Carmelo Anthony is one basketball player who seems to be loved by all. VICE News recently covered Anthony’s trip to Cuba where he was greeted by scores of enthusiastic fans. It was his first time in Cuba, and from this video stream we get to see the global appeal of basketball. In an interesting fashion, Anthony’s visit to Cuba through VICE was to explore the rising interest in soccer in the country. This is a feature where basketball meets the rise of soccer.
I have written about how the availability of infrastructure and resources can influence people’s gravitation towards sports, marketing, branding and even training. Cuba’s history and economical decline have drastically affected how sports has grown in the country. The New York Cosmos travelled to Cuba to play against a domestic cuban team which is another way to build international relations between the two countries as icy foreign relations begin to thaw.
Walking around Old Havana, Carmelo Anthony can not even believe that he has so many fans. This disbelief can be matched by the true value of international branding , a strong goal and initiative the NBA is trying to push forward. We see Anthony mixing with the locals, talking to people on the street and trying cigars. The people are welcoming and it takes him no time at all to really get settled. Cuba is still untapped as a place for sports potential. One particular community organizer comments on how easy soccer is for the people to learn. Soccer is easier to learn and take up because it does not require as much initial spending on facilities and gear much like basketball or other sports. Soccer is now the sport being promoted amongst the youth in Cuba.
Cubans are ready to be seen by the world. They are ready to be known and to show what they can give. Lets hope we are ready. Check out the video by VICE news below.