MUMBAI, India, Aug. 25 – The Mahindra NBA Challenge, the largest, multi-city community-based basketball league in India, will return in 2011 for its second season and will expand to five cities. This was announced today at a press conference at Mahindra & Mahindra in Mumbai. Those present at the conference included Ruzbeh Irani, Executive VP, Corporate Strategy and Chief Brand Officer, Mahindra, & Mahindra, Akash Jain, NBA Director of International Development in India, Harish Sharma, Basketball Federation of India (BFI) Secretary General, and Pau Gasol, reigning two-time NBA champion.
The programme, which targets boys and girls aged 14 and above, will make first-time stops in Chennai and Delhi along with return visits to Bangalore, Ludhiana and Mumbai.
The inaugural Mahindra NBA Challenge, conducted in collaboration with the BFI, was held this summer and featured leagues in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Ludhiana that attracted thousands of participants, including top players from each city and members of the Indian National Team. NBA All-Stars Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers traveled to India this summer to run clinics for participants and coaches.
“The first season of the Mahindra NBA Challenge was extremely popular in the Indian basketball community, and we are excited to expand the program to Chennai and Delhi next year,” said Ruzbeh Irani, Executive VP, Corporate Strategy and Chief Brand Officer, Mahindra, & Mahindra. “The growth of this program demonstrates the shared commitment by Mahindra and the NBA to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among Indian youth.”
The Mahindra NBA Challenge runs for seven weeks in two divisions: youth aged 14-17 and Adult 18+. It provides both basketball enthusiasts and newcomers the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the game and apply their skills in a fun, competitive environment. BFI and NBA partner to implement and oversee league operations across all markets.
“We saw tremendous interest and enthusiasm for the inaugural Mahindra NBA Challenge, and we look forward to returning with an expanded schedule next year,” said NBA Director of International Development in India Akash Jain. “Giving young basketball players the chance to play in an organized league and learn from NBA players has generated great interest in basketball in India, and we will work closely with Mahindra and all of our partners to further grow participation in the game.”
“We have seen an incredible response to the Mahindra NBA Challenge in Bangalore, Ludhiana and Mumbai this year, and we anticipate the same reaction in Chennai and Delhi, two strong markets for basketball participation,” said BFI Secretary General Harish Sharma.
About the NBA
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a professional sports league and global business that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2009-10 season, NBA games reached 215 countries and territories in 41 languages. The league’s worldwide reach is also displayed in the 79 international players from 35 countries and territories on NBA rosters. NBA merchandise is sold in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. NBA.com averages more than 26 million page views per day, with more than 50 percent of the site’s visitors coming from outside of North America. Through NBA Cares, the league, its teams and players have donated more than $140 million to charity, provided more than 1.1 million hours of hands-on service to communities around the world, and created more than 484 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, including 85 places in 21 countries on five continents internationally.
About The Mahindra Group
Mahindra embarked on its journey in 1945 by assembling the Willys Jeep in India and is now a US $7.1 billion Indian multinational. It employs over 1,00,000 people across the globe and enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, tractors and information technology, with a significant and growing presence in financial services, tourism, infrastructure development, trade and logistics. The Mahindra Group today is an embodiment of global excellence and enjoys a strong corporate brand image.
Mahindra is the only Indian company among the top tractor brands in the world. It is today a full-range player with a presence in almost every segment of the automobile industry, from two-wheelers to CVs, UVs, SUVs and sedan. Mahindra recently acquired a majority stake in REVA Electric Car Co Ltd. (now called Mahindra REVA), strengthening its position in the Electric Vehicles domain.
The Mahindra Group expanded its IT portfolio when Tech Mahindra acquired the leading global business and information technology services company, Satyam Computer Services. The company is now known as Mahindra Satyam.
Mahindra is also one of the few Indian companies to receive an A+ GRI checked rating for its first Sustainability Report for the year 2007-08 and has also received the A+ GRI rating for the year 2008- 09.