NBA Announces Noche Latina 2009

NEW YORK, Feb. 24, 2009 – The NBA today announced the launch of its third annual Noche Latina event, a program that recognizes the NBA’s fans and players from across Latin America and U.S. Hispanic communities. Noche Latina will take place in eight of the top 10 U.S. Hispanic markets this season (up from four in 2007-08): Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, Houston and New York.

“The NBA has one of the largest and fastest-growing Hispanic fan bases in U.S. professional sports, and we want to continue building their interest in the game through participation, programming and events,” said Saskia Sorrosa, Sr. Director of Marketing for the NBA. “This initiative celebrates the NBA’s unique and dynamic fan base with a focus on our Spanish-speaking communities.”

Noche Latina, first launched during the 2006-07 season, will feature celebratory uniforms developed in conjunction with La Agencia de Orci & Asociados, a U.S. Hispanic agency, to display the team name as spoken by the Latino population. Rather than translating the team names literally, market research concluded that Spanish-speakers in the U.S. refer to them differently. The Miami Heat, for example, is called “El Heat”; the San Antonio Spurs are “Los Spurs.” Noche Latina uniforms were carefully selected based on the uniforms that had the most affinity within the Hispanic population.

Starting February 21, the NBA will hold local events in each participating city leading up to Noche Latina, including visits by streetball teams to Hispanic events and neighborhoods where they will perform basketball tricks and distribute branded giveaways. To further honor Latino fans and players during Noche Latina games, participating Noche Latina NBA teams will host in-arena themed activities ranging from Latin music to performances and giveaways. Noche Latina jerseys, t-shirts, and headwear will be available at the NBA Store on 5th Avenue, NBAStore.com, and in-arena stores for participating teams

Noche Latina 2009 tips off on Tuesday, March 3, when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Memphis Grizzlies. On Wednesday, March 4, the Noche Latina doubleheader opens with the San Antonio Spurs heading to Dallas, where both teams will wear Noche Latina uniforms, followed by the New York Knicks visiting the Atlanta Hawks. Noche Latina continues with two Miami Heat home games, the first against the Chicago Bulls on Monday, March 9, and the second against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, March 14. On the same Saturday, the Phoenix Suns will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at home. The Spurs face the NBA champion Boston Celtics on Friday, March 20, followed by Noche Latina games on back-to-back nights, Wednesday, March 25, with the Mavericks vs. the Golden State Warriors and Thursday, March 26, with the Bulls vs. the Heat. The program concludes on Saturday, March 28, when the Houston Rockets host the Los Angeles Lakers.

Noche Latina Schedule

10 NBA LATIN NIGHTS
DATE
DAY
BROADCAST
OPPONENT
Lakers (Los Lakers)
3/3/2009
Tuesday
N/A
Grizzlies
Mavericks (Los Mavs)
3/4/2009
Wednesday
ESPN
Spurs
Knicks (Nueva York)
3/4/2009
Wednesday
N/A
Hawks
HEAT (El HEAT)
3/9/2009
Monday
N/A
Bulls
HEAT (El HEAT)
3/14/2009
Saturday
N/A
Jazz
Suns (Los Suns)
3/14/2009
Saturday
N/A
Thunder
Spurs (Los Spurs)
3/20/2009
Friday
NBATV
Celtics
Mavericks (Los Mavs)
3/25/2009
Wednesday
N/A
Warriors
Bulls (Los Bulls)
3/26/2009
Thursday
TNT
HEAT
Rockets (Los Rockets)
3/28/2009
Saturday
N/A
Clippers


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.

Domestically, the NBA will broadcast 143 regular-season games on national television during the 2008-09 season on ABC, TNT, ESPN and ESPN2. NBA TV, launched in 1999 as the first 24-hour television channel created and operated by a professional sports league, will broadcast an additional 96 games. NBA Cares is the league's social responsibility initiative that builds on the NBA's long tradition of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this umbrella program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated more than $97 million to charity, provided more than 800,000 hours of hands-on service to communities around the world, and created more than 350 places where kids and families can live, learn or play.