INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORT MANAGEMENT RECREATION AND TOURISM, vol.8, no.A, 2011 (ESCI)
Women's basketball is a global game with professional leagues in Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Americas. The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the US is the premier league for the sport. During the off-season, over 100 players from WNBA clubs compete professionally abroad to supplement their incomes. Traveling teams and their visiting friends, relatives, and fans place demands on tourism businesses. This study examines the global migration in women's professional basketball, including players living and traveling abroad and their tourism impacts. In-depth interviews with the foreign players participating in the Turkish Women's Basketball League 2011 All-Star Game in Eskisehir were conducted. The foreign all-stars spent on average $US 1200 per month in Turkey for living expenses during the season; most had been visited by family and/or friends since becoming a player in the Turkish league. The implications of professional sport team travel on league sponsorship and marketing strategies, tourism businesses, and host cities are discussed.