The Middle East will soon get its own slice of NBA Fever when the National Basketball Association joins forces with the Al Mana Fashion Group of Qatar to open the very first NBA Stores in the region. Two shops should be ready to open for business during the early part of the next season, which starts in October.
According to the UAE’s TheNational.com, his partnership between the NBA and Al Mana will initially see a couple of NBA shops in Doha, Qatar. More branches will then open across the Middle East in the future, from Kuwait, to Saudi Arabia, and to the United Arab Emirates. These NBA Stores will feature officially licensed NBA league merchandise, collectibles and apparel. Team jackets and jerseys, footwear, basketballs and other sporting goods, toys and souvenirs will be made available for purchase locally to Middle Eastern basketball fans and consumers for the first time.
Vandana Balachandar, the NBA’s vice president of global merchandising, told the Daily Mail that he believes the long-term project will cement the company’s commitment to grow its footprint across the Middle East along with the growing local demand for NBA basketball. The planned NBA Stores will present a comprehensive assortment of NBA merchandise while bringing the official NBA shopping experience to its Middle Eastern fans.
On the part of the Al Mana Fashion Group, its Sports Division General Manager, Andrew Fairall, described the NBA to GulfBusiness.com as one of the world’s most successful sports leagues, and that in light of basketball being one of the most popular sports retail categories in the region, they are excited to be teaming up with an iconic sporting brand.
As of today, there are 250 licensees in 100 countries all over the world that manufacture, market, and sell NBA-brand products in 125,000 retail locations, among them 400 NBA Stores globally. Before the Doha branches, the latest shop that will open worldwide shall be in Cebu, Philippines.
More information can be found by fans when they visit www.nbastore-me.com and sign up.
Photo credit to Sports360.com