Pitch PR will advise on a Europe-wide campaign, culminating in pre-season matches for a number of NBA teams in Istanbul, Rome, Treviso, Malaga, Madrid and London.
The London match, between the Boston Celtics and the Minnesota Timberwolves, will take place at the O2 Centre on 10 October.
Some of the game’s biggest stars, including Boston Celtics player Kendrick Perkins (pictured), will play in London and Pitch is tasked with building the popularity of the sport.
Pitch won after a competitive tender, having worked on gaining coverage for the Brazilian Football Confederation during its matches in London last year (PRWeek, 31 August 2006). The NBA brief is believed to be similar, although the NBA tour should guarantee continued coverage across a wider range of countries.
Pitch MD Henry Chappell heads the account, reporting to New York-based NBA director of comms Helen Wong.
The NBA brand, and basketball in general, has pockets of popularity across Europe, such as in Greece, Italy and the former Eastern-Bloc. It is overshadowed by football coverage in most European nations.
UK interest has also been stoked by the presence of former Londoner Luol Deng, who plays in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls.