LONDON - The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant tops the list of most popular NBA jerseys in Europe for the third consecutive year. Coming off his fifth NBA title in 2010, Bryant also has the most popular jersey in the U.S. and China. Moving up two spots to No. 2 is LeBron James, formerly of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade rounds out the top three. The Most Popular NBA Jerseys in Europe list is based on sales from retail locations across Europe during the 2009-10 NBA season.
European NBA players continue to gain popularity in their homeland, representing six of the top 15 players on this year's list. They include Pau Gasol of the Los Angles Lakers (No. 4), Andrea Barganani and Jose Calderon of the Toronto Raptors (No. 6 and No. 7, respectively), Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks (No. 9), Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs (No. 10), and Danilo Gallinari of the New York Knicks (No. 11). International players make up approximately 20 percent of NBA rosters.
The NBA's merchandising business in Europe consists of more than 60 partners distributing NBA products to more than 15,000 retail locations. International sales account for 30 percent of the league's overall global merchandise business.
Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys in Europe:
* Now with the Miami Heat
2010-11 marks the fifth season with adidas as the official oncourt uniform and apparel provider of the NBA and the first season adidas will have exclusive rights to all NBA apparel in Europe. Products will be available beginning Oct. 1, 2010 and fans will be able to select from a comprehensive on-court collection, including the authentic, swingman, and replica versions of NBA player jerseys, as well as authentic team warm-up collections, shooting shirts, official practice wear and adidas TECHFIT™ base layer compression and padded compression undergarments.
The NBA returns to Europe for the fifth consecutive year as part of NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™. On Oct. 3, The New York Knicks will take on Euroleague's Armani Jeans Milano at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan. The 02 arena in London will once again host an NBA game as the 2010 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers compete against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The two teams will travel to Paris on Oct. 6 and play at the Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy. The conclusion of the 2010 Europe Live Games will be an Oct. 7 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Regal FC Barcelona at the Palau Sant Jordi. Following the 2010 Europe Live Tour, 54 games featuring 23 NBA teams will have been played in 18 cities in Europe since 1988. Eighteen marketing and promotional partners supported the sold-out 2009 tour, which was televised in 209 countries and territories.
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.