POSTED: Sep 4, 2013 10:15 AM ET
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has launched NBA.com/playball, a new multi-faceted campaign in Canada aimed at increasing youth participation in basketball across the country, the league announced Wednesday. The campaign includes the NBA's first-ever central database for youth clubs, public service announcements (PSAs) featuring notable Canadian and Raptor basketball talent, and social media promotions.
Launched in English and French, NBA.com/playball features nearly 700 youth basketball clubs in 10 provinces and three territories. This first central youth league database will make it easy for youth and parents to find places to play.
"It is an exciting time for basketball in this country, from the first-ever Canadian number one pick in the NBA Draft this year to rising participation numbers in the sport at all levels," said Dan Mackenzie, Vice President and General Manager, NBA Canada. "Through this campaign, we will make it easier to find a place to play and to further contribute to the growth of basketball in Canada."
In support of the new Web site, NBA broadcast partners in Canada will air two PSAs outlining the benefits of playing basketball such as having fun, exercising and learning sportsmanship and teamwork. The PSAs were a collaboration among the NBA, Canada Basketball, the Toronto Raptors, and Goodby Silverstein & Partners.
Talent in the spots includes five of the nine current Canadian NBA players, Raptors players, and members of the Canadian Senior Men's and Women's National Teams. The Web site and PSAs will also be promoted across the league's social media assets in Canada.
The following Canadian players are featured in the PSAs:
• Anthony Bennett, Cleveland Cavaliers (Brampton, Ontario)
• Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers (Brampton, Ontario)
• Joel Anthony, Miami Heat (Montreal, Quebec)
• Jamaal Magloire, formerly of the Toronto Raptors (Toronto, Ontario)
• Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics (Kamloops, British Columbia)
• Cory Joseph, San Antonio Spurs (Pickering, Ontario)
• Jay Triano, Canada Basketball Head Coach and Portland Trailblazers Assistant Coach (Niagara Falls, Ontario)
• Shona Thorburn, Canada Basketball (Hamilton, Ontario)
• Tamara Tatham, Canada Basketball (Brampton, Ontario)
• Carl English, Canada Basketball (St. John's, Newfoundland)
The following Toronto Raptors are featured in the PSAs:
• Qunicy Acy
• Terrence Ross
• Jonas Valanciunas
• Dwane Casey, Head Coach
Seven Canadian players have been drafted into the NBA in the past three years, with nine currently featured on NBA rosters. The NBA BIG Tour will visit five Canadian cities in September and October, offering BIG Talent and BIG Entertainment in local markets. NBA Canada Series will take place for the second consecutive year when the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves play a preseason game in Montreal on Oct. 20.
About the NBA:
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women's National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters currently feature 85 international players from 36 countries and territories. NBA Digital's assets include NBA TV, which is available in more than 61 million U.S. homes, and NBA.com, which averages more than 42 million page views per day, more than half of which originate from outside of North America. The NBA is the No. 1 professional sports league on social media, with more than 400 million likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league and its teams and players have donated more than $220 million to charity, completed more than 2.5 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 810 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.