NBA Europe Live 2007 to Feature Four Teams
Posted Feb 17 2007 1:48PM
Celtics, Grizzlies, Timberwolves and Raptors to Train and Compete in Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the U.K.
LAS VEGAS, Feb. 17, 2007 – The NBA will return for its second year of NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ this Fall when the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors will conduct training camps and play exhibition games in six European cites in four countries, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner David Stern.
The 2007 NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ will mark a series of firsts in the NBA’s 19-year history of conducting games in Europe. The Boston Celtics and the Minnesota Timberwolves will play in the first basketball game in the O2, London’s new state of the art NBA style arena. In addition, the NBA will conduct its first game played in Turkey. The event will also feature the first time two NBA teams have competed against one another in Rome.
After the 2007 NBA Europe Live, NBA teams will have played 41 games in 15 cities throughout Europe over the past two decades. The inaugural NBA Europe Live drew more than 36 million viewers, 115,000 spectators, and 18 marketing partners in October 2006.
“Following the success of last year’s event, fans throughout Europe will have the opportunity to see four NBA teams embark on this special European tour,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “This collaborative effort between the NBA, Euroleague Basketball and EA SPORTS™ is committed to grow the sport of basketball across Europe and to embrace fans in each city through our NBA Cares community outreach.”
“Last year, we witnessed outstanding games proving that the game of basketball is growing in popularity and intensity. Euroleague Basketball is excited to be participating in the second edition of NBA Europe Live with teams such as Efes Pilsen Istanbul, Unicaja Malaga, Real Madrid and Lottomatica Roma,” said Euroleague Basketball CEO Jordi Bertomeu. “We look forward to seeing some great games.”
“We share a passion with our partners at the NBA to bring the world’s best basketball to Europe,” said Jan Bolz, Vice President, International Sales and Marketing at EA. “After the great success of last year’s event, we’re excited to continue to be ambassadors for NBA basketball and for the opportunity to showcase NBA LIVE on the largest of stages. NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ creates an authentic platform for fans of all ages to enjoy real life and virtual basketball experiences across the continent.”
As part of NBA Cares, the NBA and adidas will conduct a series of court refurbishment and community enhancement activities in the cities where its teams will visit. During the 2006 NBA Europe Live, the NBA and Euroleague teams hosted more than 15 community events, highlighted by four basketball court refurbishments with global partner adidas in Barcelona, Rome, Lyon and Cologne.
“The NBA’s popularity in Europe has never been higher and we look forward to building upon the success of last year’s event with new ways of reaching the NBA fans in Europe,” said Lawrence Norman, adidas Vice President and Head of Global Basketball.
"We are delighted that the NBA has recognized the growing popularity of basketball, especially in markets like Turkey," said Scott McCune, Vice President, Worldwide Sports, Entertainment and Licensing, The Coca-Cola Company, a partner of NBA Europe Live for the second year.
Following is the schedule for the 2007 NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS:
EA SPORTS, adidas, Champion, The Coca-Cola Company and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will return as pan-European marketing partners for the 2007 event. They will conduct a variety of NBA-themed promotional activities to reach NBA fans across Europe.
The 2007 NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ will mark a special homecoming for some of the players involved including Toronto Raptors rookie Andrea Bargnani, a native of Italy. Toronto’s Jose Calderon and Jorge Garbajosa, both natives of Spain, will play in Madrid for the first time wearing a Raptors uniform. Spain’s most celebrated basketball player Pau Gasol will make his second appearance in the country with the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis last played in Barcelona in 2003. In addition, Toronto’s Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Maurizio Gheradini will be returning home to Italy where he served as Benetton Treviso’s Executive Director and General Manager for 14 years.
An NBA licensee since 1991, EA expanded its relationship with the league to become an official global marketing partner of the NBA to develop interactive basketball programs around the world, including NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™. The award-winning NBA LIVE video game franchise, recognized worldwide for delivering the most authentic interactive basketball experience for more than a decade, will be featured in promotion of the events throughout Europe and the U.S. The newest iteration in the series, NBA LIVE 07, is currently available in more than 100 countries on six continents. EA Sports will partner with the NBA and Euroleague Basketball to conduct a series of promotional activities leading up to the start of the event.