That large brick-resembling motor vehicle you see rolling through Germany on the way to all parts Western European isn’t any normal van: Rather, it’s something EA Sports and consumer electronics specialists Hannspree like to call the NBA Jam Van, on its second (presumably) annual trip ‘round the Continent to spread the good word of roundball.
In its inaugural run, the NBA Jam Van earned the title of “the NBA’s largest touring grassroots program” by reaching an estimated 1 million-plus fans in Europe. It’s quite the impressive sight, as 18-wheeler unfolds into a crazy 1,000 square meters’ worth of basketball-related activities.
Sayeth the PR: The Jam Van Center Court will be the hub of activity where fans can play one-on-one games and participate in a number of contests including free throw shooting and dunking on baskets of varying heights. Fans can further test their basketball ability at the Skills Challenge area, where dribbling and shooting skills are measured.
Off-court activities at Jam Van include the chance (naturally) to play the latest EA Sports games including that dope NBA Live. NBA action will be shown on a massive video wall and green-screen technology will allow visitors to create their own backgrounds for excellent pictures. Fans will also be able to measure up to life-size replicas of NBA and WNBA players and word is that also happening will be performances by the NBA mascots and dance teams. (Wait a minute … “dance teams”? That means “cheerleaders,” doesn’t it? I’m there.)
The ‘Van is currently in Germany, with future stops in France, Italy, the UK and Spain planned. Places, dates, and times confirmed for a visit include:
• Strasbourg, July 18, 10.00-18.00;
• Metz, July 21, 10.00-18.00;
• Berlin, July 24-25, 11.00-19.00 both days;
• Nuremberg, July 28, 11.00-19.00;
• Munich, July 31-August 2, 11.00-19.00 all days;
• London, October 6; and
• Madrid, October 8.
Those last two dates and venues listed see the NBA Jam Van as a mere part of greater festivities: October 6th is a date on the NBA Europe Live 2009 tour featuring a game between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz at The O2. And the Jam Van makes its final stop for 2009 on October 8 at that tantalizing Utah Jazz-Real Madrid exhibition faceoff.
BallinEurope.com will keep you up to date as more stops are confirmed. For more information, there always the fairly impressive NBA Jam Van official page.
— written by Os Davis