Bringing together about 800 teams of four-members each for the first round of the tournament, Sony Six, in partnership with National Basketball Association (NBA), now aims to target the youth in the age group of 16-23 years through NBA JAM.
In the second leg of the tournament, which was city-specific, the channel had a total of 500 teams playing across Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai. The tournament is held in four categories, 16-19 boys, 16-19 girls, 20-23 boys and 20-23 girls.
It is on a much bigger scale this year. The finals will be held in Mumbai on September, 29 and the winners will play against the international winners of NBA. "What is interesting is that exposure of this sort will benefit the children. Ultimately, 16 and 23 year old children are from schools and colleges. Since infrastructural costs and space required for basketball is less, the schools can provide this game to the students," explains Prasana Krishna, business head, Sony Six.
He adds that an increasing number of girls are also participating in the game.
For the record, globally, the format is known as a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. In some countries, it's called NBA Nation and some have the NBA 3X. JAM is a term coined for the Indian edition. Last year saw the first 3 by 3 basketball tournament in India but this year, the scale of the tournament is much bigger, with the participation of 3 NBA Legends (winners) and other entertainment in the form of Sacramento Kings Dance team, NBA Dunk Team and NBA Mascot.
Sony Six will also telecast a one-hour programme summarising the complete event. Krishna states that it was conceptualised and executed more as an on-ground event than the on-air programme.
The annual event is expected to increase basketball viewership in the long run. To market the event, the channel has largely depended on digital and posters (in colleges and schools), along with print ads in a few newspapers. Krishna, however, suggests that the promotion across colleges had the maximum impact.