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Cablegate: Nba Basketball: Sports Diplomacy Partnerships in Indonesia

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RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0078/01 1900632
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080632Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0243
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0229
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0125
RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY 0006
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0001
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0125
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0248

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SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/PD, EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL KPAO PREL ECON ID
SUBJECT: NBA BASKETBALL: SPORTS DIPLOMACY PARTNERSHIPS IN INDONESIA

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THIS MESSAGE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIED. PLEASE PROTECT
ACCORDINGLY.

1. (SBU) Summary: Deteksi Basketball League (DBL) has secured a
multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association
(NBA). This new agreement was facilitated through
introductions and suggestions made by U.S. Consulate General
Surabaya following meetings in Jakarta. An NBA player and
coaches will come to Surabaya August 23-24, 2008, to conduct
clinics for high school players, both boys and girls. The
Surabaya program likely will be preceded or followed by a more
commercial event in Jakarta, exact date(s) still TBD. Deteksi
is a youth-oriented journal published by the Surabaya-based Jawa
Pos, Indonesia's largest newspaper conglomerate. In subsequent
years, the clinics will be expanded to full NBA summer camps for
youth from all over Indonesia. End Summary.
Basketball Dreams Born in Kansas
2. (SBU) Azrul Ananda, Commissioner of DBL and son of Jawa Pos
Group founder and CEO Dahlan Iskan, fell in love with the
American sport of basketball while attending high school in
Kansas. In 2004 he founded a high school basketball tournament
in Surabaya. School sports are not widely developed in
Indonesia and there had never been a citywide tournament in any
sport. Azrul wanted to recreate some of the excitement and
student-athlete opportunities he had seen in the U.S. DBL was
wildly successful from the start, attracting 95 teams comprising
2,788 participants in its first year. More than 20,000 fans
watched games during the 16 days of the tournament. It has
grown steadily every year since and in 2007 included 220 teams
from throughout East Java province with nearly 4,500 athletes.
Attendance topped 55,000. For 2008, DBL has dramatically
increased its scope and ambitions, sponsoring competitions in 11
cities and including the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan,
Sulawesi, and Lombok in addition to Java, where the league was
born. Finalists from each city and region will earn a trip to
Surabaya for the DBL championship, which will include 64 teams
and be modeled after "March Madness," the NCAA championship
tournament in the U.S.
NBA Comes to Indonesia for the First Time
3. (SBU) One of the highlights of the Surabaya finals will be an
appearance by Danny Granger, the high-flying forward/guard and
leading scorer of the NBA's Indiana Pacers. He is scheduled to
toss up the jump ball at the championship game and conduct a
skills clinic along with NBA coaches for selected players and
coaches from Indonesian schools. As part of the multi-year deal
Deteksi has secured with the NBA, the clinic in 2009 will be
expanded into a full NBA mini-camp for students invited from
throughout Indonesia. This agreement, negotiated through the
NBA's regional office in Hong Kong, marks the first time that
the NBA will sponsor any event in Indonesia. Azrul's initial
meeting with Hong Kong NBA officials was facilitated by the
Consulate and was arranged during the NBA's visit to Indonesia
to meet with Embassy officials and potential sponsors, among
others.
DBL's Unique Mission
4. (SBU) Azrul founded DBL with some specific guiding
principles not often stressed in Indonesia. First, all athletes
must maintain a high academic standard at their schools to be
eligible. In addition to the athletes, student reporters from
each school are also invited and sponsored to attend the
tournament and write articles for their school newspapers. As
Deteksi is a publication affiliated with East Indonesia's
largest newspaper, allowing budding student journalists to hone
their reporting and writing skills is a priority for DBL.
Schools are not charged any sort of participation or
registration fee for joining the tournament. Private sponsors
such as Honda and Converse are brought in to defray costs, but
the tournament itself does not make a profit. Along these
lines, probably the most remarkable aspect of DBL is its refusal
to allow sponsorships from tobacco companies, alcoholic beverage
makers, or "energy drinks" laced with caffeine and sometimes
nicotine. Almost every other large event in Indonesia,
including professional sports and musical events, is sponsored
by one or more of these industries. Finally, DBL promotes
girls' teams as much as boys, and gives them equal billing in
the tournament.
Professionalism
5. (SBU) PAO Surabaya attended the opening of the 2007 DBL
tournament and was impressed by the level of organization and
the overall atmosphere and presentation of the games. Player
pictures and stats were displayed on big screens above the
court, and team records and player statistics were updated
real-time so that fans could follow the tournament's progress
via the internet. Student journalists conducted interviews with
star players after the games, and well-known pop singers from

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Jakarta provided half-time entertainment. Deteksi is currently
involved in round-the-clock construction of a modern 5.5 million
dollar, 5,000 seat arena to host the 2008 DBL finals. Deteksi
plans to have the arena completed in time to host the NBA
delegation.
6. (SBU) Sports diplomacy has the potential to cut across many
barriers and reach key target audiences not always included in
other outreach programs. The high profile of the NBA and an
American player visiting Indonesia could open doors to other
sports diplomacy initiatives. Australia's Embassy has
successfully partnered with Deteksi in the past, and Australian
Ambassador Bill Farmer is expected to announce a trip by
selected DBL all-stars -- both boys teams and girls teams -- to
play against high schools in Australia. Similar youth exchanges
with the U.S. would no doubt be welcomed and the American roots
of basketball and prominence of the NBA globally make this a
natural vehicle for effective sports diplomacy programs in the
future.
MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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