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Cablegate: Surabaya Welcomes Nba to Indonesia

VZCZCXRO0293
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0100/01 2410637
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280637Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0278
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0264
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0003
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0005
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0147
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0147
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0283

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SURABAYA 000100

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/PD, EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP SCUL PREL ODIP KPAO ECON ID
SUBJECT: SURABAYA WELCOMES NBA TO INDONESIA

REF: SURABAYA 79

SURABAYA 00000100 001.2 OF 002


1. Summary: Surabaya played host to the first ever NBA events
in Indonesia when Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers visited
from August 22-25, 2008. He participated in a press conference,
tossed up the opening jump ball and presented trophies at a high
school championship tournament, visited an orphanage, and
conducted a skills clinic with high school boys and girls.
After months of pre-visit hype, the Jawa Pos, Eastern
Indonesia's largest newspaper, carried three straight days of
front page, above the fold color pictures and articles
documenting the NBA star's activities. Thousands of fans
attended the events and Granger said he was overwhelmed by the
warm reception and accolades, admitting he was a little
concerned before the visit about how an American would be
received in this predominantly Muslim society. Granger's visit
highlights the impact of sports diplomacy and public-private
partnerships in reaching diverse audiences. End Summary.

INDONESIA - RED, WHITE - AND BLUE?

2. Deteksi Basketball League, a high school tournament run under
the auspices of the Jawa Pos media group, sponsored Danny
Granger's visit to Surabaya August 22-25. The Consulate
facilitated initial contact between Deteksi and the NBA, but the
ultimate agreement was a private partnership that cost the State
Department nothing, yet yielded huge dividends for America's
image, particularly among young people. Deteksi is a
youth-oriented section of the Jaw Pos newspaper, Indonesia's
second largest daily. From the moment the paper announced its
agreement with the NBA, promotion for the events has been
sensational. Granger has appeared on larger-than-life
billboards all over the city and the Jawa Pos became a
self-appointed official supporter of Team USA Basketball at the
Beijing Olympic Games. Jawa Pos reporters traveled to Beijing
to meet with Team USA , which was featured in dozens of stories
leading up to and during the Olympic competition. Player
profiles and features were universally upbeat, depicting a
positive image of U.S. basketball and the U.S. in general.
Reflecting these positive images, Deteksi held a cheerleading
contest in which the winning team -- decked out completely in
red, white, and blue stars and stripes outfits-- looked like
they had come straight out of a Fourth of July parade.

YOUTH WITH DANNY EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

3. The paper hosted Danny Granger, leading scorer of the NBA's
Indiana Pacers, at a press conference shortly after his arrival.
Granger noted the participation of many high school and even
some junior high reporters. With its roots in the media
business, Deteksi events always feature student journalism
activities as an important component, and these students, along
with the mainstream media, were given access to Granger during
most of his time in Surabaya.

4. The NBA star made his first public appearance tossing up the
opening jump ball of the high school championship game crowning
Deteksi's tournament. A crowd of over 7,000,warmed up by
Surabaya's Principal Officer joining dignitaries and celebrities
on the floor for the National Anthem and pre-game festivities,
chanted Granger's name and went wild when he joined the players
on the court during a break in the action to show off some
moves. Fifty high school players, both boys and girls, got to
see more of those moves up close and personal at a hands-on
coaching and skills clinic conducted by Granger and retired NBA
player Marty Conlon the day after the tournament finals. About
2,500 fans, players, and parents watched the clinic from the
stands of the DBL arena. Earlier that morning, Granger and his
fiancie visited a Surabaya orphanage, where he played and talked
with the children, and donated some school supplies as part of
the NBA Cares program. Along with commercial sponsors,
consulate officers and government VIPs, about 100 high school
kids were also invited to a farewell dinner in Granger's honor
his last night in Surabaya before moving on to events in Jakarta
(see Jakarta septel). The Consulate participated in all of
Granger's public events.

MEDIA FRENZY

5. All of these events, and even a trip to a local shopping
mall, spawned extensive press coverage. Dozens of color
pictures and positive articles appeared all over the Jawa Pos,
with Danny Granger pushing Indonesia's favorite son Barack Obama
and Senator Joseph Biden at their first joint appearance below
the fold on the front page. In fact, the August 24 Sunday paper
was proclaimed the "Danny Granger Edition" with his image

SURABAYA 00000100 002.2 OF 002


appearing next to the paper's banner and a full-color pull out
section highlighting his visit wrapping around the front page.
Other major Surabaya dailies also covered the visit with photos
and stories. Two local television stations featured daily
reports on Granger's activities.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

6. This visit was the first of a multi-year agreement between
the NBA and Deteksi. Plans call for expansion of the clinic to
a full basketball camp next year and negotiations are under way
to bring a WNBA player to Indonesia as well. The popularity of
basketball is mushrooming and the Deteksi tournament itself will
grow to include five major islands and 10 provinces next year.
When the tournament began in 2004, only Surabaya schools
participated. Danny Granger's visit both underscored and
strengthened the positive image of U.S. basketball in Indonesia.


7. Prospects for this kind of sports diplomacy, however, are
certainly not limited to NBA stars, or even basketball. A
recent visit to the island of Sulawesi by a U.S. university
women's soccer coach was met with tremendous enthusiasm even if
not all the hoopla of the NBA. Hundreds turned out to sports
clinics and seminars she presented on the role of community
youth sports programs. This visit was financed with a PD grant
to the Institute for Training and Development that also funded
the visit of Indonesian representatives to the U.S. to observe
youth sports programs. Athletes manage to reach audiences where
other initiatives rarely succeed, and American sports figures
cut through barriers and come across in a way that traditional
diplomats or other government officials simply cannot. The
goodwill they generate toward the U.S. and Americans, however,
can be effectively harnessed to other PD efforts and
private-public partnerships. U.S. Consulate General Surabaya is
looking forward to more NBA and hopefully WNBA visits next year,
and seeks other creative ways to employ sports diplomacy
initiatives and support public private partnerships.
MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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