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Li-Ning Sportswear Clinches Deal with NBA
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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 Tuesday.


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)

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