NBA names Tim Chen CEO of NBA China
The NBA has named Tim Chen, CEO of Microsoft Greater China, as CEO of NBA China, effective October 15, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner David Stern. NBA China is a new enterprise being created to encapsulate all of the league’s businesses in Greater China.
NBA China will be governed by a Board of Directors that will include NBA owners, representatives of outside investors as well as Stern, NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Adam Silver and NBA President of Global Marketing Partnerships and International Business Operations Heidi Ueberroth.
Ueberroth, who led the recruiting process said, “After an extensive search that produced many qualified candidates, Tim Chen was the clear choice based on his tremendous experience and accomplishments. Tim will assume leadership of a very talented team of NBA employees based in China including Mark Fischer, who will be promoted to Senior Vice President.”
“Tim Chen is a proven business leader who has guided the dramatic growth of two Fortune 100 businesses in China,” said Stern. “Tim is the ideal person to lead NBA China as we expand our infrastructure and operations to meet the growing interest from fans and consumers throughout the region.”
“The NBA is a truly exceptional brand with a huge fan base that reaches across all parts of China,” said Chen. “I'm thrilled by the scope of this opportunity and the ability to work with such a talented team, as we build on the enormous business potential that spans media, merchandising, marketing, events and new initiatives.”
Chen comes to the NBA from Microsoft, where he led the software giant’s growth in China since 2003. Chen worked closely with the government to incorporate Microsoft software into the growing network of PCs in administration and education. Under his leadership, Microsoft sales and revenue grew more rapidly in the Greater China region than in any other market in the world, while at the same time significantly increased its investment in R&D and domestic software ventures.
Chen was Chairman and President of Motorola in China from 2001 to 2003 and increased the company’s market share to become the leader in the competitive Chinese mobile phone industry and mobile system business. Prior to 2001, Chen spent eight years with Motorola, including serving as its general manager responsible for marketing and sales operations for the Greater China Cellular Infrastructure Division. Prior to joining Motorola, Chen spent nine years at AT&T Labs based in the United States.
Chen received an MBA from the University of Chicago and two master’s degrees in computer science and mathematics. Chen, who earned his undergraduate degree at Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, currently resides in Beijing with his wife and two children.
With 300 million people playing basketball, 83% of people ages 15-24 saying they’re NBA fans and 20% of traffic to NBA.com coming from China, basketball is rapidly growing in popularity. The NBA has relationships with 51 TV stations that provide NBA programming to more than 1.2 billion viewers. The league maintains marketing partnerships in China with 20 of the world’s leading brands and makes products available to fans in more than 50,000 locations. The NBA is conducting more than 170 special events in 112 cities in Greater China including the NBA China Games 2007, three pre-season games in Shanghai and Macao in October.
InsideHoops.com Note: The NBA is definitely growing in popularity overseas. Our international traffic is rising faster than our domestic traffic.