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FOUR NBA TEAMS, SEVEN EUROPEAN CITIES ANNOUNCED FOR NBA EUROPE LIVE PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS™
-- Clippers, 76ers, Spurs and Suns to Compete Against European Teams --
PARIS, Dec. 13, 2005 - NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ will feature the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and the 2005 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs conducting training camps in October 2006 and competing against top European basketball clubs in seven European cities in five countries, the NBA and Euroleague Basketball announced today.
"We are pleased to have these renowned franchises represent the NBA in the most ambitious international competition in league history," said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "Together, with Euroleague Basketball and EA Sports, we will bring the highest level of competition to fans throughout Europe, as we further celebrate the game of basketball."
"The tournaments between the NBA and Euroleague Basketball teams are a big step forward and one that demonstrates our determination to continue to grow during this decisive phase of our development," said Euroleague Basketball CEO Jordi Bertomeu. "The work done on the part of the NBA and EA Sports will greatly contribute to the development of basketball in Europe. Lastly, I would like to thank our clubs for all of their hard work and the devotion they have exhibited by participating in this project."
Each of the four NBA teams will be based in a different European city during the first week of October. The 76ers will hold training camp in Barcelona, Spain and take part in an exhibition game against Winterthur FC Barcelona at the Palau Sant Jordi. The Suns will conduct training camp in Treviso, Italy at La Ghirada, a state-of the-art training center one hour north of Venice, and will play a game against Virtus Lottomatica Roma in Rome at PalaLottomatica on Oct. 6.
The Spurs will travel to Lyon, France for training camp and play a game against the French team Adecco ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne at the Astroballe on Oct. 5. The team will then travel to Paris for a game against two-time Euroleague Basketball Champions Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv at the Paris-Bercy on Oct. 8. The Clippers will travel to Moscow for training camp at the Universal Sport Hall CSKA and play games against CSKA Moscow and Unics Kazan Oct. 6-8.
NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ will conclude with a tournament at the Kölnarena in Cologne, Germany. The tournament will feature games between the 76ers and the Suns and the 2005-06 Euroleague Basketball Champion vs. the Euroleague Basketball runner-up on Oct. 10. The finale will feature matchups on Oct. 11 between the winners and the runners-up of each game. Information on ticket sales for each game of the tour will be announced at a later date.
An NBA licensee since 1991, EA expanded its relationship with the league to become an official global marketing partner of the NBA to develop interactive basketball programs around the world, including NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS. The award-winning NBA LIVE video game franchise, recognized worldwide for delivering the most authentic interactive basketball experience for more than a decade, will be featured in promotion of the events throughout Europe and the U.S. The newest iteration in the series, NBA LIVE 06, is currently available in more than 100 countries on six continents. EA Sports will partner with the NBA and Euroleague Basketball to conduct a series of promotional activities leading up to the start of the event.
"By teaming with the NBA to grow the sport of basketball in Europe, this event will bring some of the world's most exciting teams and players to the continent," said Jan Bolz, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing at EA. "A partnership with the NBA in Europe will provide us with an opportunity to showcase NBA LIVE on the largest of stages and offers a great platform for consumers to enjoy real life and virtual basketball experiences across the continent. It's an added bonus that one of our European cover athletes, Tony Parker, will be participating in his home country."
The event, which is part of a two-year partnership agreement between the NBA, Electronic Arts and Euroleague Basketball, will also be historic for the participating teams. For Allen Iverson and the 76ers, it will mark the team's first trip to Europe. Previously, the team has participated in exhibition games in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
This also will be the first trip to Europe for the Clippers, who have played games in Japan and Mexico. The Clippers forward Yaroslav Korolev is one of five players in the NBA from Russia. It also will be the first time an NBA team has played in Russia since 1988 when the Atlanta Hawks became the first NBA team to play in the former Soviet Union when they toured Russia, Lithuania and the Republic of Georgia.
It is a return to Italy for Phoenix Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni, who also holds Italian citizenship and speaks the language fluently. An Italian League legend, he coached Benetton Treviso from 1994-97 when his team captured the Cup of Europe and Cup of Italy in 1995 and won the league title in 1996-97 after a 22-4 regular season. Prior to that D'Antoni guided Philips Milan for four seasons from 1990-94 and led the club to the 1993 Korac Cup. During his Italian tenure D'Antoni led his teams to the playoffs each season and was twice voted the league's Coach of the Year. In 2001-02 he returned to the Italian League and once again coached Benetton Treviso, leading the club to the Italian League championship after a 28-8 season.
This will mark the third trip to Europe for the San Antonio Spurs since 1999. The team visited Paris, France in 2003 for the NBA Europe Games and Milan, Italy for the 1999 McDonald's Championship. The Spurs feature the most international players on one team with seven, including France's Tony Parker.
About the NBA
Since its founding in 1946, the NBA has become a global phenomenon that transcends national boundaries. With 30 teams in the United States and Canada, NBA games and related programming are broadcast to 215 countries in 43 languages. The NBA is one of the largest suppliers of sports television and Internet programming in the world. Through NBA Entertainment, the league's award-winning production and programming division, the league produces NBA TV, a 24-hour television network, weekly television shows, and exclusive content for each of the NBA's team web sites, and the league's official sites, NBA.com, WNBA.com and NBADLeague.com. The league has also continued its partnerships with the leading Internet content and technology providers to bring the game experience even closer to its fans worldwide. For more information on the NBA, visit www.nba.com.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA SPORTS BIG™ and POGO™. In fiscal 2005, EA posted revenues of $3.1 billion and had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
About Euroleague Basketball
Euroleague Basketball S.L. was founded in 2000, for the purposes of managing Europe's premier basketball competition. Its headquarters is in Barcelona, Spain and is led by its CEO, Jordi Bertomeu. Euroleague Basketball grants licenses to 24 of Europe's top clubs, based on a combination of factors, including team performance, arena capacity, paid attendance, arena conditions and management structure. Euroleague Basketball's General Assembly recently approved a new Strategic Plan, which will bring all of its commercial assets "in-house" for the first time. As a result, Euroleague Basketball has recently formed a new entity, Euroleague Properties, for purposes of managing television sales, sponsorship sales & services, licensing, events and other commercial activities of Euroleague Basketball. Television contracts signed this year will bring more coverage of its teams than ever before into the homes of fans across Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia, initiating the Sixth Season of Euroleague Basketball with the largest television coverage in its history.
Lyon Asvel will meet San Antonio Spurs. ULEB once again tries to conquer France.
2 Euroleague teams for France next season, while for Lithuania only 1.