Miami Heat to Play Exhibition Tour in China Next Year?
Thanks to a new marketing deal with a Chinese beer company, the Miami Heat may soon be taking their talents to China. Reports the Sun-Sentinel: “A multi-year marketing partnership announced Tuesday between the team and Chinese beer company Tsingtao could be a prelude to a Heat exhibition tour as soon as next year. ‘We’re not in control of that, the NBA is. But we have every reason to believe that we are high on the list of teams that they’ll be inviting over to China, if not next year certainly soon,’ said Eric Woolworth, Heat president of business operations. ‘I believe it’s in the pipeline.’ The glitzy media event, which was to be broadcast on Chinese Central Television and featured the Heat’s Big Three stars and top executives participating, made it clear the agreement with Tsingtao (pronounced CHING-DOW) is much more than another sponsor putting its name on signs at AmericanAirlines Arena. LeBron James presented a basketball signed by the Heat to Tsingtao president Sun Mingbo, who gave the Heat forward a beer stein. As part of the agreement, Tsingtao will send several members of their Passion Dancers to perform with the Heat dance team this season. The Tsingtao Passion Dancers Competition is the highest-rated TV show in China, drawing more than 100,000 aspirants. Sun said Tsingtao was drawn to partner with the Heat because of their star power and championship potential. ‘There’s many stars on the Miami Heat that Chinese people like,’ Sun said. ‘I think the partnership is win-win for both companies.’”