The National Basketball Association will tip off its eighth annual Latin nights program, with the expanded initiative encompassing seven commemorative contests, more dedicated uniforms and the first original TV spot featuring a player.
Looking to further its appeal with Latinos, who currently comprise almost one-fifth of the pro basketball league’s fan base, Noches éne•bé•a (eh-nay-bay-ah) will feature four nationally televised games on ABC, TNT, and NBA TV, including special telecasts, in-arena festivities, and distinctive team uniforms to be worn by six clubs: Chicago Bulls (Los Bulls), San Antonio Spurs (Los Spurs), Phoenix Suns (Los Suns), Los Angeles Lakers (Los Lakers), Miami Heat (El Heat), and New York Knicks (Nueva York).
Moreover, all 30 NBA teams, for the first time, will wear specially-designed Noches éne•bé•a shooting shirts from adidas, the league’s official on-court apparel provider, during the first two weeks of March. The new unis with the updated Noches éne•bé•a logo and unique patterns on the back of the jerseys, as well as additional Noches éne•bé•a merchandise, are available at NBAStore.com, NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, and in-arena stores for participating teams
In addition, seven-time NBA All-Star and U.S.-born Hispanic player Carmelo Anthony will begin the festivities by appearing on the first éne•bé•a original TV spot to feature an NBA player.
Noches éne•bé•a events will also be supported with television and radio advertising on both English- and Spanish-language media across the country as well as on the league’s Spanish-language Web site, enebea.com, and social media pages. Since 2009, when the league revamped its “énebéa” page, Hispanic fan growth has outpaced the growth of the Hispanic population by 38%, according to the league.
Noches éne•bé•a 2014 Schedule:
“With Hispanic fans comprising 18 percent of the league’s fan base, we have a responsibility to be inclusive and deliver customized experiences that connect with our fans in meaningful ways,” said Saskia Sorrosa, NBA vice president of multicultural marketing. “Noches éne•bé•a is a perfect example of the NBA’s ongoing commitment to celebrating diversity as part of the fabric of our game."
The NBA has the most diverse fan base among major pro sports organization in the U.S, with multicultural Americans accounting for 46% of its fans, compared with 31% for the National Football League, 28% for Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League and 24% for NASCAR.
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