Miami Heat Partner with Chinese Company Tsingtao Beer

December 21, 2011

NBA’s Miami Heat has partnered with Tsingtao beer to market the beverage maker’s dance competition TV show in China with one of the Asian nation’s most popular sports.

On Tuesday, Heat stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat Dancers joined Tsingtao Brewery Co. President Mingbo Sun in announcing the multi-year deal.

A news conference was held on a stage placed on the court at American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami. Miami Heat President Pat Riley, head coach Erik Spoelstra and owner Micky Arison were also on stage.

Sun told the Business Journal that the company chose to partner with a professional basketball team because young people in China love the sport, and the Heat partnership, in particular, holds great promise.

“They [the Heat] are the most likely to be champions,” Sun said.

The partnership is mainly for TV visibility, both in the U.S. and in China, where Heat games are broadcast and where some Americans play in their basketball association.

Tsingtao also has a Chinese version of the American “So You Think You Can Dance” TV show, and part of the partnership might include sending winners to the U.S. to learn from the Heat dancers, said RBB Public Relations, which is handling some media details for the Heat.

Chris Maragno, the Heat’s VP for corporate partnerships, said the team began exploring partnerships with Chinese corporations about a year ago, around the time James and Bosh joined the team, after learning their games were broadcast there.

He said players already have exposure in China because of endorsements with companies like Nike. He said the Heat would continue to explore partnerships in the future.