The NBA Shows Love for Filipinos with Exclusive Philippine Tees
Long before the NBA was born on August 3, 1949, basketball was already the unofficial national sport of the Philippines. Filipinos had been balling since 1910. At the time, it was only women who played the sport. Filipino women played basketball in interschool meets from 1911 to 1913.
Some 110 years later, basketball has become a way of life. The sport permeates almost every aspect of culture in the Philippines. On the road, jeepneys are painted with logos of NBA teams that appear between images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Filipino babies are still being named Michael Jordan decades after the legend retired from the NBA. In the corner of any village, there is a makeshift basketball rim for afternoon balling while wearing flip-flops.
Basketball and the NBA have enthralled a whole nation in a continent in love with football. In terms of viewership and participation, basketball dominates Filipino households—99 percent of adult Filipinos are aware of the NBA, and another 81 percent say they are fans of basketball.
NBA Teams More Popular Than Local Teams
In 2018, a research conducted by Rakuten AIP revealed Filipinos love NBA teams more than their local basketball teams. Asked to name their favorite basketball teams, the Golden State Warriors came out on top with 25 percent of respondents naming it their favorite.
The Los Angeles Lakers was second with 15 percent, followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers with 14 percent, and the Chicago Bulls with nine percent.
Local teams Ginebra and Gilas were in fifth and sixth place with seven percent and five percent respectively.
NBA Shows Love for Filipinos
The NBA Store has relaunched its site in the Philippines on August 6 with a special treat for Filipino NBA fans. The NBA has decided to create exclusive tees for the Philippines.
The NBA Philippine Tees Collection features four unique designs inspired by Filipinos’ passion for basketball and their sense of national pride. The tees were designed and made locally for sustainability and to support local industries.
To this end, the NBA has partnered with Titan, the Philippines’ leading basketball specialty concept store.
NBA fans across the Philippines can access these special tee collection through NBAStore.com.ph. Aside from the Filipino-inspired tees, fans can also access a comprehensive selection of authentic NBA merchandise from all 30 teams, including jerseys, shirts, footwear, headwear, outerwear, accessories, and equipment made by brands such as Nike, Jordan Brand, Mitchell & Ness, New Era, Herschel, Spalding, and Stance.
Top-Selling NBA Merchs in the Philippines
According to Lesley Rulloda, NBA Asia associate vice president of global merchandising, Filipinos have always shown love for NBA jerseys and name-and-number tees.
“The top five teams in terms of sales feature the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and L.A. Clippers,” says Rulloda in an interview with Esquire Philippines.
“LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and Zion Williamson round out the five most popular players,” she adds.
With the NBA’s new partnership with Titan, it is expected that Filipinos nationwide will have unprecedented easier access to NBA merch.
“We look forward to providing passionate Filipino fans with unprecedented access to authentic NBA products through the relaunch of the league’s online store,” says Rulloda.