The annual Mid-Autumn Festival, a Chinese harvest festival, came all the way to Philadelphia this year, with the Philadelphia 76ers partnering with the Temple University International Affairs office for the team’s first trip to China.
The 76ers and Temple plan to promote each other overseas, where the basketball team will play two preseason games. As part of the NBA China Games 2018, the Philadelphia 76ers will face the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, Oct. 5 in Shanghai and again on Monday, Oct. 8 in Shenzhen, China.
“We could not be more thrilled to embark on this journey than with Temple University,” said Chad Biggs, the senior vice president of corporate partnerships and activation for the 76ers. “Our shared commitment with China will certainly help both of our organizations strengthen their ties and extend their reach in the country.”
Temple and the 76ers hosted a joint media luncheon on Monday at the 76ers training complex in Camden, New Jersey, at which they officially announced their partnership amidst a Chinese food buffet that included mooncakes.
About 40 people attended the event, including Temple faculty members like Provost JoAnne Epps and representatives from Governor Tom Wolf’s office.
The partnership will continue until Feb. 5, when Temple will host the 76ers’ annual Chinese New Year Celebration Game. The university also hosted this event in February 2016, when the 76ers took on the Los Angeles Clippers.
But Biggs said international games are just one piece of the partnership.
“The relationships and the experience [Temple has] in the market having done business there since 1979, they can help us and we can help them,” he added. “We expect this to be a long-term relationship and we’re looking forward to it.”
Temple began making its mark in China in the late 1970s, when it became one of the earliest U.S. universities to establish a presence there. Hai-Lung Dai, the senior vice provost for academic affairs at Temple, said the university has many meaningful relations with Chinese institutions.
“We have 1,400 students from China at Temple,” Dai said. “That means one in every 28 students is from China.”
While Temple already had connections with Chinese institutions, senior sports and recreation management major Allen Qi played a critical role in establishing this partnership. Qi started working as a digital content associate for the 76ers in December, and is now helping to connect the team to Chinese institutions.
Qi said he is the only Mandarin-speaking employee in the company and helps the 76ers establish partnerships with Chinese organizations.
“I have to bridge all three partners, China, Temple, and the Sixers, together,” he added.
In China, basketball has spiked in popularity over the last year, with more than 700 million viewers watching televised NBA games. Given these trends, both the 76ers and Temple’s International Affairs office are looking to broaden their presence in the Chinese market.
For 76ers forward Robert Covington, the cultural partnership will benefit everyone involved.
“Having an opportunity to go [to China] is a blessing because you never know the impact you can have,” Covington said. “Basketball is so prevalent over there, so…they’ll give us an experience and we’ll give them the best experience of their lives as well.”
大约40人参加了此次活动，其中包括天普大学教务长JoAnne Epps和州长Tom Wolf办公室的代表。
虽然天普已经与中国机构有许多联系，但体育和娱乐管理专业的大四学生Allen Qi在建立这种伙伴关系方面发挥了关键作用。 Qi于去年12月开始为76人队担任数据内容助理，目前正在帮助团队与中国机构建立联系。