nba drawing crowds with ethnic "heritage" events

This is an interesting Wall Street Journal article on the NBA's efforts to attract crowds with "heritage" events, aimed at courting even the smallest ethnic enclaves to watch NBA games -- particularly for losing teams that don't normally draw big crowds: NBA Game Promises to Be a Turkey? Call In the Turks - or the Filipinos.

With 86 foreign-born players in NBA, the easiest way to do this is to build a heritage event around a particular player's ethnicity. The article also mentions Raymond Townsend, the league's first Filipino American player, who has recently been organizing and hosting Filipino heritage events across the NBA:
When I played, people thought I was just one of the lighter-skinned NBA players with an Afro. No one knew I was Filipino," says the 55-year-old former Indiana Pacers guard, son of an African-American father and a mother born in Batangas, Philippines.

Two seasons ago, Mr. Townsend returned to NBA courts as a packager of Filipino Heritage events, starting with the Golden State Warriors and the Clippers in California.

"Who knew there were 300,000 Filipinos in Los Angeles? I sure didn't," says Carl Lahr, the Clippers' vice president for marketing.
"Who knew"? Seriously? Wow, the Clippers' marketing guy sounds like kind of an idiot, doesn't he? But very cool to see that Raymond Townsend, who last played in the NBA in 1981, has made a comeback of sorts with these events.

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