Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) is getting an assist from the NBA as the two entities expanded their partnership with the professional basketball league offering fans in China original programming as well as an easier path to buying league gear.
Alibaba has about 700 million consumers across all of its platforms, and those consumers will be able to access league content through a dedicated "NBA section."
"With this expanded partnership, we will fully leverage Alibaba's ecosystem to create a unique digital experience and bring the NBA closer to fans and consumers in China," said Toby Xu, vice president of Alibaba Group, in a statement.
The NBA has been very interested in expansion in China for decades, opening its first office outside of North America in 1992 in Hong Kong. In 2015, the league signed a five-year deal making Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) the only company in China to offer the NBA League Pass package.
NBA China, which will create the content for Alibaba subscribers, was founded in 2008. Joe Tsai, who is now a member of the NBA China board, is one of the co-founders and executive vice chairman of Alibaba.