Warriors are most popular NBA franchise in China, digital study says


Any growing international business, whether it's an apparel company, marketing agency, or an NBA franchise, would like to see growth across the top markets around the world. 

China, a country that has a population approaching 1.5 billion, has long been a place where American companies have tried to gain a foothold.

It appears the Golden State Warriors have done that with great success, at least in comparison with the rest of the NBA.

The Warriors are the most popular NBA team online in China, according to the “NBA Red Card,” a study into the digital performance of the NBA compiled by the Mailman Group.

Golden State scored 90 points on the study’s scale, which was 24 points higher than the next closest franchise (Houston Rockets, 66). The Los Angeles Lakers were No. 3 on the list with 53 points.

In terms of individual player popularity in China, Palo Alto native and NBA champion Jeremy Lin occupied the top spot by a wide margin. However, the No. 2 and No. 3 players on the list are both Warriors. Two-time MVP Steph Curry finished second, while All-Pro swingman Klay Thompson took the third spot. Thompson has an exclusive shoe deal with Anta, a Chinese company, and takes a trip there every offseason to promote the brand.

His adventures abroad created a nickname for Thompson, as “China Klay” became a viral sensation several summers ago.

[RELATED: How Warriors' youthful inexperience will help, hinder team in 2019-20]

The Warriors organization has worked extremely hard to build up a following in China, as they were the first NBA franchise to don specialty uniforms to celebrate Chinese New Year. The team has also hosted 24 preseason games there since 2004.

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