300-400 million Chinese basketball fans instead?

Stephen A. Smith, who proved to be pretty much the only person in the media who was right about the SuperFriends, apparently said as much (I didn’t watch the show) on a “Courting the King” segment previewing James’ impending free-agency on ESPN’s SportsCenter in July, telling viewers emphatically (according to an account by Forbes writer Jack Perkowski) that “It doesn’t matter anymore what city a star like LeBron James plays for, it’s now about China.”

Lots of people agree, none being more important than the people at Nike.  According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, Nike has a $400 million basketball operation in China that is experiencing tremendous yearly growth rates of 12-15%.  Meanwhile back in the U.S., the Swoosh is growing at just 1%.

“It’s clearly not about U.S. market size anymore when you talk about endorsements,” said Rovell in a June 22nd article for Power Grid.  ”Based on the numbers, China, whose 300 million basketball fans almost total the population of the United States, is the most logical place to look.”

Global icon.  That’s what LeBron’s been saying, right?

But, then why Miami?  Why not play both fields — making plenty cash playing for the Knicks in the U.S.’s biggest market while also marketing yourself in China?

Go anywhere in China, city or countryside, and ask a kid who is favorite player is.  Chances are its Kobe Bryant.  Then go up to somebody a little older and ask somebody who their favorite player was when they were growing up. Probably — no, definitely –they’ll answer with Michael Jordan.

What’s the link?  Yeah, they’re both high flying super-talented perimeter players that people love to compare against each other, but more importantly: they’re winners.

China likes winners.  It’s why the Lakers are the country’s most popular team, why Kobe has the highest selling jersey in the country, why the government puts priority on gold medals at the Olympics, and why nobody likes the Chinese national soccer team.

Terry Rhoads, who has been involved with sports and China spanning three decades and now has his own marketing company in Shanghai, lays it down proper: “For LeBron and Team LeBron, the ultimate objective has to be get those rings onto LeBron’s fingers, and then, the rest of the opportunities in China really can become available.”

Sure, joining up with Wade, Bosh and Pat Riley gives LeBron the so-called chance at getting multiple championships and the legacy that he desires.  The execution on his part was admittedly way off, but maybe that doesn’t matter. Maybe LeBron’s not looking at you, he’s looking at China.  Maybe Miami wasn’t just about winning championships, but also about unlocking the key to become the most popular athlete in the world’s biggest market.

Champion.  Billionaire.  Global Icon.  All while in beautiful South Beach surrounded by his two best buds.

And all built on China.

If you look at The Decision that way  – and at Miami’s record of late — it seems James has made a very, very smart choice.

Continue reading...
Yeni bir olusum icine girdigimiz son gunlerde sektorde o kadar cok ipsiz sapsiz turemeye basladi ki artik porno seyretme keyfi kalmadi millette. Tabii bir de bunun ustune yeni yasalar ve yeni sacmaliklar eklenince insan iyice zivanadan cikip artik bilgisayar yerine mobil porno tercih ediyor. Bir de tum bunlardan ciktigimizda insanlarin son donemlerde cok secici olarak kaliteli ve porno izleye basladiklarini goruyoruz. Tabi biz sizlere yine de izlemeniz icin rus porno izlemenizi oneriyoruz.