08.16.06

The news today

Posted in Basketball, Sports Business, Track and Field/Athletics at 2:29 pm by Nicole

The Chinese basektball team lost to the United States last week in Guangzhou – not an unexpected result. But the passion for NBA-level basketball was the real story of the exhibition, which also included a matchup between highly competitive Brazil and a revamped U.S. squad, desperately trying to make up for the antics of its overmatched 2004 Olympic squad, which brought home bronze. Both nights in Guangzhou, the stands were packed and the audience was knowledgable, cheering for every good move, regardless of who was scoring the points. The biggest cheers, of course, were reserved for Yao Ming, who suited up with the team for the Monday night game, but didn’t play.

This week, it’s Beijing and the world junior track and field championships, the largest international sporting event ever to be held in Beijing, according to press reports.

World Junior Track and Field Champs open in Beijing (China Daily)

And a small news tidbit from the sports marketing world: The Li-Ning company, China’s most visible sportswear brand, has teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal for a sponsorship deal that will see Shaq’s “Dunkman” clothing line marketed in China. Shaq and Li Ning, China’s “prince of gymastics” from the 1984 Olympics, made an appearance together at the China World Hotel on Monday evening in Beijing. I’d never seen Shaq in person before, so between him in Beijing and Yao Ming, Wang Zhizhi, and all those big NBA players hovering over me in the mixed zone in Guangzhou, I have to say: it’s been a week of being surrounded by some very tall people.

Chinese firm drafts NBA’s Shaq (Wall Street Journal Online)
Shaq jumps feet-first into China market (The Oregonian)
Shaq signs deal to tout Chinese sneakers (UPI)

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