BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- To celebrate the holiday with its largest international fan base, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is conducting a comprehensive Chinese New Year celebration from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5, which will touch millions of fans in China, the U.S. and Canada.
The Year of the Horse celebration will include 23 unique live games TV and on-line broadcast in China and 10 teams will honor the holiday during games in their market. This is the third year of the campaign, which has reached 96 million viewers and 107 million viewers in China the last two years, respectively.
The 10 teams participating include: Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings. Celebrations will vary in each market but will pay tribute to Chinese culture in many ways such as fan giveaways, musical performances, dancers, food, courtside signage, floor decals and partner activation.
The Houston Rockets, who drafted NBA Legend Yao Ming in 2002, and currently feature Asian-American Jeremy Lin on their roster, will tip off the Chinese New Year Celebration program with an in-arena celebration on Jan. 29, when they host the San Antonio Spurs - who have a record 10 international players.
"Chinese New Year is a global event and a great opportunity for us to celebrate with our fans and their families in North America and China," said David Shoemaker, CEO of NBA China. "The week-long initiative will bring the excitement of the NBA to fans in ways that resonate with Chinese culture, featuring unprecedented NBA programming and a variety of Chinese New Year-themed fan activities."
All 14 NBA teams playing on Jan. 29 will wear specially designed Chinese New Year shooting shirts which will be available for Chinese fans in online store.
Seven-time NBA Champion Robert Horry, who won two championships each with the Rockets and the Spurs, and the San Antonio Spurs dance team - the Silver Dancers - will tip off the festivities in China on Jan. 29 by hosting a Chinese New Year viewing party in Shanghai for the Spurs vs. Rockets game.
Horry and the Silver Dancers will celebrate the New Year with underprivileged students and present them with gifts to commemorate the holiday. Additionally, the group will have a traditional Chinese New Year's Eve dinner with players and coaches of the Shanghai Sports Academy.