Women’s Hoops’ Steeves Set for Summer Fellowship in China

Women’s Hoops’ Steeves Set for Summer Fellowship in China

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University women's basketball rising junior Erika Steeves is set for a 23-day trip throughout China where she will explore the market for amateur and professional basketball in China through a Brown Royce Sport and Society Fellowship. 

"Erika's Summer Fellowship: Creating a Market for Sport in China" 

June 4-8: New York City
June 13-16: Shanghai
June 16-22: Hangzhou
June 22-28: Jinan
June 28 to July 5: Beijing 

Steeves will explore the growing market for amateur and professional basketball in China. Working with the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), and Chinese sport officials she will look at the intentional and unintentional development of a uniquely American product; basketball. She will also explore potential opportunities and challenges for this emerging market as it relates to relationships between the U.S. and China. 

Before departing for China, Steeves spent four days in New York, N.Y., meeting with a variety of NBA staff members to discuss the NBA's marketing strategy in China among other topics. She begins her Chinese tour in Shanghai (June 13-16), which will include meetings with the NBA's China office and the Canada China Business Council.

Following her stop in Shanghai, Steeves proceeds to Hangzhou (June 16-22) for the Asia Pacific Team Camp – an NBA-run event. In Jinan (June 22-28), she will work with the NBA Academy in the government-run Olympic Sports Center before concluding her Chinese stay in Beijing (June 28 to July 5) in a stop that will include several meetings and a chance to see historic sites such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. 

BLOG POST I: June 3, 2017: "Pre-Trip"
"Welcome to the beginning of my Chinese adventure. The countdown is now at 9 days, and I couldn't be more excited. As of yesterday, I amfinally the owner of a Chinese visa for travel, so I figured it was only fitting that I write my first blog post. I say finally because I had numerous visits to both the passport and visa offices in Montreal that easily could have been avoided if I had realized earlier that my passport picture was slightly water-damaged. Following an initial moment of panic considering the short time crunch I was in, I would argue that I passed my first challenge with (somewhat) flying colors. I can now officially say that I will be traveling to Mainland China from June 12th to July 5th, with stops in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Jinan, and Beijing …

… I'll be honest when I say that I have no idea what to expect, but isn't that the beauty of it? I can only imagine the cultural shock I'll be subject to when I land in China, or when I first step foot onto a basketball court there. Although my mandarin is limited to three years of classes, I am a firm believer that sports have the power to unite people in unique ways. In fact, as a native French speaker who attended school in America, I witnessed first-hand how basketball can bring people with diverse backgrounds together and create strong bonds of friendship. I'm keeping this blog to form a tangible reminder of my experiences, as well as update you all on the unique, challenging, and memorable adventure I am about to embark on, so buckle up!" 

BLOG POST II: June 11, 2017: "Basketball in International Relations"
"I'm spending my final day in Montreal doing last-minute preparations, and organizing different interviews for my time in Shanghai and Beijing. As I mentioned in my previous post, I just spent a few days in New York City for some meetings, and I'm happy to report that they went really well. I got a tour of the NBA offices and met the personnel from the International Business Operations team that I will be working with at the camp in Hangzhou. They were all extremely welcoming, and I'm so excited to be working with them!

I was fascinated to hear more about the NBA's growing international presence, as well as their ability to have an impact in a variety of different markets. The latter aspect of the league is especially intriguing to me, since it is safe to say that while it is a global sport, there are differences in the game between countries. I'm excited to get to China to learn even more about basketball in the country, as well as explore the ways that different entities, including the NBA and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), have worked to improve the game in recent years …

… It is my hope that I can help open the world of global sport to others, as well as offer some insight on the key role of sports in international relations. In the past, the topic was often disregarded, but because of its popularity across the globe, sports have recently played a significant role in international relations, both on a social and political level. In fact, athletics are now inextricably intertwined with world politics, national pride, international prestige …"