NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Philadelphia 76ers in Manchester

10/10/2013 no comments »
NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Philadelphia 76ers in Manchester

Kevin Durant was the star of the show at the Manchester Arena as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Philadelphia 76ers by 103-99 in a pre-season encounter.

Olympic gold medal winner Durant helped his team to victory by scoring 21 points, 14 of which came in the third quarter, and making 12 assists in front of over 13,000 excited spectators. Although this was the first ever NBA contest to be played in Manchester, Durant did not need time to settle into his new surroundings as he played at the Manchester Arena last year prior to the Olympics.

This latest NBA match held in Europe is sure to boost the profile of American sports around Europe to a new level. The Oklahoma City Thunder had also visited Turkey this pre season whereas the Philadelphia 76ers took a trip to Spain in the hope of engaging with audiences all around the continent. It seems that American sports teams are beginning to see the benefits of pre season tours of Europe which is a fairly untouched market and due to the lack of regular games outside the USA demand for tickets is always very high. Teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers will hope to impress fans across Europe and increase their global fan base by showcasing their talents to different audiences. Like the NBA, the NFL has also benefitted from having overseas games with top teams such as the San Francisco 49ers wanting to travel to Europe and experience playing in European stadiums in front of passionate European crowds. The NBA has the power to attract famous supporters to its contests with many mem
bers of the Manchester United squad watching the Thunder take on the 76ers which will only increase the popularity of the events.

The NBA will return to the UK in January for its fourth regular season game in four years when the Atlanta Hawks take on the Brooklyn Nets and the NFL has already hosted one of its two regular season games that will take place at Wembley Stadium in 2013. The popularity of American sports is certainly growing all around Europe with teams realising the opportunities to engage with European audiences. Fans of both the NBA and NFL will be hoping that this is only the start of what American sport has to offer Europe.

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