Sacramento, Milwaukee and...Mumbai?
If nothing else, you’ll want to see it to check out the strange picture of owner/former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl. Despite the sketchy photo, the author says some really nice things about Kohl at the end.
The NBA’s Board of Governors votes Wednesday on the future of the Kings in California. A deep-pocketed Seattle investor wants to bring the team to the Northwest to replace the Sonics. Another wealthy guy in Sacramento wants to keep the franchise put, while offering up big plans to market the pro game to his native India.
There’s that name again—India. I mentioned in a previous blog about Vivek Randive (the Sacramento kad-zillionaire) and his penchant for making the NBA an international brand, or at least bringing it to his native sub-continent. And, last week’s Sports Illustrated did an extensive piece on an Indian hoop prospect as well as the billions of potential customers await the league there.
Every pro sport seems to want to go global. The NFL plays games in London. MLB games happened in Japan. Premiership soccer lives on U.S. cable and satellite. The Internet offers unique product delivery options where live games are a mouse-click away on a computer or there with the swipe of a finger on a smartphone/I-Pad screen.
As Milwaukee debates the future of the Bucks, we might also want to consider the global ramifications. The NBA could be the kind of international business this city craves, a global branding opportunity unthinkable a short time ago. It should be part of the conversation, as much as arena funding and post-Kohl ownership. The talk picked up steam in recent weeks before dying off of late. It needs to stay front-burner. Whatever we decide, it should be as a community and it should be thorough, polite, and intelligent.
And, it should happen soon.