Basketball is more than a sport in China; it is almost a religion. The rising wealth of the middle class and growing access to both FIBA and NBA games has only fuelled the passion for the sport.
That is certainly the case this year, with the FIBA Basketball World Cup as a major global event set to take place in the country.
But, as the sport has grown in popularity, the VIP experience, to which many western fans may be accustomed, has not kept up. The guests that will be welcomed to the FIBA Basketball World Cup hospitality areas in a few months' time will expect a certain level of service. Whilst the game itself is absolutely the priority when it comes to creating lasting memories and emotions, it is the little details – great views, comfortable seats, gourmet food, behind-the-scenes access and attentive service – that truly make the experience exceptional.
George Pollington, Managing Director, RGE Global Event Consultants recently wrote about the ways you can convince a culture that is not accustomed to high-end hospitality that they need it. It is a great overview of why world-class hospitality is necessary, touching on all the elements that it can impact.
Together with FIBA, Infront will deliver a consistent level of hospitality across all eight venues, providing the ultimate backdrop for our partners to entertain clients and customers. This includes culinary highlights from each host city and a standardised concept that will be matched across all cities. Special appearances will add to the premium experience and mark the first time that a FIBA tournament can boast a hospitality area that lives and breaths basketball. It is a new standard in providing guests with a place to mingle and enjoy the action.
We want basketball fans to not only rave about the fantastic sports action, but the fantastic experience.
Back in January Infront President & CEO Philippe Blatter highlighted five observations for sports business in China, highlighting that in the short-term "the focus will continue to be primarily on international rights holders entering the Chinese market". For us, this project is all about creating a legacy and setting a new benchmark in quality.