By Alan Paul
The NBA is up to some really interesting stuff in China, now launching a separate entity called NBA China.
I co-wrote a story about it in the Wall Street Journal, which ran last week. You can find it here:
After the story came out, the NBA released some more information, including the following, which is right from their press release:
Five strategic partners will invest $253 million to acquire 11% of the company in preferred equity. The strategic partners are an elite group of exceptionally prominent and successful entities: ESPN, a division of The Walt Disney Company, Bank of China Group Investment, Legend Holdings Limited, Li Ka Shing Foundation and China Merchants Investments.
ESPN is going to own 5 percent of the league with the Chinese companies all divvying up the other six percent. There are a couple of really interesting nuggets here. One is that ESPN is going to be a partner in the League. That in itself could have all sorts of implications down the road. And two is that, despite not releasing a lot of details about how the League will actually function, they are valuing it at well over $2.5 billion. Wow.
Lastly, it is going to be really interesting to see what NBA China, or the NBA, does with this little pot of cash.