Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

Swiss Watch! Sports Federations in Switzerland Need to Watch Out for NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB

It is no secret that the globalization of other sports besides the Olympics and World Cup Soccer has enjoyed a renaissance and growth through television and the Internet over the past thirty years. For decades every sport has had its own federation with many headquartered in Switzerland.  Several years ago when I visited Switzerland and met with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and asked specifically about the influence of the NHL and the growth of ice hockey, worldwide.

The comment then was they are very influential and important to the Federation.  As  I read the criticism by the IIHF of some NHL players not participating in the latest world championships  and the response by Brian Burke, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it no secret why the NHL is look to opening next season in Europe. It’s also why the NBA has an office in China, why Major League Baseball has opened its season in Japan, and why the NFL continues to play in London every year.

Sports are a $750 billion dollar global business and money talks. If sports federations want to grow their sports globally they will need to better understand the business side. Simply put, the business of sports keeps on ticking and professional sports leagues are not amateurs!

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05 2010

Last night’s World Series game was HUGE for MLB

Talk about being good for the global reach of the game. Hideki Matsui put the “World” in World Series Wednesday night, becaming the first Japanese-born player to win the series’ MVP award.

They’ll be celebrating that for years over there. And really, it makes it even more imperative that MLB continue its excursions into a country that loves its baseball. And it shows once again why the future of American sports may well be outside this country’s borders.

Asia is an exciting market with a lot of available cash and someday I would expect baseball to add an Asian division — just as the NBA will someday at a division or conference in Europe and perhaps South America. There wouldn’t be an interlocking schedule in those sports, but expect one major trip abroad for all teams under that format. In many ways, such expansion is the only way to continue to expand revenue and branding opportunities for those leagues.

Congratulations, Yankees! And best wishes, MLB, for continued success in the global marketplace — which is very likely the future of major-league sports in America.

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11 2009