The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Multi Screen Media's sports channel Sony Six have announced that NBA Jam will be launched in India in September, with stops in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai.
The 3-on-3 tournament will culminate with the National Finals in Mumbai on September 29 and the winning team will get to compete against three NBA Legends.
Two-time defending NBA champion and eight-time All-Star Chris Bosh announced the 2013 NBA Jam schedule as part of a four-day trip to Mumbai, during which he is participating in a number of activities to help grow basketball in India.
"NBA Jam is a great event that brings the excitement and energy of the NBA to fans in India," says Bosh. "It is exciting to see so much passion for basketball here and I look forward to working with the youth during my visit."
NBA Jam celebrates basketball and NBA culture with free fan activities including a slam dunk contest, basketball clinics, 3-point shootouts, skills challenges, and more.
A technology boutique will feature social media fan integration, an NBA photos and video wall, and a gaming zone for fans. Each stop will also feature free concerts from leading artists to keep fans entertained.
"NBA Jam will engage both the passionate and casual fans with a mix of basketball and live entertainment," says Yannick Colaco, managing director, NBA India. "Sony Six is an ideal partner that is committed to developing basketball further in India, and we are excited to bring an authentic NBA experience to fans across India."
N P Singh, COO, MSM, says, "NBA Jam is the rise of a new gameplay in the world of sports. It is an exciting platform that pushes the envelope of sports from a mere competition to a cultural extravaganza. We at Sony Six along with NBA are bringing this exceptional initiative to India for all sports aficionados. With a remarkable format, NBA Jam will not only boost basketball participation in the country but also strengthen the footprint of sports, and drive viewership for NBA programs available exclusively on Sony Six."
According to the official statement, the 3-on-3 tournament will see nearly 500 teams participate, up from 400 last year, and will include women's divisions for the first time. In each city, 120 teams will compete across two age divisions for men and women, 16-18 and 19-23.
Winning teams from each city will be invited to the National Finals in Mumbai, where they will play in a small-scale replica NBA arena.
An NBA Legend, dance team, mascot and dunk team will all attend the National Finals, delivering the excitement of the NBA in-arena experience to fans in India.
Sony Six, the league's broadcast partner in India, will create content around each event stop, integrating celebrities from the network's top shows, and will air a 60-minute programme showcasing the National Finals.