As Chinese communities at home and abroad rang in the Lunar New Year last week, the NBA seized the opportunity to engage its biggest overseas market.
When the New York Knicks hosted the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 9, spectators were given hongbao red envelopes, while halftime entertainment included dragon and lion dances, as well as a cultural presentation featuring the traditional qipao dress.
Similar overtures to China were made league-wide, with the efforts indicative of how keen the NBA is to build its brand in the world's most populous nation.
While the domestic CBA boasts a considerable following, the NBA remains by far China's most popular sports league, even despite the absence of a Chinese star to emulate trailblazers Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi.
The NBA rakes in $150 million from its Chinese arm, which has been valued at over $4 billion.
It's no surprise, then, that the league is going to great lengths to engage its Chinese audiences.
Teams often stage 'heritage nights' to cater to a particular cultural or ethnic demographic, but these outreach efforts are dwarfed by the NBA's accommodation of Chinese history and culture.
This is the eighth consecutive season the NBA has staged its Chinese New Year celebration.
Last year's festivities saw 12 teams usher in the Year of the Dog with Chinese-themed events at their home arenas, while the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets wore jerseys bearing Chinese characters and symbolism.
This year, clubs began celebrating Chinese New Year from Jan 30, with a record 15 teams hosting in-arena activities.
Though Chinese sponsorship of the NBA as a whole has declined over the past five years, many firms are diversifying their outlay, targeting clubs and players beloved by Chinese fans.
The NBA has also increased efforts to bring the product into the Chinese marketplace.
Since 1991, the league has held a selection of preseason games outside the US, with the aim of connecting with fans who would not otherwise get to see their heroes in action.
Initial locations included the Bahamas, Mexico and Britain, but these were soon dropped in favor of China, which first hosted games in 2004, and has done so exclusively since 2014.
Last month, the NBA announced the LA Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets would feature in this year's edition of the China Games, with a pair of preseason clashes in Shanghai and Shenzhen on Oct 10 and 12.
Although the NBA leads the way, other sports are also keen to grab a slice of the China pie.
Wrestling brand WWE has held a live event in China for the past three years, and has localized a large amount of digital content in order to help Chinese fans familiarize themselves with the brand and its stable of wrestlers.
WWE star John Cena has further endeared himself to Chinese fans by learning conversational Mandarin, and he has spent several months in China to shoot the as-yet-to-be-released movie Project X-Traction with Jackie Chan.
Meanwhile, the NFL is building its Chinese fanbase on a variety of digital platforms and the NHL has staged preseason games in China, with the legendary Wayne Gretzky helping promotional efforts in his role as global ambassador for Beijing-based outfit Kunlun Red Star.