By Official Release
Posted Mar 25 2009 9:12AM
LONDON -- The NBA returns to London for the third consecutive year as Luol Deng and the Chicago Bulls take on the Utah Jazz at The O2 on Oct. 6 as part of NBA Europe Live 2009 presented by EA SPORTS"! the National Basketball Association, Euroleague Basketball and EA SPORTS announced today. A second game of the NBA's European tour will be announced at a later date.
Deng, British-born Ben Gordon and the Bulls will face the Jazz in London, who feature U.S. Senior National Team teammates and 2008 Olympic Gold medalists Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. Tickets for the game at The O2 are on sale now at www.theo2.co.uk or by calling 0844 856 0202.
"For the last three years through NBA Europe Live, I have been able to witness first-hand, the passion and excitement of basketball fans in Europe." said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "This year will be no different when two franchises rich in tradition and success, the Bulls and the Jazz, play at The O2. The continued efforts of Euroleague Basketball and EA SPORTS, together with the ongoing support of England Basketball, British Basketball and the British Basketball League, are a testament to the commitment to grow basketball in the U.K."
Since the 1993 preseason games at Wembley Arena -- the first NBA games in Europe -- London has hosted four NBA games and seven teams. The Bulls, who are six-time NBA Champions, last played in Europe at the 1997 McDonald's Championship in Paris.
"It has always been my dream to play for the Bulls in London." said Luol Deng. "They were the team I supported as a kid growing up and I am looking forward to playing in front of my hometown family and friends. We will put on a great show for the fans, whilst having the opportunity to show my teammates the culture that London has to offer."
|Deron Williams Slide Show|
|Deron Williams looks through photos of his young career with the Jazz, who will take part in NBA Europe Live.
Basketball in the U.K. has enjoyed a recent resurgence with club membership doubling over the last four years ahead of the 2012 Olympics. British Basketball, behind Deng and Pops Mensah Bonsu (Toronto Raptors), qualified for EuroBasket 2009 and will host a four-team tournament at The O2 from August 14-16. In addition, thousands of young people in London will have access to basketball coaching instruction and organized competition with the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program, in partnership with Greenhouse Schools. The NBA will also support the London Youth Games, which tips-off in May.
"We're thrilled to be welcoming the NBA back again to The O2 for a third successive year. With home grown stars like Luol Deng playing I know that the game will be another must see sporting event at the venue," said The O2's Managing Director Mark Donnelly. "The event has previously drawn visitors from across the UK and Europe -- and I am sure they will be flocking back again this year."
EA SPORTS will once again serve as the presenting partner of NBA Europe Live, which it has since the inaugural tour in 2006. adidas, American Airlines, Champion and The Coca-Cola Company will also return as marketing partners, while Spalding, the official basketball of the NBA, will serve as the tour's official supplier. Carey and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) will serve as marketing partners in London and will join all partners in conducting NBA-themed promotional activities to reach basketball fans around the game at The O2.
"We're excited to continue our support of NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS, a great platform for basketball fans across Europe to experience the world's best basketball on a grand stage," said Peter Moore, President, EA SPORTS. "This continues to be the perfect opportunity for EA SPORTS to help expand the NBA's global footprint, to grow our NBA LIVE videogame franchise, and to further globalize our business."
NBA Europe Live 2009 will again serve to raise the profile of basketball in the U.K with new events and marketing partner support across a number of activities. As part of the 2008 Europe Live Tour, the NBA's Central Court in London provided a stage for free basketball opportunities featuring participants from the UK's Jr. NBA program, London Youth Games and the GB Wheelchair Basketball Team. NBA Jam Van joined Europe Live making an impact in each host city, while presenting partner EA SPORTS hosted a skills challenge for fans in London and Paris. In addition to the basketball action, the NBA conducted a variety of community events and programs as part of its NBA Cares initiative, including a court refurbishment at Larkhall Park, working in partnership with Lambeth Council and the Lambeth Sports Action Zone.
The inaugural NBA Europe Live in 2006 featured the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs playing preseason games in Barcelona, Moscow, Rome, Paris, Lyon and Cologne. NBA Europe Live returned in 2007 with the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors visiting Rome, Madrid, London and Istanbul. In 2008, the Miami Heat faced the New Jersey Nets in London and Paris, while the New Orleans Hornets played the Washington Wizards in Barcelona and Berlin.
About the NBA
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a global sports and entertainment brand that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2008-09 season, NBA games will reach 215 countries and territories in 41 languages. The league's worldwide reach will be reflected in the 77 international players from 32 countries and territories on NBA rosters. NBA merchandise is sold in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. NBA.com averages more than five million daily visits, with more than 50 percent of the site's visitors come from outside of North America.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS Freestyle TM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Freestyle and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S and/or other countries.
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