The National Basketball Association (NBA) and beIN SPORTS (beIN), the official broadcast partner of the league in France, has announced that the Charlotte Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks will play in the NBA’s first regular-season game in Paris on Friday, January 24, 2020 at the AccorHotels Arena.
The announcement was made live on the NBA Extra show on beIN SPORTS in the presence of Charlotte Hornets Legend Muggsy Bogues and was supported by a marketing, digital and on-air campaign that included banners adorning the Hotel de Ville, branded buses and bespoke content across NBA and beIN SPORTS digital channels.
The NBA Paris Game 2020 Presented by beIN SPORTS will mark the Hornets’ second game in Paris, having played a preseason game in the French capital in 1994 against the Golden State Warriors. The Hornets’ roster currently features three-time NBA All-Star Kemba Walker, four-time NBA Champion Tony Parker (France) and fellow countryman Nicolas Batum.
It had previously been confirmed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver that the league wouldn’t up its number of games in Europe, which signals bad news for London supporters as the City won’t host an NBA game for the first time since 2011.
Commenting on the league’s Paris expansion, Silver added: “Our NBA Paris Game will showcase the continued global growth of basketball in one of the world’s greatest cities. With France leading a record number of players from Europe in the league, we look forward to bringing together basketball fans from across the continent for the NBA’s first regular-season game in Paris.”
The Bucks will be playing their first game in France, having previously played a regular-season game in London in 2015. The Bucks, who have the best record in the NBA, currently feature three-time NBA All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), who led the Eastern Conference in fan votes during NBA All-Star Voting 2019 presented by Google, as well as 2019 NBA All-Star Khris Middleton and 2016-17 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon. The game will be the NBA’s 10th game at the AccorHotels Arena since 1991 and the 11th game in France all-time.
Milwaukee Bucks Co-Owner, Wes Edens stated on the game: “We are honored to be selected to play in the NBA’s first-ever regular season game in Paris. Playing in one of the great cities in Europe continues our goal to extend the global brand of the Bucks. We will be proud to represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin in Paris and we thank the NBA for this exciting opportunity.”
The NBA Paris Game 2020 Presented by beIN SPORTS will be broadcast live in France and across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on beIN SPORTS, by the NBA’s broadcast partners across Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa, and on NBA League Pass, reaching fans in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.
The game will be supported by a full roster of marketing partners, including presenting partner beIN SPORTS, Beats, Nike, and Tissot, with additional partners to be announced in the coming months.
In addition to the oncourt action, The NBA Paris Game 2020 Presented by beIN SPORTS will feature a variety of interactive fan activities, NBA Cares community outreach initiatives and Jr. NBA basketball programming that will bring the NBA experience to fans in Paris.
Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan added: “The Charlotte Hornets are proud to have the opportunity to participate in the first NBA regular-season game in Paris. Having played in the preseason in France during my career, I witnessed first-hand the passion the French fans have for NBA basketball. We are excited to bring our team to Paris for this history-making event.”
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo concluded: “The return of an NBA game in Paris, after a 10-year absence, is a real victory for our city. It is the result of a commitment by my staff, through all our efforts with the Paris Basketball team and all the sports clubs in Paris. From the successful organization of the 2016 football Euros to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have successfully put Paris at the forefront of the world’s sporting capitals. I am very happy that in 2020 we can offer such an event to all Parisians, and French lovers of basketball.”