NBA Teams to Compete in a European Tournament Sponsored by EA SPORTS


NBA AND
EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL ANNOUNCE NBA EUROPE LIVE PRESENTED BY EA SPORTS



 



— NBA Teams to Compete in
a European Tournament Sponsored by EA SPORTS —


 



— Event is First
Initiative of EA and NBA New Global Marketing Partnership —



 


DETROIT — June 14, 2005

– Four NBA teams will head to Europe for a competition against top European
basketball clubs in October 2006 and 2007 as part of
NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™
,
the NBA and Euroleague Basketball announced today. As part of a two-year
partnership agreement with Electronic Arts and Euroleague Basketball, the four
NBA teams will compete in five European countries. 

 

“This is
the NBA’s most ambitious European basketball competition,” said NBA
Commissioner David Stern.  “NBA Europe Live will exemplify how sports leagues
around the world can work together for the long-term growth of their sport. 
As the relevance of basketball continues to grow globally, the NBA and EA
SPORTS share a vision that delivers basketball, entertainment, music and
technology to our fans around the world.”

 

An NBA licensee since 1991, EA has expanded its
relationship with the league to become an official global marketing partner of
the NBA, the first developer and publisher of interactive entertainment
software to be designated with this status.  As a global marketing partner, EA
will work with the NBA to develop interactive basketball programs around the
world, including NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS. 

 

The award-winning
NBA LIVE
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,
will be available
this October in more than 100 countries on six continents.

 

“Like
sports, video games have a global appeal that transcends language and
borders,” said Electronic Arts Chairman and CEO Larry Probst.  “At EA, we’re
proud to be an ambassador for one of the world’s most exciting sports, NBA
Basketball.”

 

Building on the league’s success in Europe and its
relationship with Euroleague Basketball, the four NBA teams will compete in
games against top Euroleague Basketball teams and conduct training camps. NBA
Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS will culminate with a final event in a
fifth European country featuring games with two NBA teams, the Euroleague
Basketball Champion and Euroleague Basketball runner-up.


 

“Years of
steady, positive relations between the NBA and Euroleague Basketball have
covered diverse aspects of sports organization and this partnership will
continue to cultivate the success of basketball in Europe,” said Euroleague
Basketball CEO Jordi Bertomeu.  “This partnership will help to continue the
tradition of basketball excellence and achievement, contribute to the growth
of the sport and will benefit European fans by offering them another chance to
enjoy great basketball.”


 

The
announcement will be carried live on both NBA TV and NBA.com at 7:45 p.m.
Eastern.
 
Additional information about NBA
Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS will be announced later this year.  

 

The NBA’s last visit to Europe was in 2003 for the
NBA Europe Games, which featured a
preseason game between that year’s NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs and the
Memphis Grizzlies, at Bercy Arena in Paris, France.  San Antonio Spurs point
guard Tony Parker returned home to his native France for the first time with
his NBA team before a sellout crowd.    The Memphis Grizzlies went on to play
an exhibition game against 2003 Euroleague Champions FC Barcelona at Palau
Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.  The game featured Memphis Grizzlies star
forward Pau Gasol, a native of Barcelona, Spain, playing against his former
team. 

 


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 214 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 NBDL.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


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

Europe’s premier
basketball competition, Euroleague Basketball, was founded in 2000 under a
private organizational model that is considered a breakthrough for European
professional team sports. The competition features 24 clubs from 12 or more
countries per season and crowns its champion each spring at the Final Four,
one of the signature events of European sports. Basketball in Europe has
experienced spectacular growth in recent years, side by side with the
development of Euroleague Basketball. In just five years, Euroleague
Basketball has consolidated a competition of the highest sporting level, has
introduced the concept of a commercial league to Europe and has expanded its
television reach beyond Europe, where 98.7 percent of all Euroleague
Basketball games were televised in 2004-05, to Africa, the Middle East, North
America and South America.