Yao Ming and other NBA stars will soon be advertising products
in China by sports apparel maker Li-Ning Co. under a deal signed on
The agreement permits NBA players to wear and promote Li-Ning
footwear at games, in advertisements and at personal appearances in
China such as basketball clinics and exhibition games, said NBA
China Managing Director Mark Fischer.
The deal is part of the effort to cash in on the huge popularity
of basketball in China and the celebrity of NBA players such as
local hero Yao Ming.
The NBA also plans to host a regular-season NBA game in China
ahead of the 2008
Beijing Olympics, said Fischer.
The league held two preseason games in China in October 2004,
pitting the Houston Rockets against the Sacramento Kings.
Beijing-based Li-Ning Co. was founded by its namesake, the
Olympic gymnastics champion Li Ning.
(China Daily January 19, 2005)