Basketball in Asia

Basketball season is in full swing, with teams in the US National Basketball Association (NBA) competing for the coveted place in the playoffs and ultimately the 2018 championship crown. Basketball is not just a US sports though, it has grown worldwide with fans in every corner of the world. Asia is no exception. Read on to find out how popularity of basketball ranks in China, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.

Basketball Ranks Supreme in the Philippines

Basketball is by far the most popular sport in the Philippines, with roughly three quarters of those surveyed saying they are basketball fans. The Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) is the first professional basketball league in Asia, and outside the NBA in the US, the oldest continuously existing league in the world.

In Taiwan, basketball is a top favorite alongside Badminton. Some could argue that its popularity is driven by key native NBA players like Jeremy Lin who continue to have training camps there. In China, Basketball follows closely behind Badminton, Table Tennis and Swimming, while in Singapore, it has similar popularity that of Table Tennis placing it within the top 5 popular sports.

Q. Which of the following sports are you a fan of? (Select all that apply)
(Showing top 5 picks per country – see Survey Details for full list of sports asked)

When we dig deeper into popularity by gender, Basketball remains the most popular sport regardless of gender in the Philippines. There’s higher popularity for Basketball among Males in Taiwan and Singapore, while in China it holds onto 4th place for both gender.

Favorite Basketball Team Among Fans in the Philippines

Let’s take a closer look at the Philippines, where basketball is by far the favorite sport. We asked fans of their favorite basketball team in the entire world. A quarter of fans picked the Golden State Warriors, leading by a significant margin. The Lakers and Cavaliers followed next, then the Bulls. Local teams notably followed suit – Ginebra at 7% and Gilas at 5%.

Q. What is your favorite basketball team in the world? (Name one team)
(Showing top 4 teams mentioned in the Philippines)

Base: Basketball Fans in the Philippines n=444. Coded from open-ends.

We picked up several quotes directly from Warriors fans in the Philippines on why they consider the Warriors as their favorite team. While individual player names naturally came up, the majority also mentioned the Warrior’s strong teamwork:

  • “Because of their team effort and hard work towards championship”
  • “They are the best team. They work together as a team and not just a one-man show”
  • “I really love this Team because the players of this team is united, cooperative and play with a heart”
  • “They always play to win and they also play as a team, never individually”
  • “They play as a team, and they help each other. A perfect concept of a team”
The Golden State Warriors and Rakuten Partnership

We’ve seen how basketball is a major sports with fans across Asia. Within the Philippines where basketball is the most popular sport, the Golden State Warriors is considered by far the most favorite team.

At Rakuten AIP, we’re extremely excited to be part of the Rakuten Group, the new official jersey-badge partner of the Warriors. In Japan, Rakuten has also become the new distribution and global marketing partner of the NBA.

Read more about it here!

■Survey Details
Markets: Age 18+ in China, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan
Sample Size: ~600 per country
Methodology: Online Survey using Rakuten AIP proprietary panels
Timing: Oct 31 – Nov 08, 2017
List of sports asked: American football, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Field Hockey, Golf, Ice Hockey, Rugby, Soccer / Football, Swimming, Table Tennis / Ping pong, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, Other, I’m not a fan of any sports

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