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Wizards add Hebrew content platforms to attract Israeli market

The Wizards will have more content just for Israeli fans, some of which is already available.

Phoenix Suns v Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards will have more of an Israeli presence beyond Deni Avdija’s addition to the roster.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

On Thursday, the Washington Wizards announced that they will add more digital content in Hebrew in an effort to attract Israeli NBA fans now that rookie Deni Avdija is on the roster.

The content will include a Hebrew team website which will apparently be launched soon since it isn’t online yet after checking the team site, a Hebrew Instagram account and a Hebrew Twitter account. They will also have a “Wizraeli Podcast” in Hebrew with a new digital team led by former Maccabi Tel Aviv Chief Marketing Officer Yaron Talpaz.

This is in line with the Wizards’ decision to add content in Japanese last year with Rui Hachimura on the roster which include a website, Twitter account and podcast.

As you may be aware, the Wizards started out the 2020-21 NBA season with the most non-American players in the league. They have been strategic about adding content in other languages, in particular with key young players like Hachimura and Avdija.

I think this is something the Wizards will keep doing in the future if they add players from other countries where English isn’t the native language and/or if NBA basketball isn’t particularly popular.

For example, if the Wizards find the next great basketball player from South Korea, we can expect to see a Korean site, social media accounts and a podcast. And given that Korean music is now popular worldwide including the U.S., we could even see BTS or BLACKPINK make the next opening player intro video. Likewise, if they find a potential superstar from Turkey, we’ll see content in Turkish. And if the Wizards get a future NBA first round pick from Belgium, they’ll add content in Dutch and French given that the country has a rather even split of native speakers of both languages. I think you get the picture so I’ll leave this rambling thought at that.

I like the strategic decision to add content in more languages from a business perspective, but this appears short-sighted to me for this reason. I’m concerned that these moves could backfire if Avdija and/or Hachimura were traded to another team at some point. Would there be enough Israeli and/or any fans who would be interested in Wizards content, especially when Washington isn’t a league contender? In fact, the Wizards are the worst team in the league.