NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry toasts the Chinese New Year
By Ed Diokno
The National Basketball Association is celebrating the Chinese New Year with a TV spot featuring Jeremy Lin, Stephen Curry and James Harden.
The ad is called Dining Table and shows the stars sharing a New Year meal with a Chinese family. It is being broadcast until Feb. 22 across all of NBA China’s television and digital partners’ platforms.
The Chinese New Year is Feb. 8 and celebrates the Year of the Monkey. Lin plays for the Charlotte Hornets and is the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent.
Last year’s Chinese New Years uniform as modeled by forward Harrison Barnes
Last year, the Rockets and the Warriors featured t-shirts with a Chinese-theme design. This year, Washington will wear uniforms with the team name in Chinese writing in addition to hosting events in their respective arenas.
Continuing their outreach to their huge Asian fan base in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Asia, the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors will first wear their 2015-16 season Chinese New Year uniforms on the court during a road game on Wednesday, February 3 at Washington in honor of the start of Lunar New Year, held February 7–13.
The team will sport the Chinese-themed threads again during Lunar New Year on Tuesday, February 9 when the Warriors hold their official Chinese New Year Celebration, presented by Lucky Buddha Beer, at Oracle Arena when they face the Houston Rockets.
To conclude the 2016 Lunar New Year, the Club will wear the Chinese New Year uniforms for the final time during the 2015-16 season on Friday, February 19 at Portland.
On Tuesday, January 26, from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Warriors Guard Klay Thompson will first show the new 2015-16 threads in Chinatown in San Francisco to celebrate Lunar New Year and tour San Francisco’s oldest alley way in Chinatown, Ross Alley, according to the team’s website.
Thompson, who will be wearing the new uniform, will start the tour at Ross Alley Gallery (41 Ross Alley).
The group will also make several stops before ending at the Fortune Cookie Factory where Thompson will participate in making traditional Chinese fortune cookies.
“We have an amazing following from our Chinese fans both here in the Bay Area and abroad,” said Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts. “Hosting a Chinese New Year celebration at Oracle Arena and wearing the uniforms to honor Lunar New Year is a great way to not only connect with the Asian culture, but thank our fans for supporting us throughout the season.”
For the first time, 51 live games are being broadcast and streamed by 10 broadcasters in Greater China, showcasing all 30 NBA teams; and the Chinese New Year Celebration Season of Giving initiative for underprivileged communities in China.
Yao Min, who played center for Houston, introduced NBA-style basketball to fans in China, where he is viewed as a national hero. China, with a population of 1.4 billion, is seen by the NBA as a market with huge potential.
The Warriors, who were one of the first NBA teams to launch a Weibo account, (the Chinese equivalent to Facebook) weibo.com/warriors, have nearly 2 million followers on Weibo, the highest in the NBA and regularly are one of the top teams in the league in engagement metrics on the platform including impressions, reposts, comments and likes. In addition, the Warriors were one of the first NBA teams to have a Chinese website, china.nba.com/warriors, and regularly conduct Q&A’s on Weibo and Tencent.