Chinese Fans Bought 10,000 Bottles Of James Harden’s Wine In Seconds | Who Needs Basketball?

NBA star guard James Harden sold out of his J-Harden branded wine in a matter of seconds on Tuesday during a livestream in China. Harden is on tour with Adidas in China, as the market is critical to sneaker sales. The 10-time All-Star expressed shock and disbelief that his wine sold that quickly. He might now be calculating what other opportunities exist for him in the basketball loving nation?

China Has Love For James Harden

According to the state-run tabloid Global Times, 15 million people tuned in to the Harden livestream with Chinese online celebrity “Crazy Little Brother Yang.”

Yang told Harden how quickly his wine would sell and started the clock, after 14 seconds he stopped it. There were 5,000 orders placed at $60 for two bottles, according to Global Times, which raked in $300,000.

Not bad for less than 15 seconds.

Livestream shopping has exploded in popularity in China, and is now a multibillion-dollar industry. It combines entertainment and e-commerce, with the host offering viewers flash deals or discount coupons in real time. Viewers can instantly buy goods from streamers and click to send their favorite stars virtual “gifts.” With a population of 1.4 billion people, a mere fraction of that would be a marketing and sales team’s dream.

Basketball is extremely popular in China, and Harden is one of the most popular NBA players in the country.

Given that popularity and his current standoff with the Philadelphia 76ers, Harden might want to consider playing in China.

“Every time I come here, the love is just like … it’s crazy, you know what I mean?” Harden told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “So I feel like they deserve to actually see me come play here. … Love is always crazy here.”

The Business Of Sports Is Changing

It sounds crazy on its face but he would receive a ton of love, adulation, and perks. A top team would cater everything for him, and he can increase his sponsorship dollars.

The business of sports is changing right in front of our eyes. The Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund owns professional golf. In the last two years they’ve committed €431 million (approx. $468 million) to acquire football stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Neymar Jr.

China may not have as deep a reserve as the Saudis but they’ve got plenty.

The collective bargaining agreement forbids any player in the last year of their deal, who holds out for longer than 30 days, to sign with any other team in the world. So technically Harden can’t play in China. But what is the CBA really? What is at stake if Harden decides to break it?

It could have real ramifications for the future of the sport.

Harden has earned $300 million in salary alone from playing in the league. That doesn’t count his endorsements which put him in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars in earnings.

Maybe he holds out and does a series of livestream shopping events? Whatever he decides, the Chinese market could be a major player.

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