While the National Basketball Association daily story seems to have drifted into soap opera land whether it is a storyline about LeBron James or Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis, the New York office continues to expand business opportunities better than other North American sports league. The NBA will establish a presence in Africa partially backing a continental league. The NBA has been involved with a couple of projects in Africa including Basketball Without Borders and Giants of Africa. The league staged an exhibition game in Pretoria, South Africa on August 4, 2018. The NBA gets players from various African countries so this is a logical next step. The NBA is becoming very global. There could be a pre-season game next fall in India. There will be pre-season games in China. The NBA likes holding games in Mexico City and while it is not clear if London will have a regular season game next year, there figures to be at least one European game in 2019 or 2020.
Leagues are no longer territory except for Spain’s La Liga soccer organization. La Liga wants to play regular season games globally but has been stopped by various soccer authorities. The National Hockey League could have pre-season games in China, Germany and Switzerland with regular season games in Prague, The Czech Republic and Stockholm, Sweden next fall. Major League Baseball is sending two of its highest profile teams, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees to play against one another twice in London, England in June. That is a departure from MLB’s normal international stops which in 2019 will include Oakland and Seattle playing in Tokyo, Japan on March 20 and 21st and two sets of games in Monterrey, Mexico in April and May. The NFL is sticking to its London series and one Mexico City game. The NFL is not a global entity. But it’s a hunt for money.