The National Basketball Association (NBA), the American gurus of all things basketball, have just opened their flagship store in Beijing
: the largest official NBA retail outlet outside of North America.
Opened last Friday (March 29), the 1,145 square-metre shop spans two floors and sells everything from NBA uniforms and jerseys to local sportswear and more. Although China already has NBA stores – and, indeed, Beijing already has a number of dedicated shops and other retailers – it's the size, scale, and officialness of this new opening that makes it a tad more special.
NBA has partnered with Nike and Topsports to create this behemoth altar to the sport that's seen rising popularity in China for many years. According to the NBA
, the basketball league is one of the most followed sports on Chinese social media, and its growth within the Middle Kingdom – maybe thanks in part to super-tall superstar Yao Ming being drafted by the Houston Rockets – led to the creation of NBA China
back in 2008.
While you can, naturally, get whatever you want online
, the store boasts an impressive array of merchandise, including the largest selection of NBA Hardwood Classics on the Mainland. In addition to the rows upon rows of basketball-related things to buy, shoppers can also be treated to perks such as a machine, named 'NBA ME', that allows you to personalise a jersey after purchase.
In an ode to Beijing, it also features a graffiti wall and 'hyperlocal' products inspired by the city available only in-store. Additionally, there's a much-needed jumbotron so you don't have to miss any content or coverage while shopping, as well as galleries featuring autographed game jerseys, player stats and a 'Wall of Fame' where, eventually, NBA players can come along and sign their names.
So, hoop on down to the flagship store now and get court ready.