Alonzo Mourning says that Vivo and NBA’s partnership allows fans to connect directly with the players.
Mourning glory
REAL SPORTS SCENE - Anthony Suntay (The Philippine Star) - January 1, 2019 - 12:00am

I can now say NBA star Alonzo Mourning and I are on the same level.

No, I am not an NBA Champion, I am not a seven-time All-Star, nor am I a two-time Defensive Player of the year.

But like Zo, I am not a techy person. He openly admitted in his meeting with the local press that he doesn’t have any social media presence. He says he is “old school” but he realizes that social media it brings the world closer together — more importantly and specifically, it brings the NBA players closer to their fans.

Vivo recently agreed to a multi-year marketing partnership in the Philippines, making them the official smartphone in the country.

Vivo will be the Presenting Partner of the NBA Playoffs Bracket Challenge, a fantasy basketball game that allows participants to submit their playoff predictions. They will also leverage the league’s youth platform, with the Jr. NBA and the NBA 3X, by staging interactive fan activities and showcase its latest mobile devices. Also, Vivo will be integrated into content on NBA Facebook, including select game highlights, vignettes, and photos.

Mourning flew in to mark the event.

PHILIPPINE STAR: Basketball has evolved since you played. Guard play is now dominating more than ever. Is this good for the sport?

ALONZO MOURNING:  Let me start by saying that some consider soccer as the number one sport in the world. I‘m biased. I believe basketball is number one. It's number one because of the players. The players are a lot more versatile and talented in so many areas. They can shoot the basketball, dribble and they are taller guys. When I played, it was always limited in the post, but now it’s at the perimeter. Guys like Kevin Durant play like guards. It started with Dirk Nowitzi. Guys are passing the ball extremely well. The game used to be very physical, it’s not as physical now and it’s played from the outside-in as compared to before where it was inside-out. Younger players are seeing these players now, so they are working on their skills at the perimeter. If you look at the Houston Rockets, all five players on the court can shoot the three, so it opens things up for driving lanes. So the scoring has gone up now more than ever. It’s changed for the better.

How do you feel about being here for this Vivo-NBA partnership?

Anytime we get to celebrate another partnership with the NBA, we take advantage because it helps to grow our brand globally. It makes me feel good as a brand ambassador coming into the league in 1992, to see how it has grown since then. That means we’re doing something right. David Stern and now Adam Silver have had that vision to expand the game globally. It all started with Dream Team 1 in Barcelona. The game just took off from there. We are trying to expose the game to as many people as we can. We only have one NBA office in the US, but many around the world, so it shows up where our priorities are.

Is social media an integral component for the NBA?

Social media is extremely important! I’m not into social myself, but I know it’s important because it allows our players to brand themselves even more and grow the brand of basketball around the world. The players use that platform to expose their lives to the basketball fans around the world. It’s a great tool to connect with the basketball fans.

What would say is the significance of Vivo’s partnership with the league?

Now more than ever, this partnership with Vivo allows the fans to connect directly with the players. They want to learn about the players and the best way to do that is through our communication devices. We can stream the games live, get real time information on the players and statistics. Vivo has a direct influence with enhancing the fans’ experience!

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