How the internationalization of basketball and Miami mutually reinforce each other
Chris Bosh Player – The HEAT Group
Basketball has become an increasingly international sport. How have you experienced this as a player?
The evolution of technology has made the world smaller. The ability for the NBA to promote and broadcast games all around the world has definitely made a difference in making the sport more popular. I have been to Italy, Germany and many different parts of Europe, and nearly everywhere I go I get recognized. Not only that, but I hear people telling me, “Go HEAT!” They also tell me that they love Miami, or that they have always wanted to come here.
Why do you think that people around the world have this reaction to Miami?
Miami has its own unique flavor. When I think of Miami, I think glamour. I think electricity—the neon signs every- where, the electric pink and blue of the skies and also the energy of the place. There is the touristy side to Miami, but people are not just relaxing here all the time. They come here to play but also to work hard. There is that East Coast drive here. It’s not just a beach town. It’s a town full of ambitious people. It’s the best of both worlds.
How has living in Miami shaped you professionally, particularly in your development as an entrepreneur?
I’ve learned the most from meeting so many different types of people. Every businessperson, it seems, has been to Miami. Miami is also the Gateway to South America, and anyone who wants to do business there, or who is from there and wants to do business in the U.S., comes to Miami. One factor that is important to succeed in this area is being able to speak Spanish, which I have started to learn. This has helped me to connect with our Spanish-speaking fans, which are a very important group. The fact that so many international businesspeople working in different industries—whether it’s real estate or technology—pass through here provides a really amazing opportunity. Just that factor alone allows you to really build relationships and talk to people from all around the world you wouldn’t normally be able to talk to.
What role do you think that sports, and in particular the Miami HEAT, play in promoting economic growth and business development in this market?
Miami is becoming a true global city. It has always been known as this, but I think the infrastructure now is catching on. More opportunities are opening up and people from all over the world are hearing about them and starting to come. Having arts, culture and a world-class team like the HEAT based here attracts more of those people. They can take their employees or clients to a HEAT game, enjoy some entertainment, have a good time—but also do business.