Expanding Your Fanbase in Foreign Markets...

Are you implementing any initiatives to capture fans overseas? Have you realized the star power of professional athletes in foreign markets?


Raphael Bartholomew recently featured a great piece in the NY Times on Gilbert Arenas’ trip to the Philippines as part of his global Agent Zero tour. Arenas was taken back by the affinity and support of young Filipino consumers, a demographic with an extreme interest in the game of basketball. Arenas’ reaction to the reception he received in Manila was,

“It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and I’ve seen crazy fans all over the world”.


As a sports marketer (especially those working in the NBA), what does this mean for you? Re-focus your efforts on targeting fans in foreign markets and consider ways to expand your players’ marketability.


Red Bull's Team MascotThe practice of corporate sponsorships has risen in the Philippines with the induction and popularity of the game of basketball. Filipinos are more advanced within the sponsorship aspect than one might first expect, shown their implementation of a number of creative ideas:

  • Branded seats on team benches (Gold’s Gym)
  • Branded mats on the poles of basketball nets (Samsung)
  • Corporate mascots (Red Bull)
  • Multiple jersey placements for sponsors
  • Krispy Kreme offers a retail promotion where it creates a signature donut for each of the four (4) teams in the Final Four

A number of American companies (or well known in the United States) currently sponsor basketball initiatives in the Philippines, including:



  1. Canon – Courtside rotational
  2. Samsung – Foam Fingers, Basketball hoop branding

QSR’s / Casual Dining

  1. Dairy Queen* – In-Venue Signage
  2. Taco Bell* – In-Venue Signage/Video Board Signage
  3. Pizza Hut* – In-Venue Signage / Court Branding
  4. Burger King – Courtside Rotational
  5. Krispy Kreme - Retail Promotion

Apparel Companies

  1. Nike – Apparel, Athlete Appearances, Marketing, Signage, Equipment
  2. Adidas – Apparel, Athlete Appearances, Marketing, Signage, Equipment

Performance/Energy Drinks

  1. Gatorade – Retail Activation
  2. Red Bull – Title Sponsorship of a Team, Mascot Integration, Jersey Sponsorships


  1. Lee - Signage
  2. Mentos - Signage
  3. Petron - Signage
  4. Gold’s Gym – Bench Signage

* Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell are all owned by the Araneta Group, who also own the Araneta Coliseum (a major arena landmark in the Philippines)


Understanding the aura of NBA players in the Philippines, Nike has brought Kobe Bryant to the region twice (Supernatural Tour), while Adidas has introduced Gilbert Arenas (Agent Zero Tour) and Tracy McGrady (T-MAC Asia Tour) through in-market appearances. All signage and corporate marketing materials are displayed in English in the Philippines (English is considered the official language). For a better perspective of corporate partnership activation in the Philippines, please take a moment to check out a gallery that details “Basketball in the Philippines”. 


Check out some clips of Kobe Bryant and Gilbert Arenas' trips to the Philippines (Manila) below...