NBA basketball franchise the Houston Rockets has entered into a partnership with Chinese home-décor company Scisky.
The five-year agreement will run until 2022 and is designed to further build the Rockets’ brand in China.
The partnership commenced with the Rockets’ home game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday evening. Scisky served as the title sponsor of the game, which the Rockets won 121-117.
Rockets chief executive Tad Brown credited club legend Yao Ming as a key factor in the team's partnership with Scisky. Yao played for the team from 2002 to 2011 and had his No.11 jersey retired during a half-time ceremony at Friday’s game.
"The interesting thing is that because of the continuing close relationship we share with Yao, we continue to grow with Chinese basketball fans," Brown said, according to the China Daily newspaper.
"That's the testament to his legacy, to the great players that come after Yao. He built the infrastructure of enthusiasm for the game in China; the best NBA players become loved by Chinese fans."
In October, the Rockets faced off against the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA Global Games China pre-season series. The two teams played each other on October 9 in Shanghai at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, and on October 12 in Beijing at the LeSports Center. The Rockets came out on top in both games, winning 123-117 in Shanghai and 116-104 in Beijing.
Scisky becomes the Rockets’ seventh Chinese commercial partner.